Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning (ZAC)

Date: January 26, 2016 - February 3, 2016
Time: 1:30-4 p.m.
Location: Webinar
Contact: Janean Danca, Citizen Planner Coordinator at 269-657-8213, or

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
This is a special version of Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning offered using web conferencing technology. It is a live, interactive classroom style presentation which participants can view from their home or office computer. In coordination with the MSU Land Policy Institute, this course is being offered during the workday on seven consecutive days to allow participants to fulfill the prerequisite for the Zoning Administrator Certificate training being offered Feb. 23-25, 2016. You do not have to enroll in the ZA certificate program to participate in this condensed Citizen Planner class.

The webinars will be held on Jan. 26, 27, 28 29, February 1, 2, and 3, 1:30 - 4 p.m.

Please download the flyer for more information, including the technology requirements to participate in the webinars.

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). For municipalities obtaining insurance through Nichel & Saph, Inc. Insurance Agency, contact Stephen R. Saph, Jr. at 586-463-4573 or Contact your local community liability risk insurance carrier to see if similar grants or scholarships are available.

Registrations cancelled on or after Jan. 19, 2016 will be assessed a $45 cancellation fee. 


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