Citizen Planner offered around the state fall 2013

The Michigan State University Extension Citizen Planner program will be offered at eight different locations statewide this fall beginning in September. Register now!

This fall, the popular Citizen Planner program from Michigan State University Extension will be offered at various locations around the state with the first program beginning September 9, 2013. This program offers in-depth training for planning commission and zoning board of appeals members, zoning administrators, elected officials and interested citizens. The fall 2013 locations and dates include:

The Citizen Planner program helps local planning officials prepare their communities to face the unique challenges of the New Economy. Beyond the planning and zoning strategies of the past 20 years that dealt with projected population growth, farm and forest land loss, strip commercial development, and suburban sprawl, different strategies are needed for community success in the demographic and economic realities of today. Needed now are strategies to make communities more competitive in the New Economy, where talented people, entrepreneurs, and other knowledge workers are the drivers of economic performance. Considering such people are more mobile on the landscape than traditional skilled workers, and they are attracted to places with high quality of life that are rich in amenities, new strategies are needed.

The challenge for communities is to change perspectives to think about unique regional assets, and develop plans and ordinances that capitalize on those assets. Natural resources, arts and culture, parks and recreational facilities, agriculture, civic organizations, schools, access to health care and an entrepreneurial spirit are all important amenities that a community might leverage as a New Economy asset.

Recognizing the need for new strategies is one thing, but undertaking the needed master plan updates, zoning ordinance amendments, and Placemaking initiatives is a difficult task. Citizen Planner prepares planning officials by providing a solid foundation in the basics of planning and zoning, and advanced innovative techniques. Topics include introduction to planning and zoning, legal foundations of planning and zoning, planning roles and responsibilities, plan implementation and development controls, best practices for innovative planning and zoning, and the art of community planning.

For more information about one of the fall programs, click on the name of the county program offering above. For more information about the Citizen Planner program visit the Citizen Planner website.

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