2021 Master Citizen Planner Live Webinar Series

April 15, 2021 - November 18, 2021


Contact: For more information contact Kara Kelly, Citizen Planner Program Coordinator, at 517-353-6472 or cplanner@msu.edu.

The 2021 Master Citizen Planner (MCP) Webinar Series is designed to offer participants the latest updates and information on current topics. Using Zoom Webinar, MSU Extension educators will provide an overview of topics of interest to planning and zoning officials. Webinars fall on the third Thursday in April, May, June, September, October, and November.  Webinars take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Each session is available individually or participants can register for all six at once. All webinars will be recorded and sent to registrants. 

2021 Topics include:

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, April 15 - Harmony Gmazel, AICP. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a process that adds depth and data to any community planning or economic development project. By understanding CPTED concepts and making changes to the built environment, a community will be better positioned to minimize crime incidents while addressing social, racial, and economic inequities.

Simple Scenario-Based Planning for Shorelines, May 20 - Tyler Augst. Coastal communities in Michigan face complex decisions when planning along the shoreline. A decision-centered, scenario-based planning approach has helped some of Michigan’s shoreline communities better discuss and make difficult planning decisions in the face of increasing uncertainty. This webinar will showcase the process and research behind scenario-based shoreline planning and introduce tools needed to incorporate this process in your community.

All Things Nonconforming, June 17 - Mary Reilly, AICP. The most worn pages of a zoning ordinance are often the ones dealing with nonconformities because they are summarily unique, yet also prevalent, and they require more research than a typical application. This program will explore 1) how to differentiate between nonconforming lots, buildings, and uses and 2) how nonconformities are created, maintained, and abandoned. Participants will also learn the historic use of the term grandfathering and how this came to be associated with nonconformities.

JULY –  BREAK (no webinar)

AUGUST –  BREAK (no webinar)

Planning & Zoning for Electric Vehicles: If you build it they will come, September 16 - Brad Neumann, AICP. Long-term, Electric Vehicles (EVs) will change the landscape of our communities. Short-term, the communities that build EV infrastructure will not only support local demand, but will also become an EV destination and attract the touring EV motorist from far and wide. After participating in the webinar, participants will be able to: Describe the types of EV charging stations and Michigan’s vision for building-out a basic EV charging infrastructure; Communicate the importance of community-wide and business-specific planning related to EV; and Propose basic planning and zoning amendments to help ready their community for development proposals incorporating EV infrastructure.

Assessing & Zoning: An ongoing paradox, October 21 - David S. Rowley, MAAO(3), MCPPE. While planning and zoning of land as well as the annual tax assessment process are important related functions for local governments, each have distinct definitions and purposes. Such differences often cause confusion among and between local government officials and the public. A zoning district is not the same as a property’s assessment classification and classification is not zoning. Yet, some use such terms interchangeably. This webinar will review the guiding principles between assessing and zoning and why they are different as well as providing an added bonus of some practical tips for reading and understanding surveys and legal descriptions.

Opening Doors to Attainable Housing, November 18 - Harmony Gmazel, AICP & Tyler Augst.  Local zoning best practices can promote inclusive and attainable/affordable housing options in Michigan.  We will discuss a wide catalog of proven zoning and policy recommendations related to housing form and function. We will present rural, suburban and urban housing considerations and share recent case studies related to zoning regulations and policies that support ‘missing middle’ housing, attainable workforce options, and more.

Cost per webinar: $10 for MCPs; $20 for Regular Registrants


Tags: citizen planner, community, economic development, energy, government, leadership, livable communities, master citizen planner, master plan, michigan citizen planner program, msu extension, ongoing virtual, planning, public policy, tourism, zoning, zoning ordinance