Planning and Zoning Workshops for Local Officials Begin in April

February 22, 2024, 8:25 am | Esther Crompton , Luke Seaberg

Engineer drawing over an imaginary general urban plan map by Francesco Scatena/, Iowa – "Introduction to Planning and Zoning for Local Officials" is now open for registration across various Iowa locations. Offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the workshop is tailored for local officials engaged in city and county governance, planning, zoning and community development. It focuses on delivering foundational knowledge in land use planning and development management, vital for effective local governance.

Scheduled workshop dates and locations across Iowa

Interactive and case-based learning

Luke Seaberg, a community and economic development field specialist and the workshop's lead instructor, highlighted its interactive and case-based learning approach. “We use timely examples from local communities, focusing on scenarios you are most likely to encounter here in Iowa,” Seaberg noted.

The curriculum is crafted to cover crucial issues such as comprehensive planning, variances, special uses, nonconforming uses, spot zoning, hearing procedures and ethical dilemmas. “It's about providing local decisionmakers with the tools and knowledge they need to make well-informed decisions about land use in their communities,” Seaberg added.

Priced at $65 per participant for a three-hour session, the workshop is an accessible and valuable investment for enhancing governance skills, Seaberg said. It includes a group discount for communities sending three or more participants, a light dinner and a spiral-bound resource packet.

“We are excited to work with local officials from across Iowa and to help them sharpen their skills and increase their knowledge of planning and zoning, an integral element in fostering and sustaining community and economic development,” remarked Seaberg.

In addition to the scheduled workshops, the Community and Economic Development unit of ISU Extension and Outreach provides place-based planning and zoning training for cities, counties and townships throughout Iowa as needed and as schedules allow.

For more details and registration, please visit For more information and accommodation requests, contact Luke Seaberg at

Photo credit: Francesco Scatena/

About the Authors: