For the second year in a row, the Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program offered by the Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) at MSU has expanded its capacity to accommodate the growing interest in the program; and, for the second year in a row, it has filled all available seats for the training. The increased interest in the program is likely a combination of the value of the course in conjunction with local governments’ ability to invest in professional development of its staff again, a luxury that many communities couldn’t afford during the Great Recession.
To meet this growing demand, PZC has partnered with a few organizations to expand its own capacity for trainers. The MSU Extension (MSUE) land use educators are an easy fit, and have taught the program in years past. This year, three relatively new MSUE educators will audit the program in order to teach future programs.
Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has partnered with the Land Policy Institute in offering training to local government officials in Michigan on the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and related Law.
The workshops will be held from February through mid-March, from 6-9 p.m. at various locations. The schedule is listed below. Attendees will learn about options in prohibiting or accepting and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, growing facilities, processing, product testing and transport facilities.
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.
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!