top of page

Park Forest Hosts a Plan Commissioner Training Workshop on 7/10

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

On July 10, 2018 the Village of Park Forest hosted a Plan Commission Training Workshop. The session was co-sponsored by CMAP, APA-IL and DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute. In 2012, training faculty held commissioner training for Park Forest commissioners. Since then, the Village has combined the Plan Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals and adopted a Unified Development Ordinance. The Village felt it was time for their commissioners to receive additional training.

Twelve people attended the session including Trustees, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and staff. Representatives from the Village of Homewood, Village of Monee and the Village of University Park also attended the workshop. Bob Sullivan, FAICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP were the trainers for the Chapter’s 89th training workshop.

On the anonymous evaluation forms, attendees listed the most helpful topics as: the role of the planner, the elected officials’ relationship with the commission, special uses, variances and the roles of various players involved.

The group asked many questions, including:

  • If there is no Village subsidy involved, can we inquire about the finances/business plan?

  • When closing the public hearing, is a motion needed?

  • What if the competition from a proposed business might harm an existing business?

  • What are the pros and cons of requiring solar installations on new homes?

  • Can you ask a developer if the residential units will be rental or owner occupied?

  • Will a variation to widen a driveway set a precedent impacting the Village’s community character?

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


Plan Commissioner Training Offered at the 2018 APA-IL State Conference!

It's back! Plan commissioners 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. That will be the focus of this all-day track on September 27, 2018. All planning officials, boards, and commissions are welcome. Professional planners are welcome to attend both the morning and afternoon sessions. Planners will likely find the afternoon session, which includes a mock hearing and best practices for public hearings, the most useful.


(photos by Laurie Marston, FAICP)

bottom of page