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Champaign County RPC Holds Plan Commissioner Training on 6/8/20

On June 8, 2020 the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission hosted a training workshop. Twenty-two people attended including an elected official, members of Planning Commissions, Zoning Boards of Appeal and staff from the County, Champaign, Rantoul, Mahomet, St. Joseph, Savoy and Urbana. Since the program began in 2011, the Illinois Chapter of APA and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University have provided over 100 training sessions. David Silverman, AICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP were the trainers for the session.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the attendees completed an evaluation form. They listed the following as the most helpful topics from the session: the duties and purview of the planning commission, planning versus zoning roles, the legal authority of comprehensive plan as related to their decisions, the developer’s perspective and role in projects, the LaSalle factors, quasi-judicial hearings, and the list of planning resources.

The training allows time for questions and comments from the commissioners. Among the questions asked were:

  • What is the appropriate role for the Village Board liaison to the Plan Commission or ZBA?

  • When a resident provides new information at the Village Board meeting, should the application be sent back to the Planning Commission?

  • If the Commission recommends conditions, should they be listed in the ordinance approving the project?

  • If the Commission or ZBA has not followed the standards of review in making the decision on an application, how does that impact the Village if there is litigation?

  • If the ZBA always grant a specific type of variation, should the Village amend the text of the ordinance?

The training was conducted via Zoom. While some communities are already using Zoom for their meetings, on the evaluation forms one commissioner suggested that at the start of the training, the procedures for muting, unmuting and raising a hand to ask a question be explained. Another suggested taking a short break to refill their water glass or use the restroom. Another commissioner expressed a concern about public hearings via Zoom, the Open Meetings Act and how to include residents who do not have access to a computer.


Plan Commissioner Training News & Notes:

Save-the-date for Plan Commissioner Training at the 2020 APA-IL 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.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're holding a virtual plan commissioner training this year. There will be a special, 2-day plan commissioner training held during the 2020 Virtual State Conference on September 16-18, 2020. This training is great for commissioners that have and have not been through our evening training. We welcome entire commissions and boards or just the one or two commissioners. The training is split into a 101 / general information session and then a second session with a panel professionals that are involved in the development process.

Plan commissioners are able to attend the Plan Commissioner Training Sessions plus access to the Keynote Address, Awards Ceremony, Quorum Forum Podcast's Planning Law Symposium, and will receive an APA-IL Chapter Only membership (worth $50).

Registration will be opening soon!

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


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