Training & Technical Assistance


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
consensus-seeking activities;

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.