Land Use Training and Education Program

Beyond the Basics of Planning & Zoning: Variances and More!

When and Where:

  • Thursday, July 6 - St. Paul, The League of MN Cities, 145 University Ave. W.
  • Monday, July 17 - Owatonna, Owatonna Public Utilities Building, 208 Walnut Ave S.
  • Thursday, July 20 - Little Falls, Initiative Foundation, 405 1st St. SE

Time: All sessions will be held from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Check-in begins at 8:30 am)

Fee: $150 (includes lunch and materials)

Participants learn how planning and zoning tools are used to deal with a wide variety of development issues influencing a community's built environment. The complexities of variances are a major focus. Presenters cover the what, when, and why (complete with "how-tos" and "how-not-tos") with numerous examples and case studies.

  • Quick review: History of planning, comprehensive planning, zoning tools, and public health
  • Innovative ways to guide land use and development, from PUDs and performance zoning to design guidelines and "cutting edge" applications
  • Sustainability-what it is and how to apply sustainable principles to planning and zoning
  • The environmental review process-EAWs, EISs, and AUARDs: tools to expedite careful review of complex projects
  • Detailed discussion of zoning tools to handle various development, health, and social issues
  • Legal issues more in depth: How to implement the comprehensive plan via zoning and subdivision ordinances? What to require for variances? When to grant conditional uses? When to use interim use permits? How to treat nonconforming uses? When to require easements?
  • Case studies-actual urban, suburban and rural situations
  • Answers to your questions on community zoning issues

Audience: Those who have a solid general knowledge of the planning process (1-2 years on the council, board or zoning/planning commission).



Phil Carlson has consulted on planning issues for over 35 years with the St. Paul firm Stantec (formerly Bonestroo and DSU). He has helped prepare comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, corridor studies, brownfield redevelopment plans and zoning ordinances for numerous communities in the region, including Burnsville, Blaine, Vadnais Heights, St. Cloud, Alexandria, Baxter, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Minot, North Dakota and Marshalltown, Iowa. He prepared some of the region's first form-based codes, including Burnsville's Heart of the City and West St. Paul's Robert Street corridor. He is frequently called as an expert witness in planning and zoning cases.

Kori Land is a shareholder at LeVander, Gillen & Miller, located in South St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the City Attorney for the cities of West St. Paul, South St. Paul, Cottage Grove and Randolph. Ms. Land is the Chair of her Firm's Municipal Practice Group, a past president of the Minnesota City Attorneys' Association and a frequent speaker for newly elected officials and land use training seminars.

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