The New York Planning Federation is an authorized provider of training for planning and zoning board members as required by New York State. We provide certificates of attendance for anyone attending our webinars and for those who watch our recorded sessions. Many of our programs are also eligible for Certified Maintenance (CM) credit for professional planners.

Recorded programs will be accessible to members via the website shortly, but in the meantime you can email us for a link to watch any of the recordings listed below.

Please call 518-512-5270 or email nypf@nypf.org with any questions. 

Recorded Training Available

Understanding & Applying the State Environmental Quality Review Act – A review of SEQRA from start to finish. This webinar reviewed all three parts of the EAF (the “Environmental Assessment Form”) as well as a review of the EIS. 

Speaker: Donald Young, Esq., Rochester, New York

Engaging Diverse Communities and Dealing with Difficult People – Every community experiences “differences of opinion!”  In some cases, local government proceedings become a targeted forum for airing disputes and long-standing arguments.  Clashes during meetings can derail important planning discussions.  This session will explore tools that help maintain a critical focus on process, deadlines, and the objective role of Planning and Zoning Board members.

Presenter:  Jane Nicholson, AICP, CFM, MRB Group

Innovations and Best Practices for Planning/Zoning Boards – At times, Planning and Zoning Board members can have the toughest jobs in the community!  In addition to the challenges of adhering to state guidelines, the “new normal” has complicated proceedings further.  This session will explore new ways to meet old requirements, demonstrate process tracking and organizational tools, and discuss promoting public participation to foster a renewed confidence in community planning.

Speaker: Lance Brabant, CPESC, MRB Group

Enhancing Transparency and Effectiveness in Planning Proceedings -Public confidence in government is low.  Local leaders must find opportunities to engage citizens and involve them in planning processes.  With restrictions and challenges impeding open meetings, and evolving guidelines regarding public safety, simply “checking the box” in terms of open meetings requirements is not enough to ensure that the public is informed and engaged. This session will look at Open Meetings and FOIL requirements, and examine best practices and inexpensive (or free) tools to ensure local government planning proceedings are transparent and effective. This webinar is part of a 6 part series “Planning in an Era of New Challenges.” A joint effort between the NYPF and MRB Group.

Speaker: Matt Horn, Director of Local Government Services, MRB Group

Planning & Zoning Basics – This webinar discussed the roles and functions of both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals, including the composition, procedures, and responsibilities of the boards. Topics include an overview of the Planning Board functions of site plan and subdivision review, as well as special studies, the ZBA functions of interpreting the zoning code and the granting of area and use variances. The role of the special permit is covered as well as the responsibilities of the respective boards in complying with the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Several case studies are used as examples.

Speaker: Frank Fish, FAICP, BFJ Engineering

Siting of Solar Facilities – The Accelerated Renewal Energy Growth & Community Benefit Act Implications for Local Planners – An examination of the Accelerated Renewal Energy Growth & Community Benefit Act and the impact on local planning activities for large scale renewables and transmission projects and the new process for the Public Service Commission to address community benefits.

Speakers: Daniel Spitzer, Esq., Hodgson Russ LLP and Sarah Main, Esq., Hodgson Russ LLP

Zoning in America – This webinar examines the origins of zoning, it’s use in controlling land developments, it’s accomplishments and failures, and the emergence of new land use techniques to complement or replace it.

Speaker: William Sharp, Esq.

The Importance of Planning During & After the Pandemic – The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to fundamentally change how our communities are planned for the future. Communities will have to learn to adapt current planning practices such as holding public meetings, amending zoning codes, and developing comprehensive plans to post-pandemic standards.

Speaker: Danny Lapin, AICP, City of Oneonta Planning Commission, Otsego County Board of Representatives, and Otsego County Conservation Association