Basic Training-OLD

The Land Use Academy Basic Training is also now online. It is strongly recommended that any new commission or board members first complete a Basic Training course, such as that provided by the CLEAR Land Use Academy, before pursuing training in other topics of interest.

Legal Requirements & Procedures, Roles & Responsibilities

This class 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. This sessions is interactive using “clickers” and case studies.


Legal Basis for Land Use Regulation, Roles of Commissions, Public Hearing and Timeframes, Important Issues to Consider, Conflicts, Bias and Pre-determination, Running a Meeting, FOI, Ex-Parte Communications, Hypothetical Case Study Review


This training refers to handouts that are typically used in the in-person training (access these handouts). You should download the hypothetical case study, The Town of East Northport, CT, before starting these online training modules.

Fundamentals of Reading Plans

A version of Fundamentals of Reading Plans is now online.

Assists commissioners with developing plan reading skills including understanding scale, topography, hydrology and stormwater. It goes beyond the basics in a way that is understandable and relevant. This session is hands on using plans from real projects. Participants learn to translate what is on the plans to what it will look like on the ground.


  • 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 to plan a hiking trail that contains specific features like crossing streams at a specific elevation, avoiding wetlands, crossing hilltops and hits the high and low point on the property.