Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning - Berrien County

Date: February 11, 2015 - March 25, 2015
Time: 6 - 9 p.m.
Location: 700 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Contact: 269-657-8213,,

Michigan Citizen Planner offers land use education and training to locally appointed and elected planning officials. The Citizen Planner program is a seven-session series leading to a certificate of completion awarded by MSU Extension. The course is intended for local appointed and elected officials, zoning administrators and interested citizens.

The simple truth is that communities need to change the way they do community planning. Local officials have a responsibility to help their communities manage the impacts of economic change and be part of the solutions to challenges and issues their communities face. Local communities that proactively plan to succeed in the New Economy can improve their quality of life and lead Michigan’s recovery and transformation. Michigan Citizen Planner empowers local officials to shape the future of their communities by providing them with the tools and education they need to lead. Participants may also choose to continue on with the program and earn the Master Citizen Planner (MCP) credential by completing the Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning, an exam, and a capstone presentation. Master Citizen Planners receive course discounts, exclusive training opportunities and other incentives.   

Instructors for the training program include MSU Extension educators, planners, attorneys and MSU faculty.

  1. Introduction to Planning and Zoning: Smart Growth and the New Economy, Conflict of Interest and Planning Resources
  2. Legal Foundations of Planning and Zoning: Cases, Statutes and other Planning Authority
  3. Roles and Responsibilities, Part I: Master Plan and Planning Process, Sub-Area Plans, and Working with the Public
  4. Roles and Responsibilities, Part II: Zoning, Site Plans and Zoning Board of Appeals Process
  5. Plan Implementation and Development Controls: Subdividing Land, Zoning Controls and Non-Regulatory Techniques
  6. Best Practices for Innovative Planning and Zoning: Green Development, Form-Based Code, Traditional Neighborhood Design and Conservation Design
  7. The Art of Community Planning: Participation, Effective Meetings and Managing Conflict


The Berrien County Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning classroom program will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, and continue on consecutive Wednesdays through March 25, 2015. The dates are Feb. 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18, and 25 of 2015. Classes will be held at the St. Joseph City Hall Commission Chambers located at 700 Broad Street in St. Joseph, MI 49085, 6 - 9 p.m. For more information please download the attached flyer.

The course fee is $295 per participant for the complete core program. Group discounts are available for four or more. The fee covers registration, course materials and refreshments. Participants that complete all seven sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

Scholarships may be available from your community’s liability insurance provider. Michigan Township Participating Plan offers to its municipal members one per community, which covers the complete registration cost for participation in the Michigan Citizen Planner Program. Contact Rita Evans at 800-783-1370 for more information. For member governments of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA), contact Cara Kowal at 800-243-1324 for more information regarding grants for education and training through the Risk Avoidance Program (RAP). Contact your local community liability risk insurance carrier to see if similar grants or scholarships are available.

Registrations cancelled on or after Feb. 4, 2015 will be assessed a $45 cancellation fee

Visit the Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning - Berrien County registration page for more information.

Events Nearby

View more events