What is an RFQ?

City Planning Department

An RFQ is a contractual document the city uses to hire a consultant (subject matter expert) who will help with the project. The RFQ will allow interested firms to apply to work on the project through a competitive bidding process. A team of city staff from different departments will review the responses to the RFQ and make a final recommendation to City Council on the most qualified firm. The City Council will ultimately make the hiring decision on the firm.

Why do you hire an outside firm to work on plans?

The primary reasons local governments contract with consultants for area planning is the amount of labor necessary to do good and thorough work and to access experts and other specialists that may not be readily available on city staff. More specifically they provide:

  • Subject matter expertise on traffic studies, housing market analysis, complex design projects and other very specific areas of study.
  • Capacity, planning studies are a regular part of the work the City Planning Department does, however they require a lot of staff for a short period of time. By hiring a consulting team we can increase our overall capacity to provide a higher level of service throughout the life of the project.
  • Outside Opinion/Perspective, it is a common practice to get a second opinion from a professional in the field, and by hiring a consultant we bring an outside perspective and a different set of experience to the project. Consulting firms often work on projects in other cities, counties, and states and can bring knowledge of what worked well there and what didn’t.

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