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Other Courses and Webinars

PMPEI is expanding its core planning and zoning curriculum to include other new or supplemental courses and webinars. One supplemental course has been completed and others are currently in development.

The completed course is Drafting the Zoning Ordinance: Rules and Tools. This course deals with key elements and issues in crafting a zoning ordinance. It focuses on the local decisions that have to be made in putting an ordinance together. This is a one-session class.

These courses are in development:

  • Planning and the Official Map. Contrary to its misleading name, the Official Map is a land use regulatory tool that has been part of planning for decades. It is a powerful and underutilized regulatory tool that provides flexibility for municipalities as they implement their plans. Special natural environment features, historic sites, and public health and safety needs are common uses of the Official Map. (This is a two-session course.)
  • Variances and Unnecessary Hardship: The Standards After “Hertzberg.” Zoning, and particularly variances, is a continuing matter of interest and contention. In 1998, with the Hertzberg decision in Pittsburgh, municipalities have been forced to look at the criteria for unnecessary hardship required to grant variances in a different way. How we got to this point, and what the new standards for determining unnecessary hardship are, is the focus of this course. (Still to be determined is if this will be a one or two-session course.)


  The Course in Zoning Administration

If you would like to share your knowledge and experience with local officials consider becoming an Instructor in PMPEI’s Planning and Zoning Course Program.  Train-the Trainer prepares new instructors to teach PMPEI’s courses consistently throughout the Commonwealth. Trainees get in-depth knowledge of the course content, and learn principles of adult education, program procedures, and practice presentation delivery.

The dates for the three-day intensive training program are Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, and Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the Centre Region Council of Governments building in State College, PA. The registration fee is $150 and covers instruction, materials, all breaks, lunches, and a Friday night meal.

PMPEI instructors receive compensation for teaching, travel, plus meal and incidental expenses. Teaching assignments are made so instructors will be teaching at locations convenient to where they live.

Citizen and professional planners, and allied professionals, with a minimum of five years’ experience in planning and zoning in Pennsylvania are eligible to become PMPEI Certified Instructors. If you are committed to planning education and would like to become an instructor contact Stan Lembeck, AICP, (814) 237-2382, or email for an application, or more information about PMPEI and the training program.

Certification Maintenance (CM) credit can be requested for AICP members attending the training.

2018 PMPEI Webinars

Webinars run from 12 noon to 1:00 PM. For further information and registration contact Ms. Terri Dickow at (800) 232-7722 ext. 1042 or

WEBINAR:   The Benefits of an Effective Planning Commission

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12 noon-1:00pm $45 member $80 non-member

An orientation to the work of a planning commission: what it does, where it fits in, the relationship of the planning commission with the governing body, how it coordinates with other boards and commissions, how it can contribute to the long-term sustainability of the community.

WEBINAR:   The Elected Officials Role in Subdivision & Land Development Review

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 12 noon-1:00pm $45 member $80 non-member

Stan Lembeck, AICP, PMPEI Director will examine the complex local government development review process referenced by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). Learn important steps to take to achieve quality land development plus the required timelines for state and federal permits.

WEBINAR: Duties of a Zoning Hearing Board and the Zoning Officer (2-part series)

Wed., & Thurs., March 28 & 29, 2018 12 noon-1:00pm $50 member $100 non-member

The MPC states that every municipality that enacts a zoning ordinance shall create a zoning hearing board and it must have an official who handles the day-to-day work of administering the ordinance. This two-part webinar will review the job each is responsible for, along with the basic terms used in zoning, special exceptions, variances, nonconformities, notice of violation of the ordinance, plus the basic of the zoning hearing process. Stan Lembeck, AICP, PMPEI Director, who has many years of experience on a zoning hearing board, will be the instructor.

*PSAB WEBINAR: Environmental Rights

Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:30pm – 6:30pm Free member $30 non-member

Jon Anderson, Esq. an attorney with the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick will present webinar and classroom sessions in April


For further information or to request a link, contact Terri Dickow (800) 232-7722 ext. 1042.

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