Training and Services

A range of services are available to members to help with the unique concerns involved in land use decision making.

Phone Consultation
Staff is available to answer questions from elected officials, city managers, attorneys and zoning administrators. Whether you are in the first stages of land use planning, or think a problem might develop down the road, please call staff for assistance.

Written Assistance
Written materials are available on topics including zoning, sign ordinances, regulating adult uses, tips on land use claims, findings of fact, public hearings, the 60-day rule, and development fees, among others.If you find that materials don't answer all your questions, or create new ones, please contact staff.
Read more about land use written materials

Online Training

  • Land Use Basics: Grasping the Ground Rules
    Cities must consider many perspectives and priorities when making land use decisions, and costly conflicts can occur when cities don’t follow the ground rules. In this course, you will reflect on land use challenges that your city has faced and the consequences that can result when a city oversteps its authority. You’ll consider typical land use situations where you’ll be asked to identify what role the city is playing and determine what information can be considered when making land use decisions. Recognizing your city's role and how much authority it has can help your city avoid expensive lawsuits, minimize controversy, and make land use decisions less confusing.
    Learn more about "Land Use Basics: Grasping the Ground Rules," and register
  • Course LU502—Creating the Ground Rules: Developing Land Use Plans and Laws
    Cities have broad powers to set a community vision and create land use regulations to achieve it. However, cities have different needs and approach planning and land use regulation in different ways. The approach any city takes toward land use planning and regulation is ultimately a policy choice for each city to make. In this course, you will learn about a five-step model to guide your city’s approach to land use planning and how to engage the public throughout the community planning process. You'll also complete activities that will help you develop goals, strategies, and regulations to effectively carry out your community’s vision for the future. Proactive planning and regularly updating laws can minimize controversy and help cities make legally defensible land use decisions.
    Learn more about "Creating the Ground Rules: Developing Land Use Plans and Laws," and register

On-Site Training

  • Beyond the Ground Rules
    This session builds on the web-based training session "Land Use Basics: Grasping the Ground Rules." This presentation discusses land use regulation, from planning and zoning to judicial appeals. Staff covers the most frequent issues encountered by cities, including variances, conditional use permits, the 60-day rule, public hearings, and writing good findings of fact. The 1.5 to 2 hour timeframe of this session allows substantial time for questions and interaction.
  • Just for You: Customized Training
    While the basics are important for everyone, some communities are dealing with specific issues, such as housing, shoreland development, or signage. LMCIT's land use attorneys have expertise in a wide variety of land use issues and can customize a training session to your city.