Solar panels, car plugged in, townhouse, tasting room sign and barn

Master Citizen Planner Advanced Academy

A Virtual Conference

June 8, 9, & 10, 2021 
Renewing Communities:  Energy, Housing and Policy for the Future

The 2021 Advanced Academy will offer attendees a virtual/zoom conference experience covering several emerging topics on renewing Michigan communities. Not simply a single day long webinar with PowerPoints, the 2021 Advanced Academy will offer three one-hour interactive sessions over a three-day period. Academy attendees will also receive links to several one-hour prerecorded sessions to view at their leisure. An added special feature for the 2021 conference will be an exciting Jeopardy game during a Tuesday evening “networking and trivia” hour. Also included will be the popular annual court cases and legislation review. Master Citizen Planners may receive six MCP renewal credits by attending six of the conference sessions. Come and join together (virtually) with local leaders from across the state to share ideas to renew the future of Michigan communities.  (NOTE: There are four prerecorded sessions and three live sessions.  Any combination of live or prerecorded sessions that adds up to six MCP credits will meet the annual MCP credential requirement.) 

Tuesday June 8, 2021 – Planning for Renewable Energy

Live! Planning for Electric Vehicles - Why? When? Who?  11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

This session will unpack how a community can get ready for electric vehicles. From understanding community context, to thinking about trip generation, to knowing how to work with utilities and other related infrastructure providers, this session will provide planners with answers to fundamental questions related to community readiness for electric vehicles. 1 MCP CREDIT

Solar Planning and Zoning (Prerecorded)

Michigan’s solar energy capacity is expanding. This recorded session will examine planning and zoning considerations for urban, suburban, and rural/agricultural solar projects. Did you know that under certain conditions, agricultural land enrolled in the PA 116 program is now available for solar project development? How can solar pollinator habitats and other plantings support agriculture? Attend and learn about these opportunities.   1 MCP CREDIT 

Networking & Trivia Hour – 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Conference attendees are invited to join us for this optional social hour.  Participants will have the opportunity to meet informally with other conference participants and also engage in a spirited game of Jeopardy trivia with bragging rights on the line!

Wednesday June 9, 2021 – Planning and Zoning to support Missing Middle Housing

Live! Missing Middle Housing – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

This live session will build from the information provided in the prerecorded housing session and be presented in the form of a Spartyville hands on exercise. In this interactive session, participants will be given a fact scenario and series of questions around zoning for missing middle housing. Break out groups will discuss the scenario and arrive at a conclusion and plan of action. These groups will report their findings back to the entire audience. Moderators will facilitate a discussion of the various group’s similarities and differences in their approaches.  (Note: Please view the Zoning for Missing Middle housing video before participating in this live session.)  1 MCP CREDIT 

Zoning for Missing Middle Housing (Prerecorded)

Michigan communities are facing obstacles in providing inclusive and attainable/affordable housing options to their residents.  This session will discuss planning and zoning best practices and policy recommendations that support the “missing middle” housing.  Attendees will gain an overview of different housing types, density cap restrictions and removals as well as equitable planning and public engagement when looking to revise and update zoning regulations to meet local economic and society goals. (Note: This recording should be observed before attending the in-person session.)  1 MCP CREDIT 

Thursday June 10, 2021 – Planning for Changing Policy and the Courts

 Live! Right to Farm Act and 2021 Farm Market GAAMP – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

The extent to which zoning is preempted by the Michigan Right to Farm Act is further defined by court decisions and changes to the Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMP).  In this session, participants will learn about the Right to Farm Act and significant changes to the 2021 Farm Market GAAMP. The intersection of zoning and the Farm Market GAAMP often centers on emerging and popular agritourism land uses such as tasting rooms, distilleries, on farm events, lodging, and wedding barns.  1 MCP CREDIT  

Annual Courts and Legislative Update (Prerecorded)

Conference attendees are invited to review annual planning and zoning court decisions and legislative updates to learn about the latest federal/Michigan cases, decisions, and policy changes.  1 MCP CREDIT 

Climate and Health Adaptation Planning for Michigan Communities (Prerecorded)

The climate is changing in Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a new directive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through development and implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan (Executive Order 2020-182). In response a new planning guidebook has been created by MDHHS and MSU to help communities in Michigan develop a climate and health adaptation plan and integrate climate and health concepts into existing initiatives. This session will cover the priority emerging climate issues, guidebook resources and proven techniques communities can use to address climate health concerns. 1 MCP CREDIT

Regular Registration

Registration for Renewing Communities: Energy, Housing and Policy for the Future is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 7, 2021.

There are 77 openings available.

Master Citizen Planner

Registration for Renewing Communities: Energy, Housing and Policy for the Future is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 7, 2021.

There are 77 openings available.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Kara Kelly, Citizen Planner Coordinator, by email at or David S. Rowley, MSU Extension Educator, by email at