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ZBA, Rural Planning to be Focus of Workshops

Monticello, NY – How can thoughtful planning and zoning shape vibrant and attractive rural communities? What is a Zoning Board of Appeal’s (ZBA’s) role in this process?

The Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development invites local planning, zoning, and municipal officials as well as interested community members to an upcoming workshop to explore these ideas. Representatives from the Department of State will lead two training sessions on Monday, February 11 from 5-9 p.m. at the Sullivan County International Airport terminal in the Town of Bethel. Light fare will be provided in between sessions for attendees.

“A number of municipalities in Sullivan County are undergoing changes on their planning and zoning boards and have either brand new members or vacancies that need to be filled,” explains District 9 Legislator Alan Sorensen, chair of the Legislature’s Planning Committee. “These trainings are a great opportunity for people who have just joined a board, or who are thinking about joining a planning or zoning board in the future, to get acquainted with the tools and techniques available for improving their community.”

Attendees will receive a certificate of completion for continuing education credits. Planning and zoning board members will receive NYS-required training credits, and code enforcement officers may receive credit for Professional Development Electives. Please RSVP by Friday, February 8 so that your certificate will be available for pick-up at the event.

Pick one or both of these seminars to attend:

  • Zoning Board of Appeals Overview, 5-6:45 p.m. – This introductory course to the Zoning Board of Appeals focuses on the statutory tests boards must follow to grant use and area variances and proper handling of zoning interpretations. Meeting procedures and notice requirements will also be discussed, along with the ZBA’s relationship with enforcement officials and the planning board, and the importance of making good findings.
  • Rural Planning, 7:15-9 p.m. – Rural communities face challenges – both in the form of development and lack of it – that threaten the natural and cultural resources that define their character. This course offers an overview of how comprehensive planning and a variety of land use tools can help preserve rural landscapes and revitalize established village and hamlet centers. Local officials are encouraged to take a proactive approach to meeting such challenges with easy-to-understand and administer zoning regulations, conservation subdivision regulations, the use of conservation easements, and more.

Both are free and open to the public. To reserve a spot or for further information, contact Shannon Cilento at 845-807-0529 or