Online Interactive Training Course

An Online Training Course
"Planning Board Overview"
  Length: 1.5 hour

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This basic course addresses the powers and duties of town, village, and city planning boards and commissions. The administrative and regulatory roles of the planning board, including its review of site plans, special use permits, and subdivision plats are discussed, along with the planning board’s role in the municipal comprehensive plan. The importance of board procedures, referral to the county planning agency, and making findings are also covered.

NOTE: Online courses are not available for in-service credit for code enforcement officers, continuing legal education credit for attorneys, or certification maintenance credit for members of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Some courses will produce a certificate at the end, and others will only produce your quiz results. The quiz results page should be used as proof of your training.

Resources Provided by the Department of State:

Online Glossary »     Downloadable Glossary » (pdf)

Guide to Planning and Zoning Laws of New York State » (pdf)
An essential publication for municipal officials, attorneys, and planning boards, containing the complete text of relevant laws, including statutory changes through the date indicated in the preface. The Comprehensive Plan Statutes (Town Law §272-a, Village Law §7-722 and General City Law §28-a) are found in the Guide to Planning and Zoning Laws of New York State.

Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan » (pdf)
A review of the procedures governing public meetings and hearings.

Defining a Community Through the Plan »
Legal memorandum explaining the importance of a municipal comprehensive plan.

Subdivision Lessons »
Legal memorandum summarizing a New York Court of Appeals decision relating two issues: what happens to an approved preliminary subdivision plat after disapproval of the final plat, and whether a majority vote by the planning board to override a county planning authority's recommendation constitutes an action on the subdivision application.

Site Plan Review » (pdf)
Submission requirements, review standards and development considerations. It includes section 274(a) of Town Law, illustrative plan regulations, a sample application and design review methodology.

Conducting Public Meetings and Public Hearings » (pdf)
A review of the procedures governing public meetings and hearings published in cooperation with the Tug Hill Commission.

Alternate Members of County and Local Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals » (pdf)
Legal memorandum providing guidance for the practice of appointing alternates to planning boards and zoning boards of appeals, and the responsibilities of alternates.

Sample Planning Board Decision Document » (pdf)

Committee on Open Government »

Your Right to Know »
This publication provides information about the Freedom of Information Law and the Open Meetings Law.

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Advisory Opinion Index »
Search this database for advisory opinions regarding access to government records. For example, choose “M” for “Minutes, Contents of” to learn more about the required elements for minutes of all public bodies; choose “I” to learn more about access to “Inter-Agency and Intra-Agency” communications, or parts thereof.

Open Meetings Law (OML) Advisory Opinion Index »
Search this database for advisory opinions regarding public meetings. For example, choose “P” to learn more about “Public Participation” at a meeting; choose “E” to learn more about conducting “Executive Sessions.”

Links to Other Resources:

Town of Orchard Park Alternate Member Law » (pdf)

State Environmental Quality Review Act Information »

Town of Union Planning Board Site Plan Review Checklist » (pdf)

Westchester County's The Planning Board »

Westchester County's EIS Primer - A Guide for Reviewing Environmental Imact Statements »

Additional Training Opportunities:

Land Use Training Network Calendar »