Spring 2016 Intro to Planning and Zoning workshop dates and locations

Here are the dates and locations for the Spring 2016 Introduction to Planning and Zoning workshops:

Monday, March 21 – Okoboji – Arrowwood Resort, 1405 Highway 71

Tuesday, March 22 – Clear Lake – Best Western Holiday Lodge, 2023 7th Ave North

Tuesday, April 5 – Decorah – Hotel Winneshiek, 104 East Water Street

Wednesday, April 6 – Cedar Rapids – Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, 525 33rd Ave. SW

Monday, April 11 – Sioux City – Bev’s on the River, 1110 Larsen Park Road

Tuesday, April 19 – Creston – Supertel Inn & Conference Center, 800 Laurel Street

The link to the on-line registration page will be provided here in January.

Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa Guidebook now available – Webinar scheduled.

Municipalities in Iowa and across the nation are increasingly recognizing the multiple benefits of urban agriculture; however, zoning regulations can unintentionally impede urban agriculture. To respond to this challenge the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University funded Gary Taylor and Andrea Vaage to develop the Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa guidebook. The guidebook provides science-based guidance and sample zoning code language designed to reduce the barriers to, and promote production and sales activities commonly associated with urban agriculture.  Although written for Iowa, the guidebook contains practical information and code language applicable to any local jurisdiction.

The guidebook can be found by going to the top of this page and clicking on the “Local Food Systems projects” tab.

To develop the guidebook the authors collected zoning code language from 84 municipalities across the nation on a variety of topics related to urban agriculture, and also researched practice-oriented scientific publications from a variety of sources, such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Cooperative Extension publications from several university Extension services. The result is guidebook chapters that address the following common urban agriculture uses: aquaculture, bees, chickens, goats, front-yard gardens, community and market gardens, gardening on vacant lots, urban farms, season extenders, composting, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop-sites, farm stands, farmers markets, food trucks and pushcarts, and urban agriculture districts. Each chapter provides a general description of the activity, and the science-based information on standards and best practices associated with the activity; the public health, safety and welfare concerns commonly associated with the activity; a summary of the commonalities found among municipalities’ codes; and sample code language taken from municipalities that vary both in size and location.

A webinar will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on September 30, 2015 from noon to 1:00p.m. Central time to inform participants of the issues associated with zoning and urban agriculture, and to introduce the guidebook to planning officials and city staff of Iowa municipalities.

To access the link to the webinar you can again go to the top of this page and click on the “Local Food Systems projects” tab.

An APA webinar, also on Reed v. Gilbert

Just after I posted the last message I received information about another webinar on Reed v. Gilbert, this one offered by the APA Planning and Law Division.  Information below and here:

A Sign Regulation Apocalypse? Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision In Reed v. Town of Gilbert

July 21, 2015
1:00–2:30 p.m. EST

CM | 1.50
L 1.50
CLE credits also will be available

The Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association is pleased to host the upcoming webcast A Sign Regulation Apocalypse? Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision In Reed v. Town of Gilbert on Tuesday, July 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 PM EST. Registration is $20 for PLD members and $40 for nonmembers.

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Town of Gilbert, Arizona’s sign code. In a rare unanimous decision, all of the justices of the Court agreed that the Town’s code violated the core First Amendment requirement of content neutrality, and the majority opinion provided new insight on what it means for a regulation to be “content neutral.” The Court’s decision is expected to put thousands of sign codes at increased risk of legal challenges, which could mean increased legal costs for local governments, as well as potential negative impacts on communities’ aesthetic concerns. This program will include presentations by some of the nation’s leading scholars and practitioners on First Amendment and land use issues. Panelists will discuss the facts of the Reed case, the Court’s rationale for its decision, some of the important questions and unanswered issues stemming from the case, and some helpful practice pointers on sign code drafting and enforcement.

Speakers include Brian J. Connolly, esq. of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti, P.C. in Denver, CO; Daniel R. Mandelker, esq., Howard A. Stamper Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis; John M. Baker, esq. of Greene Espel PLLP in Minneapolis, MN; and Susan L. Trevarthen, esq., FAICP of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L. in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Webinar on the fate of sign ordinances after Reed v. Gilbert

The State and Local Legal Center in Washington, D.C. is hosting a free webinar on Reed v. Gilbert.  The National League of Cities is a co-sponsor. The information is below:

Revising Sign Ordinances After Reed v. Town of Gilbert Webinar
Wednesday August 19, 1:00PM – 2:15 PM ETD
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7566733836947059201
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

In Reed v. Town of Gilbert the Supreme Court ruled that Gilbert’s sign code violates the First Amendment. Many, if not most, communities must now revise their sign codes. Most sign codes apply different rules to different categories of signs based on content, which the Supreme Court now generally prohibits. Discuss the practical implications of this case for local governments with John M. Baker, Greene Espel.

Flooding in Iowa project receives national and regional awards

The Flooding in Iowa project (accessible here and via the “Flooding in Iowa” tab at the top) received the national Educational Materials Award for 2015 from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP), and the regional Educational Materials Award from the NACDEP North Central Region.  These awards are given annually to recognize “outstanding materials that educate through credible, accurate and concise information.”  Both awards will be presented during the NACDEP Annual Conference, May 17-20 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Flooding in Iowa project is a series of 21 short, web-based videos and related materials designed to educate the public about floodplains, flood risks and basic floodplain management principles.

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