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Plan Commissioner Training comes to Villa Park

room full of seated attendees looking at powerpoint presentation on screen and standing speaker holding a piece of paper

APA-IL and DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute presented a training workshop for the Village of Villa Park on November 29, 2018. Ten people attended the workshop, including eight members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Village President and the Director of Community Development. Trainers for the chapter’s 97th workshop were Marty Scott, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP. We are delighted that Marty Scott, AICP has joined the program as our newest trainer. He is the Director of Community Development for the Village of Western Springs, where he has worked since 2005.

The group asked several thoughtful questions. Among the questions were: setting a precedent on a specific request, how to consider a prior precedent in making a decision about a similar case, whether the School District falls under the Village’s zoning jurisdiction, and how implementing the Comprehensive Plan goals impacts decision making on individual cases.

At the end of every session, the commissioners were asked to complete a short, anonymous evaluation form which includes a few open ended questions with several questions that are answered with a numerical ranking, from 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest). In answer to an open ended question, the commissioners commented that the most helpful topics were variations and standards of review.

room full of seated attendees listening to standing speaker holding a piece of paper

The commissioners gave the highest ranking (4.88 – 5.00) to:

  • The presentation was easy to see and hear.

  • The presenters explained concepts in an understandable way.

  • The presenters were knowledgeable about the content.

  • The day, time and length of the workshop were convenient.

The commissioners gave slightly lower rankings (4.38 – 4.75) to:

  • I feel better prepared to perform my role as commissioner, elected official or staff.

  • The presenters’ delivery of the material kept my interest.

  • I learned useful ideas, tips and concepts from the workshop.


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

(photos by Laurie Marston, FAICP)

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