Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning - Charlevoix County

Date: September 10, 2015 - October 29, 2015
Time: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Charlevoix Public Library located at 220 West Clinton St., Charlevoix, MI 49720
Contact: Dean Solomon (231) 582-6232 or

This is a seven part series, begining September 10, 2015 other dates in the series including September 17, 24, October 1, 15, 22, and ending October 29, 2015.

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 MSUE. 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 Charlevoix County Citizen Planner: Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning will be held at the Charlevoix Public Library located at 220 West Clinton St., Charlevoix, MI 49720, on Thursday evenings from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. The classes will begin Sept. 10 and will be held on the following dates: Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 15, 22, and 29. Please note there will be no class on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. For more information about program fees, class dates and topics and location download the attached flyer.

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.

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.

With generous support from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, $150 per person registration fee scholarships are available for Charlevoix County communities. The number is limited and offered as a reimbursement upon completion basis, so please contact Dean Solomon, MSU Extension, (231) 582-6232,, for further details.


Registrations cancelled on or after Sept. 3, 2015 will be assessed a $45 cancellation fee. 





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