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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.)

 PMPEI Webinars

WEBINAR:   The Benefits of an Effective Planning Commission

Tuesday, September 18, 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

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)

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.

For more information on how to register for a live webinar or to request a recorded link,contact: or call (800) 232-7722 ext. 1042.

Other Webinars of Interest

WEBINAR: Understanding the Benefits of Complete Streets Policies

Jeff Riegner, vice president of Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP will explain how nearly 800 jurisdictions across the United States – including hundreds of small and medium-sized municipalities – have been transformed by adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies. Some of the benefits they have experienced are improved safety, livability, and economic development. This webinar will provide an understanding of what the term “Complete Streets” means, the benefits

of Complete Streets for boroughs and other communities, and the unique opportunities and challenges of implementing Complete Streets in Pennsylvania. Many case studies that can serve as great examples for your community will be presented. Jeff is a professional engineer and certified planner with 25 years of transportation and land use consulting experience, mostly for public-sector clients.

05/10/2018 – Understanding the Benefits of Complete Streets Policies


WEBINAR: Zoning  & Joint Zoning to Promote Sustainable Communities

Thursday, September 6, 2018 12 noon – 1:pm – $45 member $85 non-member

Join attorney Mike Crotty with the law firm of Siana, Bellwoar & McAndrew, LLP for this webinar program designed to address the current environment of zoning and joint zoning given the ever-changing legal landscape. In addition to addressing recent case law of note, topics will include: the benefits and drawbacks of joint zoning; a refresher on the mechanics of amending your zoning/joint zoning ordinance; court decisions that have reinforced the need to process zoning applications in “good faith;” and why you should revisit your ordinance to address many of the newly-developing types of land uses, including regulations related to signage, alternative energy uses, medical marijuana growing and dispensary operations, cell towers and mini-cell towers, agricultural regulations potentially protected under ACRE, and other efforts to use zoning and related ordinances to fight blight and promote sustainable communities.

For more information on how to register for a live webinar or to request a recorded link, contact Terri Dickow (800) 232-7722 ext. 1042.

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