Opening General Session
Join us for the official opening session of the conference. Watch for details on speakers in the near future!
Planning Commission 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Planning
Learn the basics about planning laws, typical planning documents, and how they fit together. General plans, housing elements, specific plans, zoning codes, subdivision ordinances, design review and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will be discussed. Presenters will walk through typical project review and decision-making processes. Learn how plans, codes, and regulations can be written to ensure that principles of sustainability, equity and community-building are incorporated in new development.
City of Dysfunction Junction: How to Conduct an Effective and Respectful Planning Commission Meeting
Enjoy a popular and hilarious mock planning meeting skit, where you will learn some do’s and don’ts for when you are seated on the dais.
CEQA, Understanding the Basics
Hear an overview of the role of CEQA in the planning process. Join us as we pull back the curtain on parts of the process, and learn tips on what to do with all of the information. Learn about some of the terms, timelines, and hear testimony, with an opportunity to ask questions.
Economic Development and Downtown Revitalization
Developing session. Watch for details and speaker information in the near future!
Your Legal Powers and Obligations
Learn the breadth, as well as the limitations, of your powers as a planning commissioner. Acquire a basic understanding of the legal authorities and restrictions under which cities and city officials operate, with a focus on the Brown Act.
CEQA, Beyond the Basics
Hear an in-depth discussion of some of the trending issues in CEQA, and more about why CEQA documents look the way they do. The role of findings, and what to do with late-hit letters will also be discussed. Presenters will demystify some of the more technical sections of the document.
Relationship Between Planning Commission, City Council, and Planning Staff
As a city official there will be various competing values and priorities that drive you and your colleagues within your city. Your success on the planning commission requires an effective relationship with your planning staff and city council, where everyone’s values are respected and represented. Learn how to work together while cultivating each of your diverse roles.
Understanding Density and Development Intensity
As density is essential in shaping communities, the state is mandating higher density development in response to California’s housing affordability crisis. While the compact nature of higher densities can provide more equitable access to services and amenities, often the perceptions of how high densities look when built is misguided. In reality, how dense a building looks varies greatly according to unit mix, building height, unit sizes, parking requirements, and other regulatory requirements. Panelists will discuss how to understand differences such as density vs intensity, FAR vs Lot Coverage and share examples and creative approaches to limit the impact of higher density development in built communities.
What Happens Before Project Approval?
You have minutes to distill down years of work that includes public meetings, community concerns, design modifications, and more. Join us on a journey from first preliminary applications to project approval, through the eyes of a planner, planning commissioner and a developer. Gain valuable insight and information about the plan review process, how planning departments and planning commissions play a role in shaping development, and how developers address challenges that come up during review. Walk away with a comprehensive understanding of everything that goes on before the vote.
Making Findings that Stand Legal Challenge
As a planning commissioner, your decision to approve an application is based on whether you can make the required findings. Learn how to articulate your response to findings from a seasoned practitioner.
What Planners Need to Know About City Finance Today
Learn the essentials and the latest hot topics in city finances in this session specially geared to city planners and planning commissioners. Hear about the rules and trends in taxes, fees and other city revenues, the relationship with the state budget, problems and prospects for reform. Explore the valid relationship of city finances with land use planning, and get your questions answered about the most pressing fiscal issues facing cities.
Burning Questions, No Judgment
Have a question that you are afraid to ask in a public meeting, or feel that you should already know the answer to? Join us in a safe environment to receive answers to your most burning questions, and hear questions from your colleagues.
Learn about recent bills that have passed, as well as top issues that are trending in the legislature, and the significance for city planning commissioners.
The New Normal: Land Use and Emergency Preparedness
Previously considered a public safety issue, preparing for emergencies has become a citywide responsibility. The recent deadly and destructive wildfire seasons have spurred legislative consideration and action on emergency response, emergency planning and land use. Join state policy leaders as they discuss these issues, recent state actions, and proposals for the future. Return to your cities prepared to help your city make the right land use decisions for your community.