top of page

The APA-IL Planning Officials Development Committee creates training opportunities and brings them to planning officials around the Illinois.


Planning Officials attended training at the 2014 State Conference and can attest to the quality and value of the APA-IL's Plan Commissioner Training.

Planning officials work hard reading packets, reviewing cases, conducting public hearings, and considering policy matters; but they rarely get the chance to sit back and look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has to the communities in which they live. Also, most officials are not professionals in the planning or development fields and can benefit from a bit of extra training on the topic. Even seasoned commissioners appreciate the chance to step back from the task of plan review and approval, learn what’s new in planning, and discuss their role with fellow commissioners. The APA-IL's  in-depth curriculum includes:


  • Planning History

  • Tools of the Trade - master plans, zoning codes, etc.

  • Role of the Commissioners

  • Role of Others in the Process

  • Basics of “Findings of Fact”

  • Open Meetings/Ethics

  • Regional Planning

  • Special Topics - a custom-built to include particular issues that a community would like to cover. Examples include: site plan review, sustainability, design review, affordable housing, economic development, or transit oriented development.

A special thank you to the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University who provided the knowledge and support to help develop and make the training a success!

Champaign County PCT - Kathleen Oldrey

"I want to extend a sincere thank you for the training session. The training was well received by the Village's Planning & Zoning Commission and the Village Board. Everyone at APA-IL was a pleasure to work with. "

Homer Glen Marty Scott Emily Egan 01162020.JPG

“I liked how presenters added their experiences – made presentation more interesting.”


“I was pleased to hear many of my Commissioners were happy with the session and many of the veterans said they learned something new."


Training News

Training Description


In general, our program is a 2 to 2 ½ hour workshop covering a wide range of planning and development topics that are fundamental for commissioners. We can also get into details on items of interest. Whether commissioners are new or have been serving for some time, they all find the session worthwhile. That's in no small part for the chance to discuss what they do without having it happen as part of a hearing or in a room full of concerned residents. 


2 - 2 1/2 hour workshop


We’ve done over 100 of these sessions, each is a little different because they are done as a discussion not a presentation.


Workshops typically fall on a regular meeting night.


We are able to meet where you are comfortable. In-person and virtual sessions are available.


Trainers have solid planning experience in the public and / or private sector. We can include an attorney too.


Some communities invite staff, elected officials, other commissioners, village attorneys or officials from adjacent towns -- all fine! 


Whether commissioners are new or have been serving for some time, they all find the session worthwhile


Faculty (2011-2022)

Since the training is offered throughout the state, the faculty are volunteers from around Illinois. We have two faculty at each workshop. All are experienced planners, often with both municipal planning experience and private sector planning experience.

Katie Ashbaugh, AICP

Michael Blue, FAICP

Chuck Bevelheimer, AICP

Dan Bolin

Stephanie Brown, AICP

Andy Cross, AICP

Mercy Davison, AICP

Phil Dick, AICP

Emily Egan, AICP

Tom Farace, AICP

Emily Fultz, AICP

Phillip Green, AICP

Scott Hanson, AICP

Greg Jones, AICP

Bruce Knight, FAICP

Ben LeRoy

Lacey Rains Lowe

Jeff Marino, AICP

Mike Schwarz, AICP

Marty Scott, AICP

David Silverman, AICP

Cindy Winland, FAICP


Where we've held sessions:


What our attendees say:

Violetta Cullen, City of Evanston - "I got a chance to hear from a lot of different municipalities that have the same type of problems that we did and compare ourselves."

I highly recommend it for everybody!

Keith Youngquist, Village of Mount Prospect - "What I great time! I've been a commissioner for 15 years. Don't know why I didn't do this training earlier."


Contact Us

Contact APA-IL Planning Officials Development Officer, Tom Farace, AICP for more information on training opportunities.

Request Info

Name *

Email *

Phone *



Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page