2019 Conference Workshops

Early Morning Sessions, 9:15 am - 10:45 am

1. Roles and Responsibilities of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals, Part 1

Credits - MIIA, Certificate 1

Join us if you are a new Planning Board or ZBA member, building inspector or planner, or even if you are a veteran and want a refresher course on the topics. For new members this program will launch you into your role as a local official and provide an overview of the functions of the boards, statutory requirements, and the main tools of planning, zoning, and subdivision review.

Speaker: Bob Mitchell, FAICP, Planning Consultant; Bob Ritchie, Attorney

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2. Site Plan Review

Credits - MIIA, AICP

The Zoning Act does not contain any provisions for the review of site plans; however, the process can be a very effective tool for planners and boards to review the details, aesthetics, and impacts of a poten¬tial project. This course explains the difference between site plan approval and special permits, the review process, the types of conditions that can be imposed on a decision, reasons for disapproval, the appeal process, and the types of information a town can require to be shown on a site plan.

Speaker: Pam Brown, Attorney, FAICP, Brown & Brown, P.C.

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3. Designing for Healthy Communities: Public Health and Planning

Credits - AICP

This workshop will help planners connect their work to public health in concrete ways through healthy community design principles. Municipal and regional policies, regulations, and programs all offer opportunities to create the conditions people need for health, including access to opportunities for physical activity and healthy food. Topics will include both the statewide perspective and local perspective. Speakers will introduce participants to the Healthy Community Design Toolkit, a resource that provides background on why and how to integrate planning and public health, including many specific leverage points and strategies to create health through local community design, planning, and development.

Speaker: Jessica del Rosario, Director of Community Initiatives, Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Cassandra Andersen, Chief of Community Health, Division of Public Health, City of Worcester

Moderator: Maren A. Toohill, AICP, Town Planner, Town of Littleton, CPTC Board member

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4. Overcoming Common Objections During Planning Processes

Credits - AICP

Despite the variety of cities and towns in the Commonwealth, residents across the state tend to raise similar concerns when deciding on a zoning change or proposed development. “The traffic would be terrible!” “Our schools are already at capacity.” “We must maintain the character of the community.” Sometimes these are valid concerns that require a technical solution. Other times these concerns connote deeper reservations that must be identified, unpacked, and resolved. And sometimes they are just excuses used to prevent change at all cost. It’s important to remember that the nature of these concerns is fluid, that the people who make them, and the issues themselves, change and therefore can be influenced. To that end the Metropolitan Area Planning Council has identified the most common of these objections and is in the process of developing strategies to overcome them. In this session we will share what we’ve learned so far and ask you to use your experience and expertise to build on and improve our strategies.

Speaker: Emily Torres-Cullinane, Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives, Metropolitan Area Planning Council; Ben Faust, Senior Policy Analyst, Metropolitan Area Planning Council; Jenny Raitt, Planning and Community Development Director, Town of Arlington

Moderator: Ralph Willmer, FAICP, Technical Assistance Program Manager and Principal Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, CPTC Chair

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5. Open Space and Low Impact Development – Are Your Bylaws Cutting Edge or Behind the Curve?

Credits - AICP

Many communities have Cluster, Major Residential Development, Open Space Design, or Natural Resource Protection Zoning, and/or Low Impact Development bylaws or regulations. But the details often vary considerably. Do your rules reflect current best practices? Are they clear and understandable? Are you getting the best possible results for your community, creating attractive, environmentally sensitive designs, and meaningful open space protection? This workshop samples effective rules and regulations, including recent comprehensive overhaul of Framingham’s ordinances and examples of recently adopted OSRD/NRPZ bylaws.

Speaker: Amanda Loomis, AICP, Planning Board Administrator, City of Framingham; Jeff Lacy, AICP, Planning Consultant, Rural Planning Associates; Kurt Gaertner, Director of Land Policy and Planning, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Moderator: : E. Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy, Mass Audubon

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6. Housing Guidance for Municipalities: Chapter 40B, Local Initiative Program (LIP), and Local Action Units (LAUs)

Credits - MIIA, AICP

This session will provide a detailed overview of M.G.L. c. 40B, §§20-23, the Comprehensive Permit Law. In addition to covering the role and responsibilities of the Zoning Board of Appeals, this session will consider how other city/town boards, commissions, and staff can help the ZBA during the permitting process and ensure that communities get the best possible Chapter 40B developments. Planning for housing production and preservation will be considered as well, including zoning and other non-40B strategies to increase the supply of affordable units on the Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).

Speaker: Judi Barrett, Principal, Barrett Planning Group LLC

Moderator: Katharine Lacy, AICP, Senior Project Manager, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, CPTC Board member

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Late Morning Sessions, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

7. Roles and Responsibilities of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals, Part 2

Credits - MIIA, Certificate 1

Part 2 of this important and popular topic will be a discussion of the three legs of “Good Government.” It will focus on the Open Meeting, Public Records, and Conflict of Interest Laws.

Speaker: Bob Mitchell, FAICP, Planning Consultant; Bob Ritchie, Attorney

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8. Special Permits and Variances

Credits - MIIA, Certificate 2

Are you clear about the difference in purpose and process between Special Permits and variances? Learn about the key issues and complex criteria for making sound decisions. The session discusses important procedural requirements necessary to avoid constructive approval and the importance of meeting timelines.

Speaker: Ilana Quirk, Esq., Freeman Law Group LLC

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9. What can your Regional Planning Agency do for you?

Credits - AICP

Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) can provide a variety of services that benefit cities and towns. They can support municipalities that lack staff capacity or provide expertise to conduct studies, prepare plans, procure goods and services, and research future demographic trends. In this session, you will learn about the services provided by RPAs and how to arrange for their assistance.

Speaker: Ralph Willmer, FAICP, Technical Assistance Program Manager and Principal Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, CPTC Chair; Peggy Sloan, Director of Planning and Development, Franklin Regional Council of Governments; Janet A. Pierce, Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

Moderator: Alan Pease, Town of Ashby Planning Board, CPTC Treasurer

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10. Now, what EXACTly are you asking for? Imposing Mitigations

Credits - AICP

This session will explore the dos and don’ts and maybe’s of imposing exactions or mitigation requirements on developers. It will review judicial decisions and case studies, and provide an interactive workshop as session leaders offer some “what exactly are you asking for?” exaction scenarios for participants to discuss.

Speaker: Barbara J. Saint André, Director, Community and Economic Development, Town of Medway; Judi Barrett, Principal, Barrett Planning Group LLC

Moderator: Michael DiPasquale, AICP AIA, Extension Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

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11. Risks, Liabilities, and Opportunities: Resources for Municipal Climate Resilience

Credits - AICP

Increasingly intense storms, more frequent droughts, heat waves and other climate impacts present risks to local infrastructure, property, and public health. Good planning and updated land use regulations can help reduce vulnerabilities and avoid potential liability. Learn about the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and other resources, tools, case studies and state grants that can help your community become more resilient with many co-benefits for your community’s bottom line and quality of life.

Speaker: Deanna Moran, Director, Environmental Planning, CLF Massachusetts Kurt Gaertner, Director of Land Policy and Planning, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Moderator: E. Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy, Mass Audubon

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12. Hiring Private Planning Consultants & Preparing RFPs

Credits - AICP

Planning directors and planning board representatives will learn the nuts and bolts and tips on how to write an RFP for professional services that complies with Ch. 30B regulations, accurately represents what services and deliverables are desired, and attracts responsive and high-quality proposals. Example topics include: RFP outline; key Chapter 30B rules; matching available budget and scope of services; guidance on how much time to give for a response to RFP; interviews as part of the selection process, pros and cons; who is on the interview panel; and what NO prospective respondent wants to see in an RFP. (This Session is presented by the Massachusetts Association of Consulting Planners)

Speaker: Kathleen McCabe, AICP, EDP, Principal and Founder, McCabe Enterprises; Anne McKinnon, AICP, Planner, Jacobs Engineering Group; Leonardi Aray, AIA, Managing Principal, Leonardi Aray Architects LLC

Moderator: Bruce Hughes, Old Colony Planning Council, CPTC Board member

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Lunch, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Networking – Speaker: Chris Kluchman, FAICP, Director, Housing Choice Program

Afternoon Sessions, 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

13.Writing Reasonable and Defensible Decisions

Credits - MIIA, Certificate 1

This session covers some key points that will assist boards in writing clear and defen¬sible decisions. It describes criteria that should be contained in local zoning regulations and how these regulations relate to the types of conditions a board may impose when approving a special permit or variance application.

Speaker: Carolyn M. Murray, Attorney, KP Law

Moderator: Alan Pease, Town of Ashby Planning Board, CPTC Treasurer

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14. Zoning Exemptions

Credits - MIIA, Certificate 2

The Zoning Act provides certain exemptions for agricultural, educational, childcare, and religious uses. Certain state and federal land and uses are also exempted from local zoning regulations. This session explains these exemptions, and the circumstances under which municipalities can enact and impose regulations.

Speaker: Adam J. Costa, Attorney, Mead, Talerman & Costa, LLC.

Moderator: Bruce Hughes, Old Colony Planning Council, CPTC Board member

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15. One City’s Experience with Recreational Marijuana

Credits - AICP

As new recreational marijuana sales facilities receive approval, the host communities have had differing experiences with the process from application to permitting to the impacts of the facility’s opening. Hear from two municipal officials who were involved with the new Alternative Therapies Group proposal to open a retail facility in Salem.

Speaker: Erin Schaeffer, Principal Planner, Town of Danvers; Vickie Caldwell, Esq., Assistant City Solicitor, City of Salem

Moderator: Ralph Willmer, FAICP, Technical Assistance Program Manager and Principal Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, CPTC Chair

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16. An Introduction to Historic Preservation Planning

Credits - AICP

Planning takes years, demolitions take hours. Local preservation planning efforts can make a big difference in maintaining community character and saving historic resources from demolition. Yet, these pro-active efforts do take time to accomplish. This session will cover the basic step-by-step process of historic preservation planning covering a variety of tools used successfully throughout the cities and towns of Massachusetts.

Speaker: Christopher C. Skelly, Director of Local Government Programs, Massachusetts Historical Commission

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17. Tools to Visualize Your Community’s Future and Make It a Reality

Credits - AICP

What will your community look like in 40 years? How will you meet the needs of diverse demographics while protecting water and other critical resources? This workshop will demonstrate the use of several powerful data tools that easily generate maps, graphs, and charts customized to your local needs. It includes a 2060 land futures scenario explorer; DataTown, with community-level information for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns; a Housing Toolbox with resources to help communities increase their supply of affordable housing; MassBuilds, a database of development projects statewide; and DataCommon, with MAPC’s most requested data.

Speaker: E. Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy, Mass Audubon, Shaping the Future of Your Community Program; Callie Clark and Tom Hopper, Co-Directors, Center for Housing Data, Massachusetts Housing Partnership; Sarah Philbrick, Socioeconomic Analyst II, North Suburban Planning Council Coordinator, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

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18.Writing Village Center Bylaws

Credits - MIIA, AICP

Village Centers rely on historic development pat¬terns to grow in a consistent and visually appeal¬ing manner. Writing a Village Center Bylaw is to move on a path towards forming a more vibrant, mixed-use, and walkable community. This work¬shop will walk you through the process, the ben¬efits, and show you successful efforts.

Speaker: Judi Barrett, Barrett Planning LLC; Maren A. Toohill, Town Planner, Town of Littleton, CPTC Board member

Moderator: Katharine Lacy, AICP, Senior Project Manager, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, CPTC Board member

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