Land-use webinar to focus on planning commissions in Pennsylvania

October 08, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Recommendations and requirements for planning commissions will be the subject of a web-based seminar hosted by Penn State Extension at noon on Oct. 21.

The 75-minute session will provide information on membership requirements for planning commission members under the Municipalities Planning Code, as well as the powers and duties that members have a role in. It  also will address items to consider when recruiting, training and retaining board members.

The webinar will provide 1.25 certification-maintenance credits for eligible American Institute of Certified Planners members, and will be presented by Neal Fogle, extension educator, Denny Puko, former Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development planner, and Raymond Stolinas, director of the Centre County Department of Planning and Community Development. 

Planning commissions face common problems in carrying out their duties, Puko noted, including uncertainty about their roles, lacking knowledge, becoming a hurdle in municipal affairs, or being disconnected with or at odds with elected governing bodies. 

“We’ll talk about this in the webinar,” he said, "because it is important to effectively match the work of planning commissions to the individual capabilities of commission members and the municipality they serve.”

This webinar provides ideas for focusing planning commission work on a comprehensive plan and its implementation, according to Stolinas.

“It’s crucial that members get training, adopt a value-adding mindset and establish a working relationship with the governing body,” he said.

“Planning Commissions in Pennsylvania: Requirements and Recommendations” is the fourth webinar in the Penn State Extension Summer/Fall 2020 Land Use webinar series that runs through November. The series helps to inform municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers and community organizations about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

All webinars in the series are recorded and are available for viewing later. Other topics and dates in the webinar series include:

— July 15: “Pedestrians: Safety, Speed and Crosswalks”

— Aug. 19: ‘The Future of Zoning: The View from the COVID-19 Lens”

— Sept. 16: “Farmers Markets Before, During and After COVID-19”

— Nov. 18: “Changing Consumer Food Sourcing in the COVID-19 Pandemic”

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits. 

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at To register for the webinars, visit the website.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 08, 2020