Welcome 2016! Zoning Administrators what’s your New Year’s resolution?

Most of what professionals learn in their careers comes from experience, trial and error. But, for many, this method of learning (although valuable) can have high costs and lasting impacts on their communities.

LPI's Mark Wyckoff leading a session from the 2015 Zoning Administrator Certificate Program. Photo Courtesy of Kurt H. Schindler

Most of what professionals learn in their careers comes from experience A.K.A. trial and error, either their own or a predecessor. But, for many, this method of learning (although valuable) can have high costs and lasting impacts on their communities. Zoning Administrators (ZA) are the front line for new development or redevelopment in a community, and yet most receive no formal training.

The Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program offered by the MSU Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) is the only course of its kind in Michigan. Designed specifically for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local ZAs, this intensive course teaches the fundamentals needed to improve performance, customer service, efficacy of processes and accuracy of information, thereby making the trial-and-error process of learning less burdensome on ZAs and their communities.

Registration for the training is available online, but you must also submit a completed form from the registration brochure to PZC. The course runs Feb. 23-25, 2016, at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center in Muskegon. There are eight modules (about three hours of instruction, 24 hours total) included in each training program leading to a certificate of completion for those that pass an exam associated with each module.

  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; and
  8. Customer Service and Counter Behavior.

Space is still available with early registration ending Monday, Feb. 13, 2016, so be sure to reserve your space today! Questions about registration should be emailed to Bob Krusky at kruskyro@anr.msu.edu or call (517) 353-3054.

Zoning Administrator Certificate Program Prerequisite

To be eligible for a certificate upon completion of this program, participants will need to have also completed the MSUE Michigan Citizen Planner Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning Program, either classroom-based or online (or be American Institute of Certified Planners certified) and successfully pass a multiple choice examination. Upcoming Citizen Planner training opportunities are listed below.

Citizen Planner Web-Based Trainings

  • ZAC Specific: Jan. 26–Feb. 3, 2016 (Weekdays 1/26, 1/27, 1/28, 1/29, 2/1, 2/2, 2/3) 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration is now available!
  • Citizen Planner on the Web: Will begin Apr. 5 in various locations.
  • Online Program: Will be back up Spring 2016. Check MSUE Citizen Planner for availability.

Classroom-Based Trainings

Michigan Citizen Planner is administered separately from the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program. For more information, visit Michigan Citizen Planner. For questions, contact Janean Danca, MSUE Citizen Planner Coordinator, at cplanner@msu.edu or call (269) 657-8213. 

Photo courtesy of Kurt H. Schindler, MSU Extension. 

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