Planning Smarter Montco 2022

2022 Planning Smarter Masthead

Planning Smarter, an initiative of the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC), provides important planning information that will enable local leaders and citizens to better plan for the future of their community. All Planning Smarter Montco 2022 events are free and open to the general public unless otherwise noted. Event details may change as the year progresses and we continue to adhere to pandemic requirements. For more information, contact Rita McKelvey (610-278-3753).

Zoning Administration

The Course in Zoning Administration
May 12, 19, 26, 2022 | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Cost: $110*
Towamencin Township building (Meeting Hall), 1090 Troxel Road, Lansdale PA, 19446 Register Today_300x39
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.

Strategies to Enhance Walking and Bicycling Square

Montco 2040 logoStrategies to Enhance Walking and Bicycling in Your Community
June 16, 2022 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | In Person or Virtual | Cost: Free
The Hill School Center for the Arts, 766 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 Register In PersonRegister Virtually

Walking and bicycling are a critical part of our quality of life and contribute to improved health outcomes. As our communities strive to make it easier for their residents to get around in safe, affordable, and equitable ways, how can they plan for these networks and encourage their residents to “get out and go?” This free event, being offered in person and virtually, will feature guest presentations on successful local projects and give municipal staff, elected and appointed officials, and local advocates some practical and cost-effective tools to add sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and other infrastructure improvements. A light meal will be provided for in-person participants.

Optional Tour!
Join us at 4:30 p.m., before the presentations begin at 5:30., for a close-up look at some recent (and award-winning!) pedestrian and bicycling improvements. Participants can tour on foot or on a trolley (limited space available). To participate in the tour, Choose REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON. The option of taking this tour and choosing your touring preference is available on the form.

PS C Zoning 200x200

The Course in Zoning
September 8, 22, 29 2022 | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Cost: $110*
Lansdale Borough Hall (Council Chambers), One Vine Street, Lansdale, PA 19446 
Register Today_300x39
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.

PS C Subdivision Land 200x200

The Course in Subdivision and Land Development Review
October 13, 20, 27 2022 | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Cost: $110*
Towamencin Township building (Meeting Hall), 1090 Troxel Road, Lansdale PA, 19446
Register Today_300x39
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.

Investing in Open Space_Environment Study

Vibrant EconomyInvesting in Open Space: Montco’s Return on Environment Study
October 25, 2022 | 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM | Cost: Free
Challenger Learning Center at Montco Pottstown (The Mezzanine), 140 College Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464
Register Today_300x39
This free event will highlight and celebrate Montgomery County’s recently published Return on Environment: The Economic Impact of Protected Open Space in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Event participants will learn about how protected open space—public parks and trails, preserved farmland, and private conserved lands—provides tremendous economic value in terms of savings, earnings, and avoided costs. MCPC and the study consultant will review the data measuring impacts of protected open space on home and property values, economic activity, environmental services, and direct use benefits relating to health and recreation. The study shows impressive dollar figures—the “return” on the county’s protected open space is in the millions each and every year! Some of the study’s advisory committee members, who have played key roles in protecting Montco’s  valuable open space, will join us and share their inspiring success stories.

2022 Montgomery Awards

Montgomery Awards Celebration
November 16, 2022 | Cost: Free
John James Audubon Visitors Center at Mill Grove, 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403

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 and recognizes sustained planning advocacy.


Completed Events

2021 Planning Smarter_1

The Course in Community Planning
April 4, 11, 25, 2022 | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM | Cost: $110*
Lansdale Borough Hall (Council Chambers), One Vine Street, Lansdale, PA 19446

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.

Electric Car

Montco 2040 logoHot Topics: Big Changes on a Small Scale
May 24, 2022 | Virtual | 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Cost: Free

MCPC’s popular “Hot Topics” session is back in 2022 with new topics! Join MCPC staff and guests for succinct but substantial discussions on important and timely planning issues facing our communities. This free event will feature a virtual format with three presentations and opportunities for audience participation and discussion. Topics include a session on electric vehicles where participants will learn about the technological trends driving this growth and explore the impacts of this technology on our land use decisions; the benefits and challenges of infill development; and MCPC’s advanced ordinance testing process, involving an innovative approach using actual development sites and a collaborative charrette process, that can assist municipalities in preparing ordinances.