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. Nearly 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 75 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.

UPCOMING COURSES

COMMUNITY PLANNING

5:30-9 PM: September 13, 20, 27

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: $125 Course Registration; $9.24 Service and Processing Fees

Check Payment: $125 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 ADMINISTRATION

5:30-9 PM: October 13 , 20, 27

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

Participants learn the basic principles and procedures to effectively carry out their work administering municipal zoning. The course covers 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 are built into each session. Attendees learn how to conduct effective and fair zoning hearings in a mock zoning hearing session.

Who should go?

Municipal zoning hearing board and planning commission members, zoning officials and municipal elected officials.

What will we learn?

Principles of zoning; Key zoning terms; The concept of the zoning administration team; Zoning officer duties; Enforcement notice procedures; Key issues related to variances, special exceptions and nonconforming uses; How to conduct a zoning hearing

How much?

Online Payment: $125 Course Registration; $9.24 Service and Processing Fees

Check Payment: $125 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

OTHER PMPEI COURSES

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) courses are all virtual.

Registration and payment is being handled directly by PMPEI. Please see the links below. Course questions should be directed to Terri Dickow (800-232-7722, Ext. 1042).

Registration

PMPEI Online Learning Series

BUILDING A STRONG PLANNING COMMISSION

6:30-8 PM: October 4, November 9

A strong and well-organized planning  commission  is the key to  a successful  planning program. While  MPC Article II provides the authority to  have a planning  commission  it offers no  guidance  for  how to  be an effective  unit  serving the  elected  governing  body  and the community. Using  hands-on  activities and interactive discussions this course explores the  full  range of  a planning  commission’s work, how it can be organized to  accomplish  more  of its goals, and what  is needed  to prepare  members to  get involved in  the group’s work.

THE LIMITS TO ZONING

6:30-8 PM: November 1, 30

Zoning  is  a powerful tool  of local government  used  in over  2000 Pennsylvania  municipalities, but its  power is not unlimited. Community expectations for  zoning  are  high  but ordinance  drafters  and  administrators must  know what  the  limitations are and  the effect they  have  on  a  municipality’s zoning  program. This course will explore these  limitations  such as those  in the MPC  itself, the Police  Power, non-conforming  use property rights, and state and federal  laws impacting local zoning. This is  not a zoning case law  update, but it is an  interactive discussion of common  zoning issues  with an opportunity to look  at them in  the context of the course.

MANAGING THE SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCESS

6:30-8 PM: September 27, October 19, November 16

Subdivision  and Land Development  ordinances  are  the most common land  use regulation in  the     commonwealth. For many local planning commissions  reviewing development  applications takes up  most of their meeting time. This  course looks at the important work  of  a commission in  managing the review process. The review process is tightly  structured by  the Municipalities Planning Code  and many  procedures can easily  be misunderstood and  create problems  for  municipal planners  and officials. This course examines the complex review process  and points out problem  areas and how to  avoid them. It  describes how planning commissions, with project applicants, are engaged in a collaborative process to build the future community. Included in the course are  hands-on discussions of  problem situations.

THE ZONING OFFICER AND ZONING HEARING BOARD

6:30-8 PM: October 6, November 18

The MPC states that every municipality that enacts a zoning ordinance shall create  a zoning hearing board and it must have an official who handles  the day-to-day  work of administering the ordinance.  This online class  will review the job each is responsible for, along with the basic terms used in zoning, special exceptions, variances, nonconformities, notice of violation of the  ordinance, plus the basic of the zoning hearing process.

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

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

Vince Tranguch*

Elena Tucci

Karin Vangeli

John von Kerczek

Duane Wagner

Kyle Walbert

Michael Werst

David Wilson

Donna Wright*

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