Intro to Planning and Zoning Workshops continue virtually

June 25, 2020

Cover of the Intro to Planning and Zoning WorkbookPlanning officials will have more opportunities to sign up for virtual Introduction to Planning and Zoning Workshops starting in July 2020.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) converted the on-site workshops to a virtual format in April. The intent is to continue offering virtual workshops on an ongoing basis, in addition to the in-person sessions that will be held in spring 2021 if conditions allow.

Registration will close the day before the workshop. However, participants are encouraged to register at least one week in advance, so CED staff will have time to mail workbooks, allowing people to follow along and take notes throughout the presentation. Those who register less than a week before the workshop will still receive a notebook, but possible not in time to reference during the session.

Participation will require a computer with a strong internet connection, but all interaction will take place through chat and interactive questions on the screen. No microphone or camera is necessary for participation. CED staff will email a link to participants the day before the scheduled workshop and participants will have access to a recording of the presentation for one month after the date of the workshop.

The cost to participate is $45 per registrant or $35 each if a city or county registers five or more. Workshops are limited to 50 people.

The dates and times for these workshops are:

To register click on the desired date. New dates will be added three months in advance. In addition, CED staff can conduct an online workshop tailored to an individual community upon request.

The Introduction to Planning and Zoning for Local Officials workshop is a three-hour session designed to introduce the basic principles of land use planning and development management to elected officials, planning and zoning officials, and board of adjustment members without formal training in the subjects. Using case scenarios in a highly-interactive format, the workshop highlights issues frequently faced in the land use process, such as the roles and responsibilities of the planning and zoning commission, the board of adjustment, and the elected council and board of supervisors. It also will highlight legal issues frequently faced by local officials, such as variances, special uses, nonconforming uses, spot zoning, hearing procedures, and conflicts of interest.

For registration questions please contact ISU Registration Services at 515-294-6222 or For questions regarding the workshops, contact Eric Christianson at 515-231-6513 or