2024 Municipal Bootcamp Trainings
Hancock Estabrook and MRB Group are offering a free annual training program to assist local governments, municipal officials, and planning and zoning boards.
The program will include 10 hours of remote training designed to provide a comprehensive education that encompasses all aspects of municipal governance. Each program in the series will be provided remotely on the fourth Thursday of each month with subject matter experts from MRB Group and knowledgeable attorneys from Hancock Estabrook, LLP. Topics will be lively, useful and – potentially as important – qualify for the education requirements for members of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals.
2024 Municipal Bootcamp Program
Thursday, February 22, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 2: PLANNING BOARD BASICS: ROLES OF THE PLANNING BOARD IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
What triggers a public hearing? When do I need site plan approval? There are so many nuts and bolts to planning boards’ roles and responsibilities. In your time on the board, you’ll see a wide variety of projects, and be asked to take action in lots of different ways. This session focuses on the basics of the board’s role in the development process, and what you might expect when you take your seat.
Thursday, March 28, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 3: ZONING BOARD BASICS: ROLES OF THE ZONING BOARD IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Area variances vs. use variances. Statutory tests. Public Hearings. There are so many nuts and bolts to zoning boards’ roles and responsibilities. In your time on the board, you’ll see a wide variety of projects, and be asked to take action in lots of different ways. This session focuses on the basics of the board’s role in the development process, and what you might expect when you take your seat.
Thursday, April 25, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 4: ENVIRONMENTALLY SPEAKING – THE NUTS & BOLTS OF SEQR
New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act impacts nearly every decision you’ll face as a community development player. Getting SEQR right is critical to addressing development projects—whether you’re working to advance a development, or to stop one that doesn’t align with your community’s values. This session will focus on the processes associated with SEQR review, and on what to do when you’re faced with challenging SEQR questions.
Thursday, May 23, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 5: A HISTORY LESSON – CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES WITH HISTORIC PROPERTIES
New York State is home to some of the most intriguing historical properties in the U.S. Communities see these as tremendous assets with respect to placemaking and culture-based economic development. This session will focus on helping local development officials capture the economic opportunity inherent in these properties, and navigate the code related and other challenges with restoration and preservation.
Thursday, June 27, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 6: PUTTING THE HOME IN HOMETOWN – STRATEGIES FOR ATTRACTING HOUSING INVESTMENT TO YOUR COMMUNITY
The U.S. is in the depth of a significant crisis relating to housing. The short answer is that supply is lacking, driving up prices and putting some community members on or beyond the brink of safe, affordable housing. This session will focus on regulatory and other tools that communities can use to address housing shortages and enhance affordability.
Thursday, July 25, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 7: FROM BIG TO SMALL – TRANSLATING COMPREHENSIVE PLANS INTO LAND USE REGULATION
Comprehensive plans are amazing tools to facilitate development of a community vision and charting a road map toward realizing your priorities. But how do you translate these big picture concepts into actionable projects and regulatory frameworks? This session will offer guidance on development of comprehensive plans and transitioning from big picture to action items – including regulatory reform.
Thursday, September 26, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 8: UNDER THE TENT – OPEN MEETINGS, RECORD KEEPING, AND ENGAGING THE PUBLIC IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Transparency and engagement are universal topics of consideration in local government, and particularly in the planning and zoning world. What are your obligations as a board member relative to public participation, and creating a strong public record? How do we ensure effective engagement by our residents in the planning process? This session will focus on the legal and best practice considerations for transparency and inclusion.
Thursday, October 24, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 9: SHORT, BUT NOT TOO SHORT – HOW SHORT TERM RENTALS ARE CHANGING THE DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATORY LANDSCAPE
AirBnB, VRBO, Craigslist…everywhere you turn, there’s a platform to provide for short-term rentals of everything from a 10 bedroom house to an antique steam engine. What powers do local officials have to regulate these facilities, and who’s doing it best? This session will focus on the impacts of short-term rentals in the housing and lodging markets, and the tools your community has at its disposal to address possible conflicts around the neighborhood.
Thursday, December 19, 2024 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SESSION 10: SANTA’S AND NICE AND NAUGHTY LIST— THE BEST AND WORST OF 2024
We’ll close out the year with a fun session on who got it really right and who might have missed the boat in 2024. We’ll provide case studies on the best examples of great development review, and a few pitfalls discovered by your neighbors that you should avoid going into the New Year.