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


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 has teamed up with the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University to provide trained faculty that lead planning officials through an in-depth curriculum that 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.


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.


Faculty (2011-2019)

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.

Michael Blue, FAICP

Chuck Bevelheimer, AICP

Andy Cross, AICP

Carrie Davis, AICP

Mercy Davison, AICP

Phil Dick, AICP

Greg Jones, AICP

Courtney Kashima, AICP

Bruce Knight, FAICP

Laurie Marston, FAICP

Les Pollock, FAICP

David Silverman, AICP

Bob Sullivan, FAICP

Dan Ungerleider, AICP

Cindy Winland, AICP


Contact Us

Contact APA-IL Planning Officials Development Committee Chair, Michael Blue, FAICP for more information on training opportunities.


Training News

July 26, 2019

Once again the APA-IL’s extremely popular day-long Plan Commissioner Training is back on September 26th. All commissioners, of any board or commission, are welcome to sit back and look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has in their communities....

July 18, 2019

On July 10, Elburn hosted a plan commission training workshop. The session was attended by six people, including four members of the Planning Commission / ZBA, the Village Administrator and the Building Commissioner. Elburn had hosted a training workshop in March 2019...

The Village of Frankfort hosted a Plan Commission Training workshop on June 5, 2019. The APA-IL and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University have provided over 100 training sessions since the program began in 2011.

The Village opted for the format with a planner, Mi...

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Where we've held sessions:


What are our attendees saying?

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."


The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is the premier authority on urban planning issues and professional development for Illinois' urban planners.


The APA-IL is the official membership association for practicing planners in the State of Illinois.  We strive to inform, educate, and connect our members to resources and tools that advance the practice of planning throughout the state.  We pride ourselves on "Making Great Communities Happen" all across Illinois.  




American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter

c/o NIU Center for Governmental Studies
148 N. 3rd St.
DeKalb, IL 60115


© 2014 APA-IL







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