Land Use Academy

The Land Use Academy provides practical education for local land use decision makers in Connecticut, particularly those with fewer than 5 years experience, though all are welcome. The Academy focuses on the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to serve effectively on a local land use commission.

The day-long training is offered in locations across Connecticut, allowing commissioners statewide the opportunity to participate. The Land Use Academy is recognized as the state’s official certification program in basic land use education for local commissioners. Every commissioner completing the Academy receives a certificate of recognition. The Academy is a program of the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR). Occasionally two of the Academy course are available as a standalone workshop, Roles and Responsibilities of Land Use Commissions and Map Reading for Site Plan Review.

Academy Agenda and Course Descriptions

Academy Standard Agenda
8:30 a.m.
Sign-in and Coffee
9:00-10:45

Welcome

Roles & Responsibilities of Land Use Commissions
Instructor: CLEAR, University of Connecticut
10:45-11:00
Break
11:00-12:30
Legal Requirements in Land Use Decision-making

Instructors: Connecticut Bar Association

12:30-1:15
Lunch
1:15-3:00
Map Reading for Site Plan Review

Instructor: CLEAR, University of Connecticut

 

3:00
End
Roles & Responsibilities of Land Use Commissions

This section surveys the very basics on land use commissions, including:

  • the enabling legislation that permits them to exist
  • what kinds of things various land use commission are required to do
  • what the commissions may do, at their discretion
  • how municipal commissions interact with each other

The commissions covered include:

  • Planning
  • Zoning
  • Inland Wetlands
  • Conservation
  • Economic Development
  • Zoning Board of Appeals

Upon occasion, it may also be taught as a standalone class. As a standalone workshop it is free of charge and about 2-3 hours long. Contact CT NEMO's Michael Dietz at michael.dietz@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-5225 to schedule a workshop.

Legal Requirements and Procedures of Land Use Decision Making

In this section, experienced land use attorneys cover the most important decision-making procedures and obligations. Topics include:

  • legal responsibilities of land use boards
  • timelines and public notice aspects of application processing
  • conflict of interest
  • conducting public hearings
  • making decisions
  • using your town attorney well

This portion of the Academy is instructed by members of the CT Bar Association and therefore is not offered as a standalone workshop.

Map Reading for Site Plan Review

This section provides participants with the keys to understanding the kinds of maps and site plans typically presented to commissions. Instruction includes:

  • topological maps: scale, legends, elevation and slope
  • site plans: scale, determining conformity with zoning regulations
  • hands-on exercises with both topo maps and site plans

Upon occasion, it may also be taught as a standalone class. As a standalone workshop it is free of charge and about 1 hour long. Contact CT NEMO's Michael Dietz at michael.dietz@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-5225 to schedule a workshop.