Citizen Planner on the Web - ZAC19

January 15, 2019 - January 31, 2019 1:30 pm - 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Janean Danca 269-657-8213,

About Citizen Planner

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.

Citizen Planner 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.

Why Citizen Planner?

Local officials have a responsibility to help their communities manage the impacts of economic change and be part of the solutions to challenges their communities face. Local communities that proactively plan to succeed in the New Economy can improve their quality of life and overall sustainability. The Citizen Planner Program empowers local officials to shape the future of their communities by providing them with the tools and education they need to lead.

Citizen Planner Classroom Curriculum

Citizen Planner instructors include MSU Faculty, MSU Extension educators, planners and attorneys. The classroom program consists of six sessions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Using Innovative Planning and Zoning – Strategize with placemaking and design-based solutions for local and regional success in the New Economy.
  6. Successfully Fulfilling Your Role – Strengthen your ethical decision-making skills, apply standards to your decision-making and know when to ask for help.

MSU Extension awards Citizen Planner Program participants a certificate of completion.

Participants who complete the Citizen Planner Classroom Program are eligible to earn the Master Citizen Planner (MCP) credential. In addition to completing the course, the MCP credential requires passing an online exam and capstone presentation, and meeting annual continuing education requirements. Master Citizen Planners may receive incentives, such as future course discounts, exclusive training opportunities, and scholarships for annual conferences and regional training offered by partnering organizations. The MCP designation is an achievement recognized as the standard of excellence among planning officials and community leaders in Michigan.

Citizen Planner on the Web is a special offering of the Citizen Planner classroom program that allows participation from home or office. This live, interactive Zoom program is being held on January 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, and 31 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. All participants will receive the Citizen Planner book and all classroom materials before the first session on January 15. When registering please provide a street address for UPS delivery. The cost of the program is $275 per person. Completion of this program will meet the prerequisite for the Zoning Administrator Certificate Training on Feb. 7-8, 2019. For more information and registration for the ZAC training visit Citizen Planner course is open to everyone.

Reimbursement Scholarships

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 Citizen Planner Program. Contact Karen Zielinksi at; 248-371-3137 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 Nickel & Saph, Inc. Insurance Agency, contact Stephen R. Saph, Jr. at 586-463-4573 or Contact your community’s liability insurance provider to see if similar grants or scholarships are available.


Registrations cancelled on or after Jan. 8, 2019 will be charged a $45 cancellation fee.



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Janean Danca
269-657-8213 x2

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