Land Use

Land Use

Citizen Planner

Land use decisions are a matter of local public policy.  Land use educational programs help planning boards and commissions, as well as all residents, understand legal and ethical considerations when making decisions.  Well informed decisions are most likely to result in economic development, low impact on the environment and a high quality of life for local residents.  Participants in workshops and classes learn how to engage all interested residents in the land use decision-making process.  Local planning officials have the responsibility of being well informed, listening to the ideas of local residents and making the best decisions possible for the future. 

Citizen Planner workshops and trainings are offered in Oakland County and on-line to Oakland County residents and other citizens interested in learning more about land use decisions in their community.

Workshops on specialized topics of interest to land use planners and others are also available:

Citizen Planner Course

Michigan Citizen Planner offers Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning, a seven-session, non-credit course leading to an optional certificate of completion awarded by Michigan State University Extension.  The series covers:  job basics for community planning, zoning, and economic prosperity; ethics and conflicts of interest; land use laws and court decisions; plan implementation and development controls; best practices and smart growth; effective meetings, deliberation, and conflict resolution; relevant tools and techniques to do the job well, and much more.  Earning the certificate involves the successful completion of the seven core sessions.  Participants with limited time may enroll in individual sessions of their choosing.

Two Ways to Participate

Local officials can choose to participate in the classroom or online option, depending on how they learn best. 

  1. Classroom sessions meet weekly at a local county-based location for an instructor-led, 3-hour evening workshop. 
  2. Online modules contain a set of self-paced, independent learning units.  There is no need to wait for the next course, simply begin when it is convenient for you.

Who to contact at MSU Extension for land use education, assistance and questions:  Richard Wooten, 734-727-7734.

 Oil and Gas Leasingoil and gas site

There is a lot of discussion about Michigan’s oil and natural gas potential. Click here to be directed to an informative page designed to help landowners and local officials learn more about oil and gas leasing, the issues related to natural gas exploration and sources of information.

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