Planning Courses


Given the pandemic and social distancing requirements, the three-session courses we annually sponsor from the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) have been cancelled in 2021. Instead, we have worked with PMPEI to schedule Montgomery County instructors/MCPC staff, who can provide local information, for each of the 90-minute virtual courses being offered by PMPEI statewide in 2021. Each course is $25, and class space is limited. Registration and payment for the courses, as well as additional course dates and credit information, are available at For more information, contact Terri Dickow, PMPEI Assistant Director of Education, at 800-232-7722, Ext. 1042 or

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Building a Strong Planning Commission
April 22, 2021 │ 6:30 – 8:00 PM │ Cost: $25

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A strong and well-organized planning commission is the key to a successful planning program. While Article II of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) provides the authority to have a planning commission, it offers no guidance for how to be an effective unit serving the elected governing body and the community. Using hands-on activities and interactive discussions, this course will explore the full range of a planning commission's work, how it can be organized to accomplish more of its goals, and what is needed to prepare members to get involved in the group's work.

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The Limits to Zoning
May 27, 2021 │ 6:30 – 8:00 PM │ Cost: $25

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Zoning is a powerful tool of local government, but its power is not unlimited. Community expectations for zoning are high, but ordinance drafters and administrators must know the limitations and the effect they have on a municipality's zoning program. This course will explore limitations, such as those in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, the Police Power, non-conforming use property rights, and state and federal laws impacting local zoning. This is not a zoning case law update, but it is an interactive discussion of common zoning issues with an opportunity to look at them in the context of the course.

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Managing the Subdivision Review Process
June 1, 2021 │ 6:30 – 8:00 PM │ Cost: $25

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Subdivision and land development ordinances are the most common land use regulation in the commonwealth. For many local planning commissions, reviewing development applications takes up most of their meeting time. This course will look at the important work of a commission in managing the review process, which is tightly structured by the municipalities planning code. Many procedures can be easily misunderstood and can create problems for municipal planners and officials. This course will examine the complex review process and will point out problem areas and how to avoid them through a hands-on discussion. It describes how planning commissions, along with project applicants, are engaged in a collaborative process to build the future community.