top of page

South Elgin Plan Commissioners Receive Training on 3/20

people sitting at tables organized in a u-shape

On March 20, 2019 South Elgin hosted a plan commission training workshop. The session was attended by nine people, including five members of the Planning Commission, the Community Development Director, the Planner and the Village Attorney.

The APA-IL and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University have presented more than one hundred training sessions since the program began in 2011. Laurie Marston, FAICP was the sole trainer for the session (due to the last minute illness of the other scheduled trainer).

The commissioners listed the most helpful topics on the anonymous evaluation forms as: findings of fact, dealing with the public at meetings, ethics, using real examples. Other comments were that all topics were relevant and everything was useful.

One of the many benefits of our training is the ability for commissioners to ask questions unique to their community or simply ask questions that they have wondered about. With a small group, the South Elgin commissioners were able to ask many questions. Among the questions were:

  • How often should the comprehensive plan be reviewed or updated?

  • Why is spot zoning discouraged?

  • Have there been recent changes in how municipalities can regulate signs?

  • Does the commission hold a public hearing on an annexation request?

  • Should staff provide written recommendations on an application?

  • Which of our meetings does the Village Attorney attend?

  • At a public hearing, can a time limit be set on a person’s testimony?

  • After we close the hearing, can we re-open it?

  • How should we handle gifts from developers?

  • Can members attend an unrelated event if there will be more than a majority of a quorum there?

  • Can the Village regulate the number of tattoo parlors?

  • If state law regulating marijuana is changed, what will be the Commission’s role?

Thank you to the Village of South Elgin for inviting us to train your commissioners.


Be sure and save-the-date for the 2019 APA-IL State Conference!

We're excited to be back in Evanston, IL at the Hilton Orrington, September 25-27, 2019. We will be holding an all-day Plan Commissioner Training on September 26th. This all-day training is great for commissioners that have and have not been through our evening training. The training is split into a morning of general information, a networking lunch with fellow commissioners and trainers, an afternoon mock hearing to put your knowledge to the test, followed by an evening cocktail hour. Stay tuned to the APAIL19 webpage for more details!

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)

bottom of page