For Commissioners

Great Planning Commissions Make Great Communities Happen

APA is every commissioner’s best source for training, tools, and support related to local planning.

Members of community planning commissions, zoning boards of appeals, design review boards, and similar bodies may join APA at a discounted rate and become part of a national network of planners, officials, advocates, and students working to make great communities.

Individuals or Entire Commissions May Join as APA Planning Board Members

Enroll all or part of your commission as APA Planning Board Members and connect to a dynamic community dedicated to good planning. APA offers commissioners tested tools — publications, training, networking opportunities, and other targeted resources — that help their communities anticipate and plan for tomorrow.

Resources for Planning Commissions and Boards

  • Education: Participate in online or on-site training tailored to commissioners’ needs.
  • Publications: The Commissioner, available as an APA member benefit or by subscription for nonmembers, delivers important information about zoning, board management, legal issues, and more.
  • Policy: Get expert guidance from APA’s Policy Guides and Legislative Priorities.
  • Ethics: APA’s statement of Ethical Principles in Planning is the essential guide to principled and proper conduct for everyone who participates in the planning process.

On-Demand Education and Books for Commissioners

  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: New Visions for Community Planning

    See inspiring community planning in action, in a multimedia program for commissioners and the public.
    List
    $60.00
    #9112838
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Planning Commissioner Roles and Responsibilities

    Explore commissioners’ roles and responsibilities in and out of meetings.
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    APA Member
    $68.00
    • Joseph Tovar, FAICP
    • Benjamin Herman, FAICP
    #9108128
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Introduction to the Zoning Board of Adjustment

    Zoning boards work in the public eye. Is your community’s board ready for the spotlight?
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    APA member
    $68.00
    AICP Member
    $60.00
    • James Driscoll
    • Stuart Meck, FAICP
    • Gail Easley
    • Richard Lehmann
    • Karin Franklin
    • Jeri Parish
    • Stephen Sizemore, AICP
    • Dwight Merriam, FAICP
    • James Schwab, FAICP
    • F. Craig Richardson
    #9106982
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Design Review for Officials

    This presentation will help you understand your role in supporting good planning that defines and achieves your community's goals.
    Nonmember
    $60.00
    APA member
    $51.00
    AICP Member
    $45.00
    • Friederike Mittner, AICP
    • Dan Becker
    • Nore Winter
    • Carolyn Torma
    #9106986
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Introduction to the Planning Commission: Part Two

    Learn about plan implementation and how to engage citizens, resolve conflicts, and forge relationships.
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    APA member
    $68.00
    AICP Member
    $60.00
    • Martha Mason Semmes, FAICP
    • Dale Lay
    • Michael Chandler
    #9106977
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: 21st Century Planning Commission

    Planning commissioners help drive the future of their communities. Need help getting up to speed? Turn to this daylong training program from APA’s 2013 National Planning Conference. Part one looks at what planning commissioners do and the ethics of how they do it. Part two maps out vital issues on the planning landscape.
    List Price
    $225.00
    • Benjamin Herman, FAICP
    • Anne McBride, FAICP
    • Robert Mitchell, FAICP
    • W. Shedrick Coleman
    • C. Gregory Dale, FAICP
    • Robert Burchell
    #9105193
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Informed Decisions: A Guide to Gathering Facts and Evidence

    Good decisions are based on strong supporting facts and evidence. Learn to gather the facts efficiently, and learn to organize and document them effectively.
    Nonmember
    $60.00
    APA member
    $51.00
    AICP Member
    $45.00
    • David Theriaque
    • Martha Mason Semmes, FAICP
    • Eric Kelly, FAICP
    • Carolyn Torma
    #9107168
    CM | 1
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Site Plan Review for Officials

    Planning commissioners and officials review projects. But do they always understand how to read the site plan? This helpful session introduces the role officials play in reviewing site plans and guiding the review process.
    List Price
    $60.00
    • Richard Collier, AICP
    #9105153
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    From Soup to Nuts: Paying for Growth

    Does growth pay for itself? Learn to solve the fiscal equation in this informative session. You’ll come away better able to calculate the real cost of growth — and figure out how to pay for it.
    Nonmember
    $25.00
    APA member
    $21.00
    AICP Member
    $19.00
    • Rodger Lentz, AICP
    • L. Carson Bise, AICP
    • Tyson Smith, AICP
    #9106987
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Introduction to the Planning Commission: Part One

    Are you looking for a way to bring new planning commissioners up to speed — fast? After viewing this user-friendly program, commissioners will come away with vital tools for making a great community.
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    APA member
    $68.00
    AICP Member
    $60.00
    • Michael Chandler
    • Peter Pollack
    • Thomas Pelham, FAICP
    • David Ward, AICP
    #9106945
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Ethics for Planning Commissioners

    Examine an ethical framework for planning commissioners, including how they can conduct their meetings — and themselves — in a manner that protects the public trust. Gain a better understanding of commissioner ethics, beyond conflict-of-interest concerns.
    List Price
    $80.00
    • Robert Mitchell, FAICP
    • Jeanne Krikawa
    • Andrew Lane
    • W. Shedrick Coleman
    #9105668
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    Great Plans, Great Communities

    Explore what goes into planning — and what comes out of it — in this visually striking presentation. An eye-opening introduction to planning.
    Nonmember
    $25.00
    APA member
    $21.00
    AICP Member
    $19.00
    • Steven Preston, FAICP
    #9106988
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Managing Productive Planning Commission and Zoning Board Meetings

    During this session, planning commissioners and staff members will gain valuable knowledge related to conducting a productive planning commission or board meeting, including fundamental roles and responsibilities of a planning commissioner and staff, basic ethical considerations, legal requirements, and tips for maintaining order through use of Robert's Rules of Order and other meeting management
    List Price
    $80.00
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    Group Viewing
    $300.00
    APA member
    $68.00
    AICP member
    $60.00
    NPC16 attendee
    $0.00
    • Susan Trevarthen, FAICP
    • Janet Palma, AICP
    #9103810
    CM | 1.25
  • E-book 

    The Board of Adjustment

    by: Gail Easley, David Theriaque
    There are so many things board of adjustment members must consider — and so few sources to guide them. The Board of Adjustment explains them all.
    List Price
    $26.99
    APA member
    $21.59
    APA member sale
    $14.99
  • Book 

    The Planning Commissioners Guide

    New Edition
    by: C. Gregory Dale, FAICP, Benjamin Herman, FAICP, Anne McBride, FAICP
    This step-by-step guidebook gets new planning commissioners off on the right foot and helps experienced commission members navigate their roles.
    List Price
    $29.95
    APA member
    $19.95
    APA member sale
    $13.97
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Creating Successful Meetings

    What's the secret of successful meetings? Master the rules of procedure and open-meetings requirements with this helpful presentation.
    List Price
    $60.00
    Nonmember
    $60.00
    Group viewing
    $200.00
    APA member
    $51.00
    AICP member
    $45.00
    • Nixon Adams
    • Robert Mitchell, FAICP
    • C. Gregory Dale, FAICP
    #3028923
    CM | 1
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Managing Complex Relationships in Planning

    Learn the secrets of managing different personalities in difficult situations. This program is suitable for planning commissioners and planners.
    List Price
    $80.00
    Group viewing
    $300.00
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    APA member
    $68.00
    AICP member
    $60.00
    • Robert Mitchell, FAICP
    • Kathleen Garcia
    • W. Shedrick Coleman
    • Bruce Peshoff
    #3027251
    CM | 1.50
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Open Government and Engaging the Public

    Today, citizens can tap into huge pools of information online. Is the planning commission still the bridge between government and the public?
    List Price
    $60.00
    Nonmember
    $60.00
    Group viewing
    $200.00
    APA member
    $51.00
    AICP member
    $45.00
    • Mark Wheeler
    • Kenneth Bowers, AICP
    • Camille Barchers, AICP
    • Bruce Stiftel, FAICP
    #3028198
    CM | 1.50
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Regulating Controversial Uses

    This presentation examines controversial uses like tattoo parlors, evolving ideas like mixed use, and new uses your community may not have anticipated. Learn to adapt while you sustain community character, accommodate changing needs, and keep your community legal.
    List Price
    $80.00
    Group viewing
    $300.00
    Nonmember
    $80.00
    • Tina Axelrad
    • Patricia Salkin
    #3018440
    CM | 1.50
    L | 0.50
  • American Planning Association
    On-Demand Education 

    On Demand: Staying Out of Court by Avoiding Pitfalls

    The road to planning is paved with legal pitfalls. Don’t let your commissioners and board members trip up. Turn to experts for advice and learn how your community can steer clear of court.
    List Price
    $60.00
    Nonmember
    $60.00
    Group viewing
    $200.00
    APA member
    $51.00
    AICP member
    $45.00
    • Dwight Merriam, FAICP
    • Edward Sullivan
    • Anna Stadnyk
    • Eric Kelly, FAICP
    #3021814
    CM | 1