The 2021 Municipal Bootcamp Program
New for 2021 Hancock Estabrook and the MRB Group are rolling out a new FREE annual training program to assist local governments, town 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 the 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.
2021 Municipal Bootcamp Program
SESSION 3: LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT
Your Role in the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR)
It wouldn’t be New York State planning if there wasn’t a mile long checklist about the possible environmental impacts of a small shed installation. Getting this one right is critical to virtually every project you will review. We will walk you through the SEQR act and talk through the critical elements for every board and staff member to understand.
SESSION 4: WHAT NOT TO SAY, AND WHAT REALLY NOT TO DO
Professionalism and Preventing Sexual Harassment in Local Government
In recent years, New York State has placed heightened emphasis on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and on ensuring a safe, productive work environment for all. Protections extend far beyond traditional definitions, and the liabilities can be steep. New regulations even apply to volunteer board members, vendors, and applicants! Check out this session both to stay in the know, and to meet the annual Sexual Harassment Prevention training requirement.
SESSION 5: COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON…WELL…
Building Policy Champions through Public Engagement
Cynicism among constituents is raging on all levels of government. In local government, you’re closest to the people, and nothing is closer to them than land use. Meeting minimum requirements is nice, but it will take more than that to build the public trust. This session will walk you through the basics of the New York State Open Meetings Law, the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) then layer on some best practices with respect to getting stakeholders plugged into projects from the start.
SESSION 6: PLANNING FROM (AT LEAST) SIX FEET AWAY
Planning and Zoning Board Operations During the Pandemic
The most recent pandemic has affected everything from airline travel to diner food; and planning proceedings are no exception. We’ll share our experiences from the field; walking through some case studies on really cool approaches to keeping the public informed and engaged in the planning process, and ensuring that key projects don’t slip through the cracks.
SESSION 7: ASK ME ANYTHING!
All of Your Planning and Zoning Questions Answered in a Supersonic Speed Round
What else do you want to know? Throw out your craziest scenarios, and our panel of legal and planning experts will give it our best shot. Anything goes in this session!
SESSION 8: FROM BIG TO SMALL
Evaluating Projects Against Your Comprehensive Plan
Planning and Zoning Boards, and municipal planning staff often get washed over with the day-to-day planning issues—sign permits, hot water heaters, site plan review for that vape shop. It’s critical that, from time to time, you pull back from the daily traffic and look to the big picture. How do projects line up with your community’s vision? What are the legal requirements of development with respect to the comprehensive plan? We will walk through the basics of a plan and help develop some tools for evaluating projects.
SESSION 9: WELL, AREN’T YOU SPECIAL?
Reviewing Special Use Permits, Variances, and Other Exceptions to the Rule
How is it possible that every project eventuality would not fit into thousands of pages of code? Well, if you have been planning for a while, you know that it’s all too possible…and probable! We will help you understand the various categories of “exceptions to the rule,” and talk through procedural matters, evaluation considerations, and risks associated with these projects.
SESSION 10: ALL THE RIGHT FORMS IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES
The Role of Process and Administration in Planning and Zoning Action
How could we forget the bureaucratic junk in the trunk? Forms, motions, publications, websites…it seems basic, but it is the most often challenged part of what we do. We will help you understand the best practices and legal requirements around administrative processes, and help you develop checklists for projects to ensure that you are on solid ground once you get around to making a decision.