Training Requirements for Planning and Zoning Board Members
New York State law mandates that all Planning and Zoning Board members obtain a minimum of four hours of training each year. Many different types of training opportunities are available including programs sponsored by WMPF, the Westchester County Department of Planning, local municipalities, various planning agencies and organizations and the state. Some training programs are available online. For more information about training requirements and opportunities, download Promoting the Training of Municipal Planning and Zoning Officials Fact Sheet, published by the NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.
The type of training that is acceptable for Planning and Zoning Board members is left to the discretion of the legislative body of each city, town and village. Therefore, Board members should check with their local municipality to determine which programs, events and online resources are acceptable for accreditation.
Links to a variety of training resources, including online training opportunities, are available at the end of this page.
WMPF works closely with the Westchester County Department of Planning to arrange programs of interest to the Westchester planning community. These programs include an annual land use training institute, annual planning and zoning board seminars, a variety of special topic sessions, and an annual planning achievement awards dinner. Many of these events may satisfy some or all of the mandatory training requirements.
Following is a brief description of WMPF sponsored programs. Check the WMPF calendar for times and locations of upcoming events. Fliers and registration forms are emailed to all municipalities and all WMPF members prior to each event.
Land Use Training Institute (LUTI)
Each spring, WMPF, in cooperation with the Westchester County Department of Planning and Pace Law School, sponsors a Land Use Training Institute (LUTI). The LUTI is held over the course of three evenings and introduces new planning and zoning board members to key planning concepts and keeps others up-to-date on the latest planning trends and legal issues. LUTI participants include municipal staff and land use board members, elected officials, land use attorneys, planning and environmental consultants, architects, engineers and others interested in the planning process.
Seminars for Planning and Zoning Board Members
WMPF sponsors a two-hour planning seminar and a two-hour zoning seminar each year for planning and zoning board members. Typically, the evening seminars feature a presentation and facilitated discussion.
Special Topic Sessions
Throughout the course of the year, WMPF sponsors a variety of special topic sessions of interest to the planning community. In the past, these sessions have addressed issues related to stormwater management, traffic and parking, climate change, freedom of information laws, the environmental review process, historic preservation, affordable housing, etc.
Annual Awards Dinner
WMPF hosts an annual awards dinner to recognize outstanding planning achievements and distinguished citizen planners in Westchester County. Awardees are celebrated at a well-attended dinner each year in early June at a notable Westchester location. See the Awards Dinner page of this website for more information.
Videos of Past WMPF Programs
Click here to view videos of past WMPF programs.
Planning and Zoning Board members may receive training credits by viewing some WMPF video programs. Board members should check with their local municipalities to determine which programs will be accepted for credit.