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Michigan State University (MSU) Extension offers a land use planning and zoning training program called Citizen Planner. The program is a non-credit course series leading to a certificate of completion awarded by MSU Extension with participants having the option to earn the Master Citizen Planner (MCP) credential. MCPs are required to earn six hours of continuing education annually to maintain their credential. The MCP Webinar Series is one source for that continuing education.

Use the registration button below to register for one or more previously recorded MCP webinar from December 2013 to present. Topics include:

  • Strategic Planning, Smart Growth, and the Vision Statement - Strategic planning using Smart Growth principles begins with a vision statement. This webinar explains how the vision statement guides Smart Growth, strategic planning, municipal budgeting, and regional collaborations. A vision statement is a must for all communities because it maintains community character and guides future development and reinvestment decisions. This webinar provides an in-depth understanding of housing, buildout, land use, and transportation analyses. Understanding these analyses will assist with understanding your community’s current conditions and realities, and identifying opportunities for the improvement, expansion or redevelopment of commercial, residential, mixed-use development, and recreational land uses. Instructor: Crystal Wilson, MSU Extension educator. Recorded February 15, 2018
  • Land Use Legislative and Case Law Recap for 2017 - Local government planning and zoning responsibilities and limitations are ever-changing. Learn about major legislation and case law that has come to influence your community’s planning and zoning program during 2017. What you don’t know can still land you in court! Instructor: Brad Neumann, AICP, MSU senior Extension educator. Recorded December 21, 2017
  • Understanding and Planning for the Shared Economy - The Sharing Economy, characterized by the sharing and reuse of excess goods and services, has spawned opportunities for leveraging assets and fostering business ventures, thus leading to a new wave of entrepreneurs in the 21st century. As a result, ventures, such as ridesharing, shared housing, and other shared services are moving communities to rethink (and redesign) policies and plans. This webinar addresses a number of Sharing Economy business models that have empowered entrepreneurship and discusses a number of policies communities can take to foster this growing trend. Industries, such as travel and tourism, are used as examples. Instructor: Andy Northrop, MSU Extension educator. Recorded October 19, 2017
  • Real Estate Law for Planning Commissioners - Local land use decision-makers often interact with real estate attorneys who represent development project participants and handle the legal issues involved. This webinar demystifies the legal lingo you hear and helps you review development proposals with a better understanding of real estate law, including due diligence, ownership structures, leases, easements, private land use controls, and project financing. Instructor: Wendy Walker, MSU Extension educator. Recorded August 17, 2017
  • Tools, Tips, and Techniques for local government success in the New Economy - Many people have heard of the New Economy or global economy, but what are local governments doing to prepare for it? Now is the time for communities in Michigan to assess their planning, zoning, and local practices to support the ways many businesses think, act, and remain competitive in this new world. This webinar provides best practices, checklists, and guides to assist urban, rural, and suburban communities to prepare for success in the New Economy. Instructor: Crystal Wilson, MSU Extension educator. Recorded June 15, 2017
  • Writing Parks and Recreation Plans - Learn the steps and best practices for developing a 5-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan in this webinar. Examples of how to develop maintenance and management plans for three different park environments are also provided. Park plans for a preserve, a Trailway, and an urban park are explored and evaluated for different content. Learn from this webinar so you won’t make mistakes when you write your plans! Instructor: Ingrid Ault, MSU Extension educator. Recorded April 20, 2017
  • Is there such a thing as rural placemaking? - You’ve likely heard the term Placemaking – creating quality places where people want to live, work, play and visit. Much of the discussion is around urban placemaking, but what about rural areas? Learn about how placemaking concepts and practices can apply to rural Michigan townships. Instructor: Dean Solomon, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Feb. 16, 2017
  • Regionalism: Moving Park Development Beyond Traditional Boundaries - Learn how to collaborate with neighboring communities and likeminded partners on park development and recreational opportunities. This webinar provides current successful examples of partnerships resulting in new park development and programming made possible with the help of several partners' efforts. Instructor: Ingrid Ault, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Dec. 15, 2016
  • Selecting a Planning Consultant, Municipal Attorney, and More - When contracting with professional services (a planner, attorney, zoning administrator, etc.) seeking the low bid is not the best way to go. The preferred competitive selection process is “Qualifications-Based Selection” (QBS). This webinar walks through QBS, research results as to why it is better, and the steps of how it is done. Instructor: Kurt Schindler, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Oct. 20, 2016
  • Planning for Tourism - The US remains in the top five globally for international tourism arrivals for the second year in a row. In 2014, Michigan received approximately 113 million visitors. Counties and communities are interested in capturing dollars via Michigan’s tourism industry, but many aren’t quite sure where to begin. This session looks at demographic trends in travel and tourism niche markets. The session also explores tourism area life cycle models communities should be aware of as they plan for tourism. Instructor: Andy Northrop, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Aug. 18, 2016
  • Primer on Regulating Signs after Reed v. Gilbert - In June of 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that regulations that categorize signs based on the type of information they convey and then apply different standards to each category are content-based regulations of speech that are not allowed under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In this webinar, participants will learn the fundamentals for keeping sign regulation content neutral. Instructor: Brad Neumann, AICP, MSU Extension educator. Recorded June 16, 2016
  • Multi-Modal Transportation for Attracting Talent and Jobs - Streets are for more than just cars. From bikes to bus rapid transit, this webinar will discuss how to design streets for multi-modal transportation options designed to create 'Place' and attract target demographics such as knowledge workers and retiring boomers. Instructor: Glenn Pape, CNU-A, MSU Extension educator. Recorded April 21, 2016
  • Streamlining your Zoning Ordinance - This webinar will provide some brief tips for streamlining your zoning ordinance using clear and non-redundant ordinance organization, effective use of charts and illustrations, and technology tools to improve access and navigability. Instructor: Dean Solomon, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Feb. 18, 2016
  • Creating Retail Streets - This webinar reviews best practices for creating successful retail streets. Participants will learn tools and techniques for creating successful retail environments that increase property values and create place. Instructor: Glenn Pape, CNU-A, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Dec. 17, 2015
  • New and Innovative Techniques in Park and Recreation Development Improvements - Participants will learn about cutting edge recreational advancements and new funding options, including the use of ‘crowdfunding’ for park development. Instructor: Ingrid Ault, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Oct. 15, 2015
  • Restrictions on Zoning Authority: Wireless Communication Facilities - In 2012, Congress passed a law that says "A state or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station." In late 2014, the Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling that interprets the many ambiguities found in Congress's action. This webinar is a summary of the FCC's 155-page ruling. Instructor: Kurt Schindler, AICP, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Aug. 20, 2015
  • Update on Planning and Zoning for Urban Agriculture - With the increased interest in local foods over the years and the changes to the Site Selection GAAMPs in 2014, more communities are planning and zoning for urban livestock specifically and urban agriculture in general. Learn about the legal framework, forthcoming recommendations from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and resources for supporting a flourishing community food system. Instructor: Brad Neumann, AICP, MSU Extension educator. Recorded April 16, 2015
  • Can Local Governments Regulate Oil and Gas Development? - Oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing is controversial in Michigan and throughout the nation. During this webinar, learn about Michigan laws and regulations, and restrictions on local government's authority to regulate this land use. Instructor: Dean Solomon, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Feb. 19, 2015
  • Complete Streets Update - Complete streets are roadways planned, designed, and constructed to provide appropriate access to all legal users...whether by car, truck, transit, assistive device, foot or bicycle. The concept of complete streets has officially been on the radar of local governments and transportation agencies in Michigan since 2010, when communities were given new planning and coordination responsibilities related to multimodal transportation planning. Since then, design guidance has improved and additional research into the benefits of complete streets has emerged. Learn about some of the latest research on complete streets, engineering/design guidelines that your transportation authority should be aware of, and examples of progress made by communities around the state. Instructor: Brad Neumann, AICP, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Dec. 18, 2014
  • Tactical Placemaking - Tactical Placemaking is the process of creating or activating quality places that uses a deliberate approach to change. It begins with short term commitment and realistic expectations that can start quickly. It targets public spaces such as streets and plazas and is low risk. It is designed to be an ongoing process in neighborhoods and commercial districts. Over time Tactical Placemaking can transform an area into a high quality place that is attractive and welcoming to people. This webinar will cover the basics of place and explore proven tools to implement Tactical Placemaking in your community. Instructor: Glenn Pape, CNU-A, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Oct. 16, 2014
  • Introduction to Shoreline Zoning - Michigan is blessed with outstanding inland lakes that are highly valued for their recreational and scenic qualities. Lake shorelines are also great places to live, but are under pressure from new residential development and conversion from seasonal to year-round uses. Protecting inland lake shorelines is vital to economic development and environmental protection. During this webinar, you will learn basic concepts on how to assess the situation on lakes in your area, and practical zoning options for shoreline setbacks, buffer strips, shoreline erosion control, lot area coverage and site plan review. Instructor: Dean Solomon, MSU Extension senior educator. Recorded Aug. 21, 2014
  • Capital Improvement Plans - This webinar will provide an overview of developing a Capital Improvement Program (CIP). A CIP is an important component of implementing a community’s plan. All local units of government (except townships that do not own or operate a water supply or sewage disposal system) are required to prepare and update a CIP each year. This session will emphasize the role the planning commission has in the process. Instructor: Julie Pioch, PRP, MSU Extension educator. Recorded April 17, 2014
  • Changing Preferences in Housing and Community Attributes - Market preference data is an important tool when planning your community. According to the recently released National Association of REALTORS® 2013 Community Preference Survey, 60 percent of respondents favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses, stores and other businesses that are within walking distance, rather than neighborhoods that require driving between home, work, and recreation. There are signs of change on the margins, as younger and better-educated Americans show more affinity for compact, mixed use developments over more conventional suburban communities. This webinar will discuss the results of the 2013 survey as well as other recently released reports looking at preferences among various demographic groups. The results of this research should help communities take an active role in retaining and attracting talent. Instructor: Glenn Pape, CNU-A, MSU Extension educator. Recorded Dec. 13, 2013

The cost to view each webinar is $10. Each webinar is approximately one hour and will count as one hour of continuing education for MCPs.

Upon registering and receiving the required enrollment key, use the instructions to access the MCP recordings on the eXtension Campus website.


Please click the button below to register.

Registration for MCP Webinar Recordings is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on July 7, 2018.


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 Brad Neumann, AICP, MSU Extension educator, at