Planning Smarter Montco 2016

Planning Smarter 2016 Masthead
Our Planning Smarter Montco 2016 program offers exciting planning education events throughout the year. The program provides relevant information about planning that will enable local leaders and citizens to better plan for the future of their municipalities. All Planning Smarter events are free of charge, unless otherwise noted, and are open to the general public. Many of the events correspond to the themes of Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County's new, award-winning comprehensive plan. Participants who attend all three of our planning courses will be recognized with a certificate at our 2016 Montgomery Awards celebration. While pre-registration is not required for all events, we highly recommend you register as this is our only way to contact you if an event changes or is canceled. We hope you will be able to join us for these interesting and informative sessions to share information and insights, and we invite you to sign up to receive event announcements and other planning news. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest on planning in Montgomery County. For questions about our 2016 education schedule, contact Rita McKelvey at 610-278-3753.


February 17, 2016
Montgomery County Planning Commission (Montgomery Conference Room #202)
425 Swede Street • Norristown, PA 19401
3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Registration check-in 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.)     

MCPC hosted this interesting DVRPC webinar, which was cosponsored by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Participants had an opportunity to see inspiring community planning in action in a multimedia program and to learn about innovative plans with fresh ideas for sustainability, bold urban design, economic development, and more. Planning commissioners, mayors, and planners showed how their community created the plan and how they benefited. This highly visual program was a great introduction to good planning across the country. 


March 2, 9, 16, 2016
Limerick Township Building (Room A)
646 Ridge Pike • Limerick, PA 19401
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
$90 Registration Fee (pre-registration required)

MCPC sponsored The Course in Community Planning, which is an excellent introduction to planning in Montgomery County for any local planning commission appointee or local elected official. This three-session course combines presentations and group exercises that explore the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), the function of a planning commission, comprehensive plans, zoning, subdivision and land development, capital budgeting, and official maps. This popular course is a must for all new planning commission members.

Montco 2040 logo Sustainable Places Hot Topic


April 21, 2016
Towamencin Township Building (Meeting Hall)
1090 Troxel Road • Lansdale, PA 19446
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Registration check-in 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 

MCPC offered this workshop, which focused on new opportunities for residents and businesses to incorporate energy efficiency measures and use solar energy technologies that may reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. Encouraging their use and making these technologies work in a community without causing unwanted impacts may require new municipal policies and regulations. This workshop discussed energy efficiency, solar technologies, and effective ways to manage them. The event offered continuing education credits for professional planners, attorneys, and professional engineers.

Event Resources



May 11, 2016
Montgomery County Planning Commission (Montgomery Conference Room #202)
425 Swede Street • Norristown, PA 19401
3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Registration check-in 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.)     

MCPC was scheduled to host this informative DVRPC webinar, which was cosponsored by the American Institute of Certified Planners and Zoning Practice, but the webinar location had to be switched to the DVRPC office due to a power outage that affected MCPC's office building. The webinar focused on how implementation is key to fruitful plans and projects. Participants had an opportunity to learn how communities are tightening up on implementation and measures of success. Panelists also discussed how to make plan implementation more visible to the public. The webinar offered 1.5 CM credits. 

Montco 2040 logo Connected Communities Hot Topic


June 29, 2016
Lorimer Park (Enclosed Pavilion)
183 Moredon Road • Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (registration check-in 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
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We had a great turnout for this fun and informative event, which included a bike tour of the new Pennypack Trail. During the tour, participants heard about about the construction of various trail facilities including a gated railroad crossing, two redecked railroad bridges, signalized road crossings, a parking lot built at an old train station location, and an information kiosk designed to reflect train station architecture. Future trail access from local neighborhoods was also discussed. 


September 13, 20, 27, 2016
Upper Merion Township Building (Freedom Hall)
175 West Valley Forge Road • King of Prussia, PA 19406
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
$90 Registration Fee (pre-registration required)
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This three-session course in subdivision and land development review is essential for planning commissioners and elected officials. The course reviews the subdivision and land development process from pre-application meetings through the completion of a project. It focuses on the principles of subdivision and land development, the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) requirements, effective plan management procedures, and design and technical standards for subdivisions and land developments.

Montco 2040 logoVibrant Economy Hot Topic


October 26, 2016
Ambler Borough Hall (Council Chambers)
131 Rosemary Avenue • Ambler, PA  19002
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Registration check-in 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
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Join us for a discussion on how to embrace our past and invest in our future by adapting former institutional properties for new purposes. When institutional buildings and grounds are no longer needed, they can be successfully transformed into residences and businesses that enliven the surrounding community while preserving the architectural character and heritage of landmark places in our neighborhoods. This collaborative process offers an opportunity for municipalities and developers to plan ahead and meet challenges creatively. This session will examine successful case studies of institutional adaptive reuse in the county and provide guidelines that can be used by communities to plan for and achieve transformative reuse. 


November 3, 10, 17, 2016
Lansdale Borough Hall (Council Chambers)
One Vine Street • Lansdale, PA 19446
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
$90 Registration Fee (Pre-registration Required)
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The Course in Zoning deals with probably the most complex and provocative topic in local planning. This three-session course emphasizes the fundamentals for developing a sound zoning ordinance using the authority granted in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). Course topics include the relationship of zoning to comprehensive plans, key terms used in zoning and how they are applied, critical issues in drafting a zoning ordinance and map, procedures for adopting and amending ordinances, and basic zoning administration. The course also explores techniques such as overlay districts, performance zoning, traditional neighborhood development, and planned residential development as well as the options available through regional planning. The course includes mapping exercises, reviews of ordinance provisions, and discussions of problem situations.


November 9, 2016
Theatre Horizon
401 DeKalb Street • Norristown, PA 19401
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Celebrate another successful year in planning with other municipal officials, developers, and planning design professionals. The Montgomery Awards Program recognizes the best in planning, design and advocacy in Montgomery County. This annual program promotes awareness of outstanding design and innovative planning in our communities by awarding successful land developments, revitalization efforts, open space enhancements, environmental sustainability, and transportation improvements. Special recognition at the awards celebration will also be given to those individuals who have completed the series of planning courses we sponsor.

*Please note: Event dates and locations are subject to change.