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MSU Extension to Host Citizen Planner - Lakes to Land, Benzie and Manistee Counties Beginning Sept. 16


Date: September 16, 2013 - October 28, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Elberta Life Saving Station on Furnace Avenue in Elberta, MI 49628
Contact: Jenean Danca: 269-657-8213 or
The Michigan Citizen Planner program offers land use education and training to locally appointed and elected planning officials. Michigan Citizen Planner Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning is a non-credit seven session series leading to a certificate of completion awarded by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). The course is intended for local appointed and elected officials, zoning administrators and interested citizens.

The simple truth is that communities need to change the way they do community planning. Local officials have a responsibility to help their communities manage the impacts of economic change and be part of the solutions to challenges and issues their communities face. Local communities that proactively plan to succeed in the New Economy can improve their quality of life and lead Michigan’s recovery and transformation. Michigan Citizen Planner empowers local officials to shape the future of their communities by providing them with the tools and education they need to lead.

The course fee is $295 per participant for the complete core program. Group discounts are available for four (4) or more registrations from the same organization or unit of government, ($275). The fee covers registration, course materials, and refreshments.

Instructors for the training program include MSU Extension educators, planners, attorneys and MSU faculty.


  1. Introduction to Planning and Zoning: Smart Growth and the New Economy, Conflict of Interest and Planning Resources
  2. Legal Foundations of Planning and Zoning: Cases, Statutes and other Planning Authority
  3. Roles and Responsibilities, Part I: Master Plan and Planning Process, Sub-Area Plans, and Working with the Public
  4. Roles and Responsibilities, Part II: Zoning, Site Plans and Zoning Board of Appeals Process
  5. Plan Implementation and Development Controls: Subdividing Land, Zoning Controls and Non-Regulatory Techniques
  6. Best Practices for Innovative Planning and Zoning: Green Development, Form-Based Code, Traditional Neighborhood Design and Conservation Design
  7. The Art of Community Planning: Participation, Effective Meetings and Managing Conflict
Benzie-Manistee Counties & Lakes to Land classes will be held at the Elberta Life Saving Station on Furnace Ave in Elberta, MI 49628. Please note that sessions 3 & 4 are on Saturday, September 28, from 9am – 4pm and that there is no class scheduled for Monday Sept. 30 or  Monday Oct. 21.
Monday, September 16                                6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Monday, September 23                                6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, September 28                            9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Monday, October 7                                        6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Monday, October 14                                      6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Monday, October 28                                      6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Scholarships for attending Citizen Planner 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 Michigan Citizen Planner Program. Contact Rita Evans at 800-783-1370 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).


Registrations cancelled on or after September 9, 2013 will be assessed a $45 cancellation.

Click here to register for this event.






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