Planning and zoning matters can pit neighbor against neighbor and citizens against local officials. ISU Extension’s Iowa Planning Officials Academy is offering elected and appointed officials an opportunity to learn about the roles and responsibilities of their positions through real-world experiences. The new 12-hour certificate program will be offered in Bettendorf, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids from March through May.
Using an actual subdivision proposal from an Iowa community, the academy will take participants through the development review process from start to finish. Along the way, the program will cover common planning, zoning and subdivision processes, how to read and review site plans, running effective board meetings and the ethical considerations that frequently arise in zoning cases.
Extension specialist Gary Taylor, who leads the academy, said, “A land use decision made today can have a profound impact on a community for years to come. Many elected officials, planning and zoning commissioners and board of adjustment members receive no training in the critically important responsibilities of their positions. The Planning Officials Academy is designed to fill that need.”