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Come to Plan Commissioner Training at the 2022 APA-IL State Conference!

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

Once again the APA-IL’s extremely popular day-long Plan Commissioner Training is back on September 29, 2022. All commissioners, of any board or commission, are welcome to sit back and look at the big picture of what they do and the significance it has in their communities. Trainers Michael Blue, FAICP, Tom Farace, AICP, with attorneys Greg Jones, AICP and David Silverman, AICP will run attendees through the “Planning 101” gauntlet before an enjoyable networking lunch. After lunch, commissioners and attendees that are planners have a chance to gain 2.5 CM credits and a new perspective during the Plan Commissioner Mock Hearing. Do you ever want to know what it’s like to be “on the other side” of your local plan commission or ZBA? Maybe you’d have fun role-playing as a “concerned” resident, or seeing what it feels like to serve on a commission? Join in to have some fun and soak up important knowledge from our trainers and attorneys.

Planners, this is the perfect opportunity to get inexpensive, interactive, 5-star training for your plan commission, ZBA, or staff. There is no other training available in Illinois that offers informative, useful, accessible, and affordable training for both new and long-time commissioners. Commissioners are offered a discounted rate of $75 single day or $200 for the full conference. Thursday lunch is included.


Wait! There's more!

Our state conferences offer other valuable opportunities for commissioners...

Commissioners can attend the full APA-IL State Conference for the reduced rate of $200. Attend Plan Commissioner Training on Thursday then learn and network on Wednesday and Friday. We've got lots to offer:

Wednesday, September 28th: Awards Reception and Exhibitor Meet & Greet - This complimentary event is open to all attendees. Immediately following our annual Awards Program, mingle with award winners and exhibitors. This reception joins you and other attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.

Thursday Night Social Event: Trivia Tour! - We'll kick off the night with Planner Trivia then kick back, catch up with colleagues, & enjoy delicious, plentiful fare. Tickets are limited so don't wait to add this on to your registration!

Wednesday, 9/28 - Streets Are For Equity (S.A.F.E.) on Chicago’s West Side – An equitable approach to complete streets implementation. Chicago’s northern suburbs have some of the most expensive housing in Illinois, making it ever more important to plan for affordable and supportive housing. Come learn about housing facts and myths, the unique demands of affordable housing in the suburbs, and supportive housing models. The workshop will head to housing developments in Evanston, Highland Park, Glenview and/or Arlington Heights.

Friday, 9/30 - CNU: Transit-Oriented Development’s Blind Spot: Deconversions, Demolitions in Transit Rich Neighborhoods. This mobile workshop [and outdoor adventure] includes a hike and paddle to learn first-hand about the implementation of the Gateway Master Plan for Skokie Lagoons. Learn from the Forest Preserves of Cook County about leveraging the power of partnerships for implementing a new boathouse, nature plan area, and birding tour!

This year, we're offering a total of 11 mobile workshops. This is a great opportunity to get out into a community, see what developments look like, and hear how it all happened.

For more information, please visit the conference pages for mobile workshops, Evening Events, and lunch opportunities.


Program Highlights

Here's a sample of our Wednesday and Friday's sessions that Plan Commissioners may be interested in:


  • Keynote Speaker: Michael Strautmanis, Obama Foundation

  • Historic Preservation Tools

  • Aging in a changing Region: Operationalizing Aging-in-Community Into Your Town Planning

  • Good Designs, Great Downtowns: The Evolving Strategies to Enhance Central Business Districts Over the Past 15 Years

  • Reactivating Our City’s Riverfronts

  • The Rise of Built to Rent Neighborhoods - A Land Use Type for the Modern Era


  • The Transformation of Suburban Office & Residential Development

  • A Tale of Two Downtowns

  • Leveraging Small Plans for a Big Impact

  • CNU Panel: Transit-Oriented Development Blind Spot: Deconversions, Demolitions in Transit Rich Neighborhoods

  • Regional Planning to Serve Local Planners



  1. Call-4-Sponsors. We couldn’t put on an annual conference for hundreds of attendees if it wasn’t for our sponsors! Help support APA-IL by becoming a 2022-23 sponsor today.

  2. Book your hotel room. Grab your spot at the Holiday Inn before the APA-IL rates end (8/27/22). The special rates are available Tuesday-Friday! Don’t wait to reserve--rooms are limited.


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