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CPTC Webinar Series 2022

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The CPTC 2022 Webinar Series is a series of online workshops offered roughly monthly throughout the year. A list of the workshops is below. Preregistration is required. Registration closes 48 hours before the workshop begins.


None right now. Check back soon or join our mailing list at the bottom of the page to be notified of upcoming workshops.


Zoning Exemptions

  • Date: Wednesday, June 22nd, 5:30 pm
  • Cost: $20
  • Registration: Closed

Section 3 of the Zoning Act provide certain exemptions for agricultural, educational, childcare and religious uses, as well as state and federal lands and uses, from local zoning regulations.  This course explains these exemptions and their purpose; what does it mean to be exempted from zoning requirements; and identifies under which circumstances municipalities can enact and impose zoning regulations. The course will also cover how judicial decisions guide the way this section of the Zoning Act is interpreted.

  • Presenter:
    Jonathan Silverstein, attorney at Blatman, Bobrowski, Haverty & Silverstein, LLC
  • Moderator:
    Bruce Hughes, Senior Planner, Southeast Regional Planning Agency (retired)

Massachusetts Land Conservation Data and Tools:

Landscape-based Ecological Assessments for Open Space Protection and Land Use Planning

The recording of this workshop is available on the video page.

  • Date: Monday June 13th, 6:00pm
  • Cost: free
  • Registration: closed

In Massachusetts, multiple landscape-scale analyses have been conducted to identify areas of high conservation value. These include BioMap, CAPS, Critical Linkages, Nature’s Network, and The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Network. The analyses vary in their objectives, methodologies, and scale of analysis (watershed, ecoregion, statewide, multi-state). In addition, there are data viewers and decision-support tools (MAPPR, MA Wildlife Climate Action Tool) that can be used to access and interpret these analyses. Information from these analyses and tools are particularly useful for the development of Open Space and Recreation Plans, but they are also useful for guiding development away from lands of high ecological value, via master plans, economic development plans, transportation improvement plans, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) plans, bylaws, and zoning. In this workshop, you will learn about landscape-scale assessments, conservation plans, and decision-support tools, the interrelationships among the data sources and tools, how they differ, and their intended uses.

We will also introduce the new Land Conservation Tools website from UMass Extension. It compiles the land conservation information sources and tools, developed by a variety of organizations, that are available to guide the decision making of Massachusetts practitioners. The website also summarizes the resources and organizes them in different ways to help practitioners more easily choose the ones best suited to their conservation work. Associated with the website are two summary outreach materials: a cheat sheet to the tools, and a view of the tools through a climate adaptation lens. Lastly, we will mention MassECAN – A community of practice for climate adaptation practitioners and researchers interested in ecosystem resilience and natural resource conservation in Massachusetts.

  • Presenters:
    Scott Jackson, Extension Professor, UMass Amherst
    Lee Halasz, master’s candidate, UMass Amherst
  • Moderator:
    Michael DiPasquale, Assistant Professor, UMass Amherst

  • Date: Monday, May 23, 222, 6:00 pm
  • Cost: $20
  • Register Registration is closed

Local officials will learn why and how to prepare, adopt, and implement the master or comprehensive plan described in MGL Chapter 41, Section D. The session will identify the sections of a master/comprehensive plan and specific steps by which the plan will be carried out.

  • Presenter:
    • Ralph Wilmer, FAICP
  • Moderator:
    • Katherine Lacy, Mass Housing Partnership
  • Register Registration is closed
  • Date: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 6:00 pm
  • Cost: $20
  • Registration: Register

Overlay zoning is a popular and useful tool allowing municipalities to implement land use policies and strategies with greater flexibility than traditional zoning, without the necessity of amending the underlying zoning. This course illustrates the various types of overlay districts, and explains how they differ from traditional zoning measures and describes the form and contents of an overlay district. Discussion will allow participants to explore the potential pros and cons of overlay vs. traditional zoning.

  • Presenter:
    • Jim Robbins, Westborough Town Planner
  • Moderators:

The recording of this workshop is available on the video page.

  • Date: Monday March 21, 2022 from 6:00-7:00PM
  • Cost: No Charge
  • Registration: Register

The webinar will discuss the legislation’s mandate to create at least one district allowing multifamily development “as of right” in the 175 MBTA Communities which are identified in the statute. This session will provide an overview of the draft guidelines, Technical Assistance available to help communities comply with the requirements and details about how to provide comments. To read the draft guidelines, FAQs and other information check out the MBTA Communities web page.

  • Presenters:
    • Secretary Kennealy, Executive Office of Housing and Community Development
    • Chris Kluchman, Department of Housing and Community Development
    • Clark Ziegler, Massachusetts Housing Partnership
  • Moderators:
    • Maren Toohill, Town Planner Littleton
    • Katy Lacy, Senior Planner, Mass Housing Partnership
  • Date: Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 6:00-7:30PMd
  • Cost: $20
  • Credit: CPTC level 2
  • Registration: Closed

The course will cover the issue of vested rights under zoning and subdivision law, why they exist, and how they affect the work of the Zoning Boards of Appeals and Planning Boards. Participants will learn what the Zoning Act says about vested rights and the way it occurs. This session will answer the question regarding whether nonconforming structures and uses can change and if so, how much. Finally, the course will address how judicial decisions shape the way provisions of the Zoning Act are interpreted today.

  • Presenter: 
    • Ilana Quirk, attorney
  • Moderator: 
    • Maren Toohill, Town Planner Littleton