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Michigan State University Extension
21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-6440

Public Policy

Fall 2022 Citizen Planner via Zoom - September 20 to October 25, 2022


Tuesdays, Sept. 20 - Oct. 25, 2022
6 p.m. to - 9 p.m. ET

Citizen Planner Online includes similar content to the classroom program, but is offered in a flexible, self-paced, online format. Citizen Planner Online is different from other courses – the concepts are conveyed through stories about issues unfolding in a fictitious community called Spartyville. The situations Spartyville planning officials face are similar to those many communities must address. The online series of seasons and episodes follows a creative storyline that all learners will enjoy. All you need is a broadband internet connection and a computer, laptop, or tablet. The online version of the program includes:

  • Access to resources similar to the classroom program.
  • Access to relevant web resources, decision-making tools, and online exercises

For more info on the course, for pricing info and/or registration click:


Fiscally Ready Communities Series

Capital Asset Management and Planning


Local governments may find that unplanned repair and replacement of big-ticket items can be difficult to budget for, adding to the vulnerability of their community’s fiscal health.  Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Treasury, is offering the next installment of our Fiscally Ready Communities series, “Capital Asset Management and Planning”. This FREE webinar will cover the fundamentals of Capital Improvement Programs, best practices, policies and procedures for capital asset management and planning.  There are three dates to choose from: June 29, July 28 or December 9.  You may register here.




Statewide Ballot Proposal

Know Your Vote:


MSU Extension staff write informative articles on statewide proposals. Keep checking the link below for updated information.  "White paper" proposal language can also be found through the link.

Click here for more information.




Citizen Planner - February 24, 2022

Local Planning Commissioners and Zoning Boards of Appeals are often called upon to make important decisions to guide growth and development of their communities.  


Issues surrounding land use planning and regulation, and the tools and techniques available within Michigan to address them have become increasingly complex.

Michigan State University Extension's Citizen Planner Program was developed to address the basic, ongoing training needs of citizens appointed to serve on local land use planning bodies. The Program is delivered at the the local level in conjunction with county MSU Extension offices.  The Citizen Planner Program's objective is to equip volunteer community leaders with the technical knowledge and leadership skills needed to perform their duties more effectively and responsibly.  Macomb County MSU Extension staff worked with a committee of area residents, public officials and professionals to develop a program customized for the Macomb County area. Macomb Citizen Planner is offered in partnership with Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, which provides scholarships to local communities.

Certification is given after completion of six "core" courses. Register online by February 10 by clicking CP Registration. Payment can be made by credit card, check; an invoice is created with registration. Group registration is also available online. A $45 cancellation fee is assessed if registration is canceled after February 10, 2022, the registration deadline.


Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems - May / June 2022

Meet the challenge of becoming solar-ready in Michigan communities


Michigan's diverse energy future is set in motion. Utility companies have bold plans to expand solar options and other forms of renewable energy over the next two decades and beyond. The shift in the utility sector from centralized power generation to a higher number of accessory and principal use solar energy systems (SES) means nearly every jurisdiction in Michigan will be approached about a solar installation within the next five years. The purpose of this training is to help Michigan communities meet the challenge of becoming solar-ready by addresses SES within their planning policies and zoning regulations. Learn the following at one of our in-person or virtual trainings:

  • the context for solar energy development in Michigan
  • how various components, scales, and configurations of SES fit into landscape patterns ranging between rural, suburban, and urban
  • planning and siting considerations for solar energy systems including colocation with other land uses
  • sample zoning approaches that attempt to balance the interests of property owners and the community as a whole

Learn more and register at

Download the program flyer here