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Plan Commissioner Training traveled to Darien on September 20th

The APA-IL and DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute team up to provide training opportunities to plan commissioners, boards, other municipal/county officials, and staff. This training allows these officials to step back and take a look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has in their communities. On September 20, 2017, APA-IL and Chaddick faculty joined 6 members of the Planning and Zoning Commission along with the city clerk, one alderman, and the city planner. We are proud to announce that this was the 75th training that has taken place since our program's inception in 2011!

The City of Darien's newer members of the Planning and Zoning Commission sought out our training to better understand their role and responsibilities. Darien staff also requested the training to provide all members with best practices for running a meeting and for making fair, clear, and objective decisions. About half of the commissioners in attendance had been appointed in the last year or so. This session was held in Darien’s Police Department Training Room. The trainers were Carrie Davis, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP.

The attendees asked a variety of questions, including:

  • Can you amend the Comprehensive Plan for one area?

  • What is the PZC’s role in implementing the Comprehensive Plan?

  • Who can initiate a change to the zoning ordinance or zoning map?

  • Is it important to have an approved PUD recorded with the County Recorder of Deeds?

  • At a hearing, can time limits be placed on speakers or an adjournment time set at the start?

  • When the City and County have wetland regulations, which applies to land in the City?

  • How do municipalities regulate storage of boats and RVs in residential zoning districts?

Those attending completed a short, anonymous evaluation form. The commissioners described the most helpful aspects of the training as: speakers were open for questions and comments and used personal experiences as examples, the Comprehensive Plan, the standards of review, and variations – understanding findings of fact.

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