UNIVERSITY PARK – A new series of Web-based seminars offered by Penn State Extensionwill cover issues related to land use.
Kicking off July 17, the 75-minute, monthly webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. The sessions will include time for questions and answers.
The workshops are intended to help planners, elected officials and concerned citizens come together to make better land-use decisions, noted Peter Wulfhorst, economic and community development extension educator based in Pike County, who is coordinating the webinars.
“Through this webinar series, you can learn more about planning and current planning issues,” he said. “The presentations will cover local regulations and how and why they are created, as well as planning tools and resources available to decision makers in Pennsylvania.
“Participants will learn how to engage in planning to benefit their community.”
The July 17 session, “Solar Model Ordinance: Not to be Confused with the Sunshine Act,” will be moderated by Ed Johnstonbaugh, Penn State Extension educator in Westmoreland County. That webinar will feature Evan Endres, with PennFuture, and Andrew Schwartz, managing principal of Environmental Planning and Design.
With the rapid growth of solar energy, municipalities are scrambling to understand how to incorporate and regulate this resource, Johnstonbaugh noted.
“Evan Endres will provide a brief overview of the resources created for municipalities by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge Team in western Pennsylvania,” he said.
“Project consultant Andrew Schwartz will provide an in-depth review of the model zoning ordinance and guidance on implementation. Participants also will be able to access model best practices and resources.”
Other planned webinars in the series will cover the following topics:
— Aug. 21: “Transportation Connectivity and Land Use”
— Sept. 18: “The ABCs of Form-based Codes”
— Oct. 16: “Fiscal Impacts of Different Land Uses”
— Nov. 20: “Facing the Challenges of Plan Implementation”
The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to get CM credits from the American Planning Association.