PZC Zoning Administrator Certificate Program

Mark Wyckoff and attendees from the 2015 ZAC ProgramSince 2009, the Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) at MSU has held the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program. This program was designed to offer zoning administration techniques in ways that reduce legal risks to the zoning administrator (ZA) and their community. It is the ONLY such program in the state!

The Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program has offered training in 18 different locations around the state; attracting more than 300 participants. To date, 98% of the participants who attended the training have passed the final exam and received a certificate of completion. Zoning administrators make up the majority of participants attending the training. However, the program has attracted private consultants and county planners who consult with local zoning administrators, local elected officials and State agency staff. It has even attracted some unexpected participants who may have taken on the responsibility of the zoning administrator, due to lack of staff and funding at the local or county levels.

2018 Training Program

Date: Thursday-Friday, January 18-19, 2018

Location: Ramada Grayling Hotel and Conference Center, 2650 I-75 Business Loop, Grayling, MI 49738

Topics Covered

Bo Duncan presents at the 2016 ZAC ProgramThere are eight training modules in the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program, and each is 1.5-2.5 hours of classroom time (including an individual or group activity).

  1. Job Description, Responsibilities and Basic Ethics.
  2. Legal Issues.
  3. Reviewing Applications: Common Procedures and Use of Forms.
  4. Reviewing Plot Plans and Site Plans.
  5. Inspections and Violations.
  6. Preparing Files, Reports and Record Keeping
  7. Interactions with other Professionals and Agencies, and Departmental Duties.
  8. Customer Service and Counter Behavior.

Typical Agenda

This year, the training schedule, materials and content has been overhauled. Therefore, the schedule has changed from a three-day program to a two-day program. Below are two tables showing the typical agenda for the two-day event. Modules may be presented in a different order than displayed, and include a mid-point break.

Day 1 Minutes Topic/Meal
9-11:30am 90 Module 1
11:30am-12:15pm 45 Lunch
12:15-2:45pm 150 Module 2
2:45-3pm 15 Break
3-5pm 120 Module 3
5-6pm 60 Dinner
6-7:30pm 90 Module 7
Day 2 Minutes Topic/Meal
8-10:30am 150 Module 4
10:30-10:45am 15 Break
10:45am-12pm 75 Module 6
12-12:45pm 45 Lunch
12:45-1:30pm 45 Module 6 (cont.)
1:30-1:45pm 15 Break
1:45-4:15pm 150 Module 5
4:15-5pm 60 Dinner
5-6:30pm 90 Module 8

Contact Us

Questions about this training program can be sent to Jason Cox at coxjaso6@landpolicy.msu.edu or call the Planning & Zoning Center at (517) 432-2222.


All Michigan State University programs are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

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