The Northwest Hills Council of Governments

Feb. 23 & March 7th training sessions for planning, zoning, wetlands, and conservation commission members

We are excited to welcome Bruce Hyde from the “CLEAR Land Use Academy” back to offer two training sessions for planning, zoning, wetlands, and conservation commission members on Thursday, February 23rd and Tuesday, March 7th. Details of the sessions are below and will be held from 6:30-8pm here at the NHCOG office in Goshen. These sessions are intended for both new commissioners and experienced commission members who just want a refresher.

Legal Requirements & Procedures in Land Use Decision Making: Thursday, February 23, 20176:30-8pm

This session provides a basic understanding of legal principals and procedures that must be adhered to so that legal challenges to decisions or other actions are minimized. Gives land use commissioners an overview of the source of their authority, their role in relation to other land use commissions, current land use issues they should consider, and their responsibility to be fair and unbiased in their decision making, including:

·      Statutes governing land use

·      Types of power

·      Roles of land use commissions

·      Conflicts of interest

·      Bias and predetermination

·      Freedom of Information Act

·      Procedures for running a meeting and making a decision

·      Public hearing requirements and timeframes to act

·      Ex parte communications

·      Case examples

Basics of Reading Site Plans: Tuesday, March 7, 20176:30-8pm

This session will assist commissioners to develop basic plan reading skills including understanding scale, topography, hydrology and stormwater. This workshop goes beyond the basics in a way that is understandable and relevant. It will include:

·      Review of the difference between a plan and a map.

·      Review of basic map reading techniques-wetlands, legends, scale, topography, water flow, etc.

·      Hands on exercise: the participants will use the skills learned in the beginning of the session

Locations for both sessions will be the NHCOG office in Goshen -59 Torrington Road: easy to find, lots of parking.

These sessions will be led (like last year) by: Bruce Hyde, Land Use Educator/Land Use Academy Director, Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), University of Connecticut

 Bruce is primarily responsible for coordinating the Land Use Academy which provides training for local land use commissioners. In addition, he provides technical assistance to communities in a variety of areas including affordable housing, climate change adaptation and community outreach. Mr. Hyde is an AICP certified planner with over 30 years experience as a regional and municipal planning and community development director, zoning enforcement officer and planning consultant in Vermont and Connecticut.

Please RSVP today by emailing Jocelyn (jayer@northwesthillscog.org) or calling 860-491-9884!