LEHIGH VALLEY

GOVERNMENT ACADEMY

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) has offered the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) courses in community planning and land use regulations since 2014. These courses are targeted to planning commissioners, zoning hearing board members, zoning administrators, elected officials and others with an interest or involvement in planning. Over 300 people from the public, non-profit and private sectors have graduated from at least one of the courses since 2014. Included among them are 79 people who earned the distinction of being named a Certified Citizen Planner for attending three courses, ushering in a new era of community land use leadership.

 

For the 2022 courses, the LVPC conference room has been reconfigured to allow social distancing. Each class will be limited to 18 students.

2022 UPCOMING COURSES

COMMUNITY PLANNING

5:30-9:00 PM: September 7, 14, 21

Where: LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

This is a course to teach planning commissioners, local officials and others how to carry out their responsibilities under the PA Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), the statute that endows municipalities with the authority to plan. For those who don’t know or fully understand the provisions of the MPC, this course will teach them how instrumental it is in giving a jurisdiction the ability to make critical decisions involving land use, which can shape their community’s quality of life.

Who should go?

Municipal zoning hearing board and planning commission members, municipal elected officials, primary municipal support staff (managers and secretaries), prospective students of city and regional planning and engaged community members who wish to understand the zoning and subdivision approval processes.

What will we learn?

Participants will learn the essence of planning; where it fits in the framework of local government; how planning commissioners relate to the governing body, zoning hearing board and zoning officers; how municipalities can work with adjacent municipalities to foster multimunicipal planning; the role of the county planning agency; how to interpret the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) and the importance of the 30-day or 45-day review time clock; the purpose of a comprehensive plan; how to implement a plan through zoning, subdivision and land development regulations; other means of land use control; what constitutes an effective planning commission; land use and development considerations unique to the region.

How much?

Online Payment: $130 Course Registration; $9.24 Service and Processing Fees

Check Payment: $130 Course Registration; $4.15 Service and Processing Fees.

Please make checks payable to Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and send to 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109. Food will be provided.

REGISTER HERE

ZONING

5:30-9:00 PM: October 6, 13, 20

Where: LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

This is a “nuts and bolts” course that deals with probably the most complex and provocative topic in local planning. The course reviews how zoning evolved in the United States and how many of the original concepts still form the basis of the way zoning is practiced in Pennsylvania in 2022. By the end of the course, attendees will be able to: review zoning ordinance provisions, make decisions about how an area should be zoned through mapping exercises, conduct a build-out analysis to learn the potential impact of the zoning ordinance, discuss methods for handling problem land uses and situations, consider ethical issues using case studies.

Who should go?

Planning commission and municipal zoning hearing board members, municipal elected officials, municipal engineers, municipal planners, attorneys, real estate professionals, others who deal with zoning ordinances and anyone interested in zoning.

What will we learn?

Participants will learn the relationship of the zoning ordinance to the comprehensive plan and the importance of consistency between the two; zoning terminology; key issues encountered in drafting the zoning ordinance

and the zoning map; ordinance adoption and amendment procedures as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code; zoning ordinance administration; the use of Municipalities Planning Code authority to undertake and enable joint municipal zoning, planned residential development, traditional neighborhood development and other non-traditional zoning tools.

How much?

Online Payment: $130 Course Registration; $9.24 Service and Processing Fees

Check Payment: $130 Course Registration; $4.15 Service and Processing Fees.

Please make checks payable to Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and send to 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109. Food will be provided.

REGISTER HERE

previously held COURSES

ZONING ADMINISTRATION

5:30-9:00 PM: April 4, 11, 18

Where: LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

Participants learned the basic principles and procedures to effectively carry out their work administering municipal zoning. The course covered the rationale and technical aspects of zoning and how to build effective relationships with everyone involved in zoning administration. Hands-on experiences and practice exercises were built into each session. Attendees learned how to conduct effective and fair zoning hearings in a mock zoning hearing session.

SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT

5:30-9:00 PM: May 3, 10, 17

Where: LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

This course explored the work of planning commissions in the subdivision and land development review process, from pre-application meetings through project completion. The course was organized into three major sections: principles of subdivision and land development regulation and ordinance requirements; subdivision and land development review procedures; and design and technical standards of subdivision and land development. Participants received hands-on experience reviewing plans and designing alternative solutions.

Participants learned the key provisions of the PA Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) governing subdivision and land development regulation, including approving and denying plans; the three-stage procedure for reviewing applications; project completion and follow-up; density and open space criteria; how to coordinate review comments from other agencies; role of performance and maintenance guarantees in project implementation.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING

Local Technical Assistance Program

Citizen Planner Certificate

Complete three courses at the Lehigh Valley Government Academy and you will be awarded the “Citizen Planner Certificate”. Certificates will be awarded during a ceremony at a Lehigh Valley Planning Commission meeting.

Citizen Planner Alumni

Judith Acosta*

Minal Amin

Matt Assad

Makala Ashmar*

Gary Behler

Leroy Bickert

Robert Blanchfield

Becky Bradley

Michael Bryant*

Justin Burker*

David Calhoun

Brian Carl

Deb Chesney

Joy Cohen

Norman Daniel

Malissa Davis

Charles "Chuck" Deprill

Dawn Didra*

Diane Donaher

Mike Donchez

Thomas Eighmy

Mark Ernst

Jeffrey Fox*

John Gallagher

Prabodh "Sunny" Ghai

Ashley Godshall

Zach Graves*

Wanda Gruber*

Hannah Haubert

Ian Heck

Don Heiney

Tim Helmer

Brian Hite*

Gabe Hurtado*

George Kinney

Donna Kohut

Michael Kolba Jr.

Michael Lilly

Thomas Long

Teresa Mackey

Matt Malozi

Shawn Martell

Eric McAfee

Rob Melosky

Aubrie Miller

Sandy Nicolo*

Dharam "Paul" Nohar

Robert Nolter

Ngozi Obi

Tracy Oscavich

Pamela Pearson*

Joseph Peterson

Lance Prator*

Michael Prendeville

Vincent Quinn

Geoff Reese

Selma Ritter

Sue Rockwell

Robert Scott

Lori B. Seese

Jillian Seitz

Cameran Smith

Louis Stellato

J. Scott Stenroos

Brent Stringfellow

Louis Stellato

Lynn Tammaro

Alan Tope

Vince Tranguch*

Elena Tucci

Karin Vangeli

John von Kerczek

Duane Wagner

Kyle Walbert

Michael Werst

David Wilson

Donna Wright*

Emma Yeh

Keith Zehner

* Denotes PMPEI Outstanding Education Achievement Award

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616