Don’t Go to Bed Angry! Have a Better Planning Commission Meeting

What You'll Learn

  • Prepare for a successful planning commission meeting
  • Identify best practices for communicating your position on contentious topics
  • Improve public-hearing presentations and staff reports
  • Enhance working relationships with the commission chair and other members
  • Identify the role of the supervisor before, during, and after the meeting
  • Garner tips for responding to negative comments during the meeting and on social media

More Course Details

The planning commission is one of the most important boards that a municipal planner works with. Many planners appear in front of the commission several times a month for public hearings, zoning recommendations, development case presentations, and other planning activities. Planners also present long-range initiatives such as drafting the land use plan and updating the zoning code. Effective collaboration and communication with the commission is critical to having a successful meeting. What does a successful meeting look like to you?

While the relationship between the planning commission and planner is critical, many planners do not receive any formal training on or assistance with fostering and growing this relationship and communicating effectively with commissioners. For most planners, it is all trial and error. For many, this can lead to sleepless nights after a planning commission meeting goes off track.  

This course is focused on helping planners cultivate relationships with planning commissions, with better meetings an intended result. Learn tips for communicating with your planning commission, best practices for preparing for controversial meetings, and suggestions on when, whether, or how your supervisor can assist. Prepare to handle situations in which elected officials pull you in multiple directions. Understand when and how to respond and when and what to let go. Learn how to articulate your position and explain planning processes. Recognize that how you react (or don't react) to negativity will affect not only the outcome of the case but also the pressure and stress you experience.