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Successful Plan Commissioner Training Held in Wheeling

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

The Village of Wheeling civic campus was decorated with a stunning holiday light display on November 30, the date of the Plan Commission training session. All seven commissioners attended, as well as the Recording Secretary, the Attorney for the Plan Commission and two staff members. Wheeling had done in house training for the commissioners in the past, but decided to try a new format with outside assistance this year.

Since it was a small group, the session was in a small meeting room and everyone sat around a conference table. On the brief anonymous evaluation forms, the commissioners wrote that the most helpful topics were: the commission’s authority and role, the difference between personal opinion and what’s best for the Village, and the discussion about imposing conditions on an application versus providing suggestions to the Village Board.

The commissioners asked many questions, including:

  • Is it okay to limit the length of comments from a member of the public?

  • Should the public hearing be closed at the end of public comments or after the vote?

  • Do code enforcement issues play a role in the decision on a special use or variation?

  • How much consideration should we give to interior layouts and floor plans?

  • What is the difference between recusing and disclosing a perceived conflict of interest?

  • Should staff provide a formal recommendation on the proposal in the staff report?

  • Are Plan Commissions usually involved in decisions on financial topics, such as TIFs?

This was the 78th Plan Commission training session provided by the American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University. Andy Cross, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP were the trainers.

Want to know how to get training for your officials? Visit the Plan Commissioner Training website and contact the APA-IL Planning Officials Development Officer, Michael Blue, FAICP at

PHOTOS ABOVE: Andy Cross, AICP the City of Highland Park presents to the Wheeling officials on November 30, 2017. Photos by Laurie Marston, FAICP, Chaddick Institute).

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