Texas Citizen Planner: Planning Foundations
- Date of Publication
- July 7, 2021
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Texas Citizen PlannerThe Texas Citizen Planner program is for community stakeholders and local officials who want to understand how community planning works and how it shapes development, not for professional planners. The program starts with this 4-unit Planning Foundations course and continues with Community Planning for Hazards. Each unit includes reading materials, case studies, and engaging instruction from planning leaders, practitioners, and researchers. If you want to enroll in both courses, there is a bundle option at a discounted price. This is a non-credit series leading to a 'Citizen Planner' certificate of completion awarded by the Texas Community Watershed Partners, a program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Course materials and online resources will be made available through this site. Upon program completion, students join a network of local officials who are committed to making Texas communities better, safer, more vibrant places to live and work through sound planning practices. Planning FoundationsUnit 1: Introduction to Community PlanningInstructor: Shannon Van Zandt, Ph. D., AICPHow do communities and local officials use the planning powers of local government to improve neighborhoods, promote economic development, preserve open space, and protect public safety? Development and placemaking issues concerning sprawl, smart growth, and new urbanism will be covered through an exploration of the planning process to help local officials better understand their planning options and impacts. Unit 2: Legal Foundations of Community PlanningInstructor: Matthew J. Festa, JDWe will take a look at Texas law and the United States Constitution covering the legal basis and limits of municipal planning powers. The unit will also cover definitive court cases and enabling statutes that outline local planning authority, including issues related to takings, eminent domain, and due process. Unit 3: Building Communities: From Vision to PolicyInstructor: Matt Lewis, CNU-AThe comprehensive plan, public participation, zoning and other major policy tools are available to municipalities. These tools form the backbone for how communities shape where and how development happens, promote the efficient use of municipal services, and protect public health and safety. Unit 4: Planning for Community ResilienceInstructor: Jaimie Hicks Masterson, AICP, LEED GAThe costs of natural hazards are often made worse by poor planning decisions. Review current environmental and development trends that are driving the need for hazard mitigation planning, and learn about the planning and development practices that can make communities better prepared and more resilient to flooding and storm surge.
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