The Land Use Academy provides practical education for local land use decision makers in Connecticut. Our program focuses on the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to serve effectively on a local land use commission. The Academy is a partnership of UConn CLEAR, the CT Bar Association, and the CT Office of Policy and Management, and has been around (in various forms under various pseudonyms) for over 30 years.
The Basic Training consists of two workshops. Legal Requirements and Procedures, Roles and Responsibilities 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. Fundamentals of Reading Plans helps commissioners to develop plan reading skills including understanding scale, topography, hydrology and stormwater practices. Basic Training is considered by CT OPM to be the official program for land use education for local commissioners.
We offer an all-day Advanced Training covering three topics in-depth: Bias, Predisposition and Conflicts; Implementing and Enforcing Land Use Decisions, and; Running a Meeting and Making the Decision. Over the years these topics have risen to the surface as issues that crop up continually in the life a land use commission member. The workshop is taught by prominent land use attorneys with over 1,000 years (this is an estimate) of experience dealing with local land use issues in Connecticut communities.
The map above shows the number of land use commissioners attending a Land Use Academy session, by town, 2008 – 2012.
Harwinton First Selectman Michael Criss talks about the value of the the Academy.