The New York Planning Federation does not provide legal services for our members. The Planning Federation’s Board of Directors has an Amicus Committee comprised of attorneys actively involved in land use issues. When appropriate, the Amicus Committeee occasionally prepares Amicus briefs, on issues of statewide significance.”
Go to our conference page for our 2013 Conference Information.
Session Presentation - Hyde Park NY Dec. 8,2013 - Site Plan and Special Use Permit Review - Nina Peek, AICP-AKRF,Inc.
- NYPF Training
- Land Use Training & Certification School
- Training & Technical Assistance
The New York Planning Federation offers a variety of options that can be used by local planning and zoning boards to fulfill their annual four-hour training requirement under New York law. Either a half-day training session or two two-hour training sessions would fulfill this annual requirement. In addition to the courses listed below, the Planning Federation can tailor training to meet the specific needs of your community. Wherever possible, training is provided at a location, date and time convenient to the municipality.
Annual NYPF Conference
The annual two-day conference offers a wide range of relevant topics for planning board and ZBA members, as well as for elected officials and municipal planners.
This is an annual one-day session jointly sponsored by the Association of Towns that provides additional training opportunities for planning and zoning board members. Summer School locations are in the Hudson Valley and central New York.
Planning and Zoning Training Series:
Land Use Training – a two-hour or one-half day training session in the basics of local land use regulation for planning and zoning boards and others.
Advanced Land Use Training – a two-hour or one-half day skills training session in specific topics focused on the community’s needs.
Environmental Review and SEQR – a two-hour or one-half day review of the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the role of municipal boards and coordination with local planning and land use regulations.
Comprehensive Plan Primer – a two-hour presentation designed to convey the benefits of a comprehensive plan, what goes into one, and how it can be used to meet a community’s goals.
Subdivision Basics – a two-hour presentation on the basics of subdivision review for local officials, including new tools and techniques for creative development.
Smart Growth Short Course Series:
Affordable Housing for Your Community – this two-hour course examines the need for a range of housing types in each community and illustrates a variety of affordable housing options. Suggestions are made for revisions to zoning standards to keep the price of housing in your community affordable.
Aquifer/Wellhead Protection for Your Community – this two-hour course describes the benefits of aquifer or wellhead protection of public groundwater supplies, threats to water supplies, how wellheads and aquifers are delineated and how they can be protected, with suggestions for zoning standards.
Farmland Protection for Your Community – this two-hour course identifies the many benefits of farmland and farming to communities, describes current threats to farming and explores a variety of effective approaches to protect farmland and support the farm community, with specific suggestions.
Forestry Use in Your Community – this two-hour course identifies multiple forest uses, benefits of and threats to forestry and forest uses, and describes how local officials can protect the environment while allowing a variety of forest uses, including harvesting, that benefit the community.
Growth Management for Your Community – this two-hour course examines the benefits of compact development forms, surveys a variety of tools and techniques that have been successfully used by communities to manage and shape growth, and identifies which approaches could make best sense for your community.
Open Space Protection for Your Community – this two-hour course defines the many types of open space, identifies the fiscal and environmental benefits of protecting these areas, surveys a variety of preservation and protection approaches and suggests possible open space protection options for your community.
Wind Energy Development in Your Community – this two-hour course guides communities through the process of inventorying prime wind sites in the comprehensive plan, identifying potential conflicts, mitigating or resolving those conflicts and developing effective review standards for proposed wind energy facilities.
Training costs are as follows:
Member communities: $400 for two-hour weekday training; $500 for two-hour Saturday training; $700 for four-hour (half-day) training, plus travel expenses. The cost for each additional community attending the above training is $200.
Non-member communities: $500 for two-hour weekday training; $600 for two-hour Saturday training; $850 for four-hour (half-day) training, plus travel expenses. The cost for each additional community attending the above training is $200.
Please contact us at 518-512-5270 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss training for your
Land Use Training & Certification School
The New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) Land Use Training Program for Local Government Officials is an online training program designed to teach the basics of New York land use law. The program is made available to governmental officials, planning and zoning board members, municipal risk managers and others for noncommercial purposes. It has nine tutorials and quizzes and a glossary with links to definitions and various New York State statutes.
The program is administered by the Pace University Land Use Law Center and the New York Planning Federation.
Zoning School Frequently Asked Questions
This program contains nine lessons, each covering a different aspect of law and practice applicable to the work of local land use boards. It allows local governments to self-certify their boards when the board has satisfactorily completed five (50 of the nine (|9) lessons).
1. Why should our local boards be certified?
Certification lets the public know that your local boards are knowledgeable about the land use and legal issues involved in the decisions they make regularly. In addition, in 2007, the NYS legislature established minimum training requirements of four (4) hours annually for municipal planning and zoning boards. The certification program is one of several ways in which local boards can meet the new training requirements. Local governing bodies decide what type of training their boards will receive each year.
2. Which local boards may participate?
Planning boards, ZBAs, town boards, city councils and village boards of trustees may all participate. In addition, special purpose groups such as CACs or comprehensive planning committees may also take part in the program. Finally, zoning officers, CEOs and municipal attorneys may participate. However, the state legistation only requires annual training for planning boards and ZBAs.
3. Who is responsible for certifying each local board?
A designated official from each participating board is responsible for obtaining tutorials, testing, and certifying the board. No special training is needed for this person, other than the directions provided in the tutorial package.
4. How can I obtain the tutorials?
The attached downloads may be obtained free of charge. Should your municipality wish to purchase a hard-copy version, this is available with a CD from the New York Planning Federation (go to the "NYPF Bookstore" to order). There is a charge of $50.00 plus $5.00 s/h for the hard-copy binder and CD. Copies of the tutorials may be made by municipalities, provided they are not used for commercial purposes. There are no other fees associated with the program or certification.
5. How many tutorials are there?
There are nine different tutorials:
- Zoning - The Basics
- Comprehensive Planning
- Subdivision Regulations
- Site Plan Approvals and Conditions
- Special Use Permits
- Environmental Review
- Local Board Procedures and Decisions
- Strategic Local Laws
6. How many tutorials does my board need to complete?
Your planning board or ZBA needs to complete a total of five (5) tutorials, although some local boards choose to complete all nine (9).
7. Can this program be used to satisfy the new training requirement?
Yes. For purposes of meeting the NYS training requirement, the program will count for four training hours.
8. Can I work on a different set of tutorials than another member?
This is the board’s decision. Members should take the courses that round out their experience and teach them subjects they need to know to be productive members of their particular board.
9. Where are the questions and answers?
The questions are located at the end of the tutorials. A separate answer sheet is included with the tutorials.
10. Who grades the exams?
The designated official should grade the exams. That person should keep a record of which members have successfully completed the tutorials, and testing dates.
11. How many members need to pass the program?
All board members must complete and pass the program for the board to be certified.
12. What is a passing score?
A passing score is 80% or eight (8) out of ten (10) questions answered correctly.
13. Is there a second chance to re-test?
Yes. Members who do not pass the first time may re-take the exam whenever they are ready. However, the certification request should not be submitted until all board members have successfully passed.
14. How long is certification good for?
Certification is good for one year. Turnover in board members and new planning and zoning information that becomes available make periodic re-certification beneficial.
15. How does my board receive certification?
Send the name of your board and municipality (i.e., "Planning Board, City of Albany) to the NYPF, One Columbia Place, Albany, NY 12207 or email the information to Lael Locke. You will receive a certificate that should then be filed with the muncipal clerk's office as part of the planning board or ZBA's training record.
16. Who should I call with any questions?
Please call either Tiffany Zezula at 914-422-4034 or Lael Locke at 800-366-NYPF.
17. How can our board receive more in-depth training?
The tutorials are intended to provide basic knowledge in planning and zoning law. The New York Planning Federation holds both an annual three-day conference and offers specific on-site training for more advanced topics. Please visit www.nypf.org for training opportunities or email email@example.com for more information on training tailored to your municipal needs.
The New York Planning Federation can provide on-site training on planning, zoning, land use or development matters. Our goal is to offer strategic, practical and reasonably-priced assistance designed to complement the work of community leaders, staff or consultants. Assistance requests can be customized to fill the unique needs of a specific community or organization or to participate in team efforts. We offer the following:
Planning and Zoning Training Series
Land Use Training: The basics of local land use regulation for planning board and ZBAs.
Advanced Land Use Training: Skills training in specific topics or questions and problems focused on the community’s needs.
Environmental Review and SEQR: A review of the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the role of municipal boards and coordination with local planning and land use regulations.
Comprehensive Plan Primer: A two-hour presentation designed to convey the benefits of a comprehensive plan, what goes into one, public outreach techniques, and how a plan can be used to meet the goals of a community.
Comprehensive Plan Workshops: A five-part series designed for communities that are develop-ing or updating their comprehensive plans. These workshops are paced throughout the plan’s development and include: (1) Getting organized; (2) Identifying community resources; (3) Identifying community goals; (4) Evaluating future needs and (5) Developing an action strategy.
Smart Growth Short Course Series (Two hours each)
Affordable Housing: This course examines the need for a range of housing types in a community and illustrates a variety of attractive affordable housing options. Suggestions are made for revisions to zoning regulations to keep the price of housing affordable in your community.
Farmland Protection: This course identifies the many benefits of farmland and farming to communities, describes current threats to farming, and explores a variety of effective approaches to protect farmland and support the farm community.
Growth Management: This course examines the benefits of compact development forms, surveys a variety of tools and techniques that have been used successfully to manage and shape growth, and identifies which approaches could make sense for your community.
Open Space Protection: This course defines the many types of open space, identifies the fiscal and environmental benefits of protecting these areas, surveys preservation and protection approaches and suggests possible open space protection options for your community.
Other short course topics include:
Guide to Forestry / Guide to Wind Energy / Intermunicipal and Regional Planning Watershed/Streambank Protection / Design Tools to Protect Community Character
Coordinating Community Services
Other Types of Assistance
Planning Research – Research on specific issues and options as background support for local boards or committees seeking to update plans or regulations;
Consultation Services – Practical expertise on planning or procedural issues as support to staff, local boards or consultants;
Facilitation – NYPF can design, organize and conduct planning efforts, public participation strategies, visioning sessions, workshops or other
Site Visits – Walking/talking on-site tours with community leaders to evaluate current conditions in specific neighborhoods and share recommendations for possible improvements;
RFPs – Assistance to help define when and where to use professional consultants and the drafting of Requests for Proposals or Requests for Qualifications.
Costs for two-hour, on-site training sessions are as follows:
NYPF members pay $400 for up to 15 participants from one municipality. Add $200 for up to 15 participants from a second member municipality. If more than 30 participants attend a session, the cost is $25 per person. (Please note that there is an additional charge for mileage.) Non-members pay $500 for up to 15 participants from a single municipality, an additional $300 for up to 15 participants from a second municipality, and $35 per person if there is a total greater than 30 attendees.
For more information, please contact the New York Planning Federation at 1-800-366-NYPF or email our Executive Director, Judith Breselor.