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Plan Commissioner Training at the 2018 APA-IL State Conference on 9/27

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

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, especially crafted for planning officials, boards, and commissions, at the 2018 APA-IL State Conference.

  • Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018

  • Location: Wyndham Springfield City Centre, 700 E Adams St., Springfield, IL​

  • Time: all-day

  • Cost: single day $75 / full conference (3 days): $200

Most commissioners are not professionals in the planning or development field 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. All planning officials, boards, and commissions are welcome. Planners are welcome to attend the afternoon session, which includes a mock hearing and best practices for public hearings.

Session 1: Panel Discussion with Planners and Attorneys: 9:00 - 12:00 (commissioners only) Location: Wyndham Springfield City Centre

  • Introduction to planning and tools of the trade – History, comp plans, zoning, roles of other parties, responsibilities of commissioners

  • Planning Tricks of the Trade – Running a meeting, Findings of Fact, Ethics, Ex Parte, conflict of interest, open meetings

Networking Lunch: 12:00 - 1:30 (commissioners only) Location: Wyndham Springfield City Centre This is a great opportunity to network with commissioners from other communities! Box lunch provided. Session 2: Mock Hearing 1:30 to 4:00 (open to all attendees) Location: Springfield City Council Chambers We will cover typical items that occur during a public hearing and how best to handle the process. Commissioners will be asked to volunteer to read a script and play the parts, such as developer, attorney, engineer, architect, planner, neighbor. At several points, we will ask the audience how the hearing is going based on what they learned in the morning. We will discuss whether certain things could have been handled in a different manner so the commissioners will learn about best practices for conducting a hearing. Reception 4:00 - 5:45 (commissioners only) Location: Wyndham Springfield City Centre Enjoy light appetizers and beverages as we recount the lessons of the day with fellow commissioners. Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the concepts and standards of planning.

  • Learn about the roles and responsibilities of a plan commissioner.

  • Learn about the roles and perspectives of others involved in the development approval process.


From 2011 to date, the APA-IL in partnership with DePaul's Chaddick Institute, has held over 90 workshops in Illinois! Our experienced faculty will include:

  • Michael Blue, FAICP, Teska Associates

  • Greg Jones, AICP Ancel Glink

  • Laurie Marston, FAICP, Chaddick Institute

  • David Silverman, AICP, Ancel Glink


Want to know more about our training?

Please visit the Plan Commissioner Training webpage for more information on our curriculum, faculty, and past training sessions!

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