News

  • Five essential community commitments to walkable places

    Five essential community commitments to walkable places

    Effective placemaking is built around walkable places. While much can be done to activate public spaces in places with good urban form, it is hard to sustain if the community does not have a lot of people living there or a convenient way to get them there. There are five essential commitments that communities must make toward walkable places, which are taken from the Land Policy Institute’s guidebook on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. They are all essential to creating quality places where people want to live, work, play, shop, learn and visit. Without them, any amount of placemaking will result in underperformance or less-than-desired outcomes.

    Places that have these five components are much easier to engage in placemaking, which can effectively activate a public space. Some of these commitments require planning, investments or regulations, and in some cases, all of the above.

  • Zoning Administrators—It’s a New Year, what do you plan to do differently this year?

    Zoning Administrators—It’s a New Year, what do you plan to do differently this year?

    While many people make personal resolutions during the New Year, it is also a good time for professional evaluation. This is the perfect opportunity for zoning administrators and communities to evaluate office procedures and professional development needs.

    The Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program offered by the Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center at Michigan State University is a one-stop-shop for both. This is the only course of its kind in Michigan. Specifically designed for all new and current zoning administrators, along with private consultants, state agency field staff and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators, this intensive course teaches the fundamentals needed to improve performance, customer service, efficacy of processes and accuracy of information.

    The course runs Feb. 15-16, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Plymouth. Space is still available and early registration ends on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, so be sure to reserve your space today!

  • Medical marijuana law training offered

    Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering training throughout Michigan for local government officials on the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and related law.

    Mark Wyckoff, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning and Zoning Center at MSU, says of the new laws, “There is no right answer other than communities making an informed choice that works for that community. The training will help communities understand these risks and how to evaluate them.”

    Trainings will be held throughout February and March at 11 locations. The workshops run from 6-9 p.m. and Master Citizen Planners will earn three hours of continuing education credits. The cost is $55, or $50 for Master Citizen Planners or those in groups of two or more from the same municipality. Registration ends Feb. 13.

     

  • MSU Extension offers local government training on new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act

    MSU Extension offers local government training on new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act

    Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering training throughout Michigan for local government officials on the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and related law.

    Anytime new laws related to marijuana are passed, it creates questions and some concerns in Michigan communities. MSU Extension’s new training will provide an understanding on all the relevant changes in the act and options about prohibiting or accepting growing operations and dispensaries in communities. . .

    . . .Mark Wyckoff, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning and Zoning Center at MSU, says of the new laws, “There is no right answer other than communities making an informed choice that works for that community. The training will help communities understand these risks and how to evaluate them.”