Planning Smarter Montco 2019

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Planning Smarter Montco 2019, an initiative of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, provides important 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 and open to the general public unless otherwise noted. Participants who complete our sponsored PMPEI courses in community planning, subdivision and land development review, and zoning, will be recognized with a Planning Education Certificate at our 2019 Montgomery Awards celebration. Those attending all four of the courses (including zoning administration) will receive a Certificate of Achievement.Register for all courses and events at www.montcopa.org/PlanningSmarter. For more information, contact Rita McKelvey at 610.278.3753 or rmckelve@montcopa.org.
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THE COURSE IN COMMUNITY PLANNING

  
April 3, 10, 17, 2019 
Limerick Township Building (Training Room) 
646 W. Ridge Pike • Limerick, PA 19468  
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
$110 Registration Fee* (Preregistration required)

The Course in Community Planning 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. Professional credits offered through PMPEI.

*Municipalities with a current Community Planning Assistance Contract with MCPC are
eligible for a discounted rate of $90.

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The Course in Subdivision and Land Development Review

  
May 2, 9, 16, 2019
Lansdale Borough Hall (Council Chambers)
One Vine Street • Lansdale, PA 19446
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 
$110 Registration Fee* (Preregistration required)

The Course in Subdivision and Land Development Review is essential for planning commissioners and elected officials. This three-session 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. Professional credits offered through PMPEI.

*Municipalities with a current Community Planning Assistance Contract with MCPC are
eligible for a discounted rate of $90.

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Montco Logo - Sustainable Places
Residential Agriculture: Making It Work in Your Community


May 29, 2019
Montgomery County 4-H Center (Maple Room)
1015 Bridge Road • Creamery, PA 19426
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Registration check-in 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

New and existing county residents are becoming increasingly interested in residential agriculture, such as keeping modest amounts of bees or chickens, composting, and gardening on their property. These practices can offer residents and municipalities a passive way of managing environmental concerns such as stormwater runoff, pollinator decline, and food insecurity. However, municipalities are left with little guidance on both the benefits and challenges of these practices and how to effectively manage them. This event focused on the benefits and best practices of these ancillary uses within residential districts. It also discussed model ordinance language and a layout study of these uses on variously sized residential lots.

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Event Presentations:
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Montco Logo - Sustainable Places

Sustainability Summer School: How Schools and 
Municipalities Can Partner for Sustainability


June 25, 2019 
Cheltenham Elementary School (Library and Art Room) 
7853 Front Street • Cheltenham, PA 19012 
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Registration check-in 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

An organization’s decisions affect not only its operations but the community around it. Making sustainable decisions can help a municipality, school, or any organization be more efficient, act responsibly today, and protect its future. This goal of this workshop was to help municipalities, schools, and other organizations plan for a sustainable future by highlighting ways to form productive partnerships. A sustainable future manages issues, such as energy strategy, resiliency, environmental protection, local economic development, and health, in a responsible manner. A number of speakers from a broad spectrum of organizations shared their experiences, the challenges they faced, and how they were able to overcome on their way to better operations.

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The Course in Zoning


September 10, 17, 24, 2019
Upper Merion Township Building (Freedom Hall)
175 West Valley Forge Road • King of Prussia, PA 19406-1802
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
$110 Registration Fee* (Preregistration required)

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The Course in Zoning
deals with probably the most complex 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. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in mapping exercises, reviews of ordinance provisions, and discussions of problem situations. Professional credits offered through PMPEI.

*Municipalities with a current Community Planning Assistance Contract with MCPC are
eligible for a discounted rate of $90.

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The Course in Zoning Administration 


October 10, 17, 24, 2019
Towamencin Township Building (Meeting Hall)
1090 Troxel Road • Lansdale, PA 19446 
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 
$110 Registration Fee* (Preregistration required)

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The Course in Zoning Administration provides zoning hearing board members, zoning officials, and elected officials—regardless of experience—with the basic principles, procedures, and information needed to effectively carry out their functions in the administration of municipal zoning. This three-session course covers the technical aspects of zoning and how to build effective relationships with the public. Hands-on experiences and practice exercises are built into each session. Participants learn how to conduct effective and fair zoning hearings in a mock zoning hearing session. Course topics include the principles of zoning, key zoning terms, the zoning administration team, 
zoning officer duties, enforcement notices, and zoning hearing procedures, variances, special exceptions/conditional uses, and nonconformities. Professional credits offered through PMPEI.

*Municipalities with a current Community Planning Assistance Contract with MCPC are
eligible for a discounted rate of $90.
 

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 Montco 2040 - Connected
Transforming Our Downtowns into Main Street Greenways 

 

October 29, 2019 
Lansdale Borough Hall (Council Chambers) 
One Vine Street • Lansdale, PA 19446 
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Registration check-in 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

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Communities are now strengthening connections between their downtowns and nearby trails, stream valleys, and open spaces. By establishing their downtown as an extension of these greenway systems, they enhance its vibrancy and foster economic development. Join us as we show you how to transform your downtown into a Main Street Greenway by focusing upon ways to make it more walkable, greener, and environmentally sustainable. These three fundamental principles will be explained through examples from many of Montgomery County’s boroughs and villages. We will then step out of the classroom and take a walking tour of a local downtown. This tour offers participants a chance to practice recognizing specific improvement opportunities, which they can use to make their own downtown into a Main Street Greenway.

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Montco 2040 - Land Use Vision

MONTGOMERY AWARDS

 
November 13, 2019
(Details TBD)

Celebrate a 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. In addition to our award winners, individuals who have completed the series of planning courses we sponsor will also be recognized.