The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Citizen Planner Program offers land use education for locally appointed and elected planning officials, zoning administrators and interested residents throughout Michigan. It is a time-tested educational program proven to be comprehensive without being overwhelming. The program is delivered locally to provide a convenient way for busy community leaders to obtain the latest technical knowledge and the proficiency they need to perform their duties more effectively and responsibly.
The six sessions of this course provide the fundamentals on roles, responsibilities and best practices for planning and zoning in Michigan, including:
- Understanding the Planning and Zoning Context: Learn the legal sources and limitations of planning and zoning authority and explore your understanding of ethical decision-making.
- Planning for the Future of Your Community: Recognize the function and importance of a master plan, know the process for developing one and its relationship to zoning.
- Implementing the Plan with Zoning: Discover the importance of zoning, learn how zoning is administered and gain confidence in your zoning reviews, including site plans.
- Making Zoning Decisions: Learn how to adopt and amend a zoning ordinance, understand the role of the zoning board of appeals and obtain skills in basic property development methods.
- Using Innovative Planning and Zoning: Strategize with placemaking and design-based solutions for local and regional success in the New Economy.
- Successfully Fulfilling Your Role: Strengthen your ethical decision-making skills, apply standards to your decision-making and know when to ask for help.
Citizen Planner instructors include MSU Extension educators, MSU faculty, and practicing planners and attorneys in Michigan. The registration fee for the Citizen Planner Classroom Program is $250 and includes a comprehensive training manual.