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Plan Commissioner Training Comes Back to Elburn 7/10/19

On July 10, Elburn hosted a plan commission training workshop. The session was attended by six people, including four members of the Planning Commission / ZBA, the Village Administrator and the Building Commissioner. Elburn had hosted a training workshop in March 2019 which included several other nearby communities. The Village requested another training session just for their plan commissioners.

The APA-IL and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University have provided more than 100 training sessions since the program began in 2011. Andy Cross, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP were the trainers for the session.

At the conclusion of the session, each attendee completed an anonymous evaluation form. They listed the most helpful topics as: the comprehensive plan, variations, staff reports, dealing with developers, nuts and bolts of how to run meetings, and the standards of review.

The format was informal, with time for discussion and for the commissioners to ask questions. Among the questions they asked:

  • In addition to zoning map amendments and zoning text amendments, can we amend the comprehensive plan?

  • Does zoning land for commercial use outside the downtown encourage businesses to leave the downtown?

  • If we have a pre-application meeting with the developer prior to the public hearing, should that be mentioned in the staff report?

  • When making a motion to approve a variation or special use, is it okay to include conditions?

  • How do we evaluate the standard about the purpose for the variation not being based exclusively on a desire to make more money out of the property?

  • Should each standard be voted on separately or should there be one vote on the application as a whole?

Thank you to the Village of Elburn for inviting us to come back and train your plan commissioners a second time! We were glad to provide the customized training which answered your additional questions, specific to the plan commission.


Plan Commissioner Training News & Notes:

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 for our 2019 State Conference. This conference is our once-a-year opportunity for urban planners and allied professionals to learn about the latest trends in Illinois planning and network with their peers.

Each year we host our state conference, we offer the opportunity for plan commissioners to attend an all-day training. This year's all-day Plan Commissioner Training will be held on September 26th. This 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. Registration is now open! Plan commissioners are able to attend at discounted rates, just $75 for 1-day, $150 for 2 days, or attend all 3 days of the conference for only $200.

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 Michael Blue, FAICP)

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