The Iowa Planning Officials Academy was held in four locations during Spring 2007. The Academy will be offered again during Spring 2011. More information will be provided on this webpage as the next offering approaches.
The Iowa Planning Officials Academy provides participants with a thorough grounding in the essential principles and practices of the land use process. Using a subdivision proposal application, the program will take participants through the development review process from pre-application conference to final plat approval. Along the way, the program will address
- Roles and responsibilities of the planning and zoning commission, ZBA and legislative body; this includes technical requirements of
- Comprehensive plan amendments
- Variances & special exceptions
- Using the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance and other planning tools;
- Understanding and reviewing site plans;
- decision-making procedures and development review principles;
- meeting management: conducting fair and efficient public meetings;
- open meetings act for land use decision-makers;
- ethics, conflict of interest and serving the public interest;
- legal foundations of planning and zoning (statutes, court cases, constitutional issues).
The Iowa Planning Officials Academy is a 12-hour program. The first 9 hours are presented in a 1 1/2-day, Friday-Saturday session. The final 3 hours are presented on a subsequent weekday evening. The instructional format is highly interactive, and includes hands-on subdivision and site plan review exercises, checklists, and hearing exercises.
Upon completion, participants will:
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- understand the unique roles of each public body involved in land use decision-making;
- understand the laws affecting land use development;
- possess the skills necessary to interpret and analyze technical and legal information;
- be prepared to conduct efficient public meetings;
- understand and be able to appropriately use the plan and common plan implementation tools (zoning, subdivision regulations, others);
- understand the ethical responsibilities of a planning official.