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2016 Conference Highlights          

Each year, the NYPF Planning & Zoning Conference offers a carefully-selected, informative mix of sessions that provide participants with a wide range of training options. Our upcoming April program at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs is no exception; a total of 22 sessions begin on Sunday afternoon the 17th and run through Tuesday morning the 19th.
Here are just a few highlights:
Sunday afternoon April 17th from 4:00-5:00
Preparing for Successful Planning Board and ZBA Meetings Perfect for all levels, this session focuses on measures that boards can undertake to ensure that their review and approval procedures run efficiently and effectively. Discussion will include workshop meetings, applicant requirements, dealing with the public, local regulations and how the review/approval process is conducted.
Session presenter Frederick A. Frank, LEED BD+C is a planner with the Buffalo firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff. In addition to 16 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, he serves on two local planning boards and recently led a community-based initiative to institute a Complete Streets approach in his own municipality.

Monday morning April 18th from 11:00-12:05
Advanced SEQRA: Involved Agency Activists. This intriguingly-titled session is sure to appeal to municipal planners and attorneys, as well as to planning boards and ZBAs. SEQRA regulations and DEC guidance devote considerable attention to the role and responsibility of the “lead agency” in coordinating and overseeing environmental reviews. However, much less emphasis is placed on the role of the non-lead agency (involved and interested agencies). This session will focus on the opportunities available to a municipal board serving as an “involved agency” in the SEQRA process, including discussion of the lead agency coordination process, lead agency disputes, involved agencies, reviewing and commenting on preliminary and completed DEIS and FEIS, and SEQRA findings. Case law examples will serve as important accompaniments to the presentation.
The presenter, Daniel A. Ruzow, Esq. is a partner in the firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, LLP. and a member of the firm’s environmental, government relations, municipal and real estate development, and zoning and land use practice groups. He is recognized nationally as an expert on SEQRA, and co-authored the leading treatise on the subject, Environmental Impact Review in New York (Matthew Bender, 1990-2004). We are thrilled that he will be sharing his extensive knowledge with attendees at the 2016 NYPF conference.

Monday afternoon April 18th from 3:15-4:45
The Art of Placemaking: Planning for Public Art. Properly managed, art is—and always has been—an economic development tool for municipalities of all sizes. This session will be a lively discussion on the benefits and pitfalls of public art projects, which can boost a municipal economy or make it a laughing stock. Included will be firsthand case studies and lessons learned in the conception, design and installation of art in the public realm.
Barbara L. Nelson, RA, AIA is the executive director of TAP Inc. in Troy, the Capital Region’s Community Design Center focused on the planning and designing of healthy buildings, neighborhoods and cities. She has practiced architecture, planning and project management for 35 years, and her work with Transport Troy promotes complete streets and urban trails in that city. She is also co-founder of Troy Alley Action, which facilitates the reclamation of blighted public spaces with participatory public art projects.

Tuesday morning April 19th from 11:25-12:30
FOIL & the Open Meetings Law. We can think of no better way to end a conference than with a fun and (very) interactive session on these important (and often misunderstood) topics. Discussion will include the scope of the Open Meetings Law (OML), the procedure for entering into an executive session, the “personnel exception” in the OML, public participation and recorded meetings, the meaning of “confidential,” and many other hot button applications of both FOIL and the OML.Robert J. Freeman, Esq. almost needs no introduction. One of our most popular presenters, he has been Executive Director of the NYS Committee on Open Government since 1976 and is quoted almost daily in some newspaper or TV news broadcast as the leading expert on FOIL and OML. In 2010, he received the John Peter Zenger Award from the NY News Publishers Association and was selected by the National Freedom of Information Coalition and Society of Professional Journalists for their “Heroes of the 50 States” Award and induction into the Open Government Hall of Fame. He has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Associated Press Association.

This is just a taste of what our 2016 conference goers can expect this April. Please call our office to find out more detailed information, including the pending status of various accreditations for attorneys, professional planners and Code Enforcement officials.

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Now accepting nominations for the NYPF Awards

The mission of the NYPF is to promote sound planning, zoning and land use practice so that orderly growth and development may occur, balanced with necessary resource conservation. Consistent with this mission, at each annual conference the NYPF offers six land use award, each award recognizing excellence and achievement in New York State.

  • David Allee Award for ZBA Chair. Presented to an outstanding Zoning Board of Appeals chair
  • John O. Cross Award for Planning Board Chair. Presented to an outstanding Planning Board chair.
  • Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence. Presented to an individual, municipality or agency for outstanding accomplishment in the planning field and/or for consistent support of the NYPF in its efforts to promote sound planning practice.
  • Levine Community Service Award: Presented to an appointed member of a municipal board or committee who has done an outstanding job for his/her community and/or the NYPF.
  • NYPF Comprehensive Plan Award. This award is given to a municipality or agency for an outstanding and/or innovative comprehensive plan or plan update adopted by the municipality’s legislative body within the past three (3) years.
  • Pomeroy Award for Zoning Achievement. Presented to an individual, municipality or agency for consistent high quality work and/or an outstanding contribution to zoning in New York State through the development of a specific zoning law or legal agreement.


Award Nomination Form