Planning Commissioner Resources

Following are resources that summarize many land use planning topics of importance to Colorado planning commissioners, staff, and elected officials. These are short and easy-to-read handouts, helpful to new as well as seasoned staff and elected and appointed officials involved in local land use planning efforts.

Planning Overview & Authority
What is Planning and Why Should a Community Plan?
Local Government Land Use Authority in Colorado

Long-Range Planning
Master Plan Primer
Three-Mile Plans

Meetings &, Decision-Making
How to Encourage Citizen Involvement
Planning Tips on Running Public Hearings
Defensible Decision Making
Parliamentary Procedure - Helpful Tips
Open Meetings

Legal &, Ethical Issues
Due Process, Ex Parte Contacts, &, Conflicts of Interest

Planning 101 Workshop

The Community Development Office provides planning commissioner training to municipalities and counties by request. The agenda can be tailored to fit your specific needs, but typically includes the following elements:

  • Planning Authority &, Enabling Legislation
  • The Role of the Planning Commission in Relation to Elected Officials and Staff
  • Long Range Planning &, Implementation Tools
  • Effective Meetings and the Decision Making Process
  • Legal and Ethical Review (ex parte contacts, conflicts of interest, etc.)

The session usually takes 2 hours depending on the agenda. Please contact KC McFearson with any questions or to request a Planning Refresher workshop in your area.

Virtual Planning Refresher Webinar (Video)

Additional Resources

PlannersWeb – This APA site is a good resource on a variety of planning topics targeted to planning commissioners (

Note: The following resources are available online by a third party for purchase.

Elliott, Donald L, ed. Colorado Land Planning and Development Law, 10th Edition. Denver: CBA-CLE (CLE in Colorado, Inc.), December 2015.

Dale, C. Gregory et al.The Planning Commissioners Guide.Chicago/Washington DC: APA Planners Press, 2013.