Michigan State University Extension wants to train local government officials in the U.P. on how to do a better job of city planning, zoning and community development.

MSU Extension is holding what it calls the Citizen Planner program starting on September 30th. The training includes proper planning and zoning procedure, avoiding compromising people’s due process and private property rights, as well as much more.

“Certainly, communities that have planning and zoning (projects) at this time would find this valuable, at the very least from knowledge of basic rules and responsibilities that help communities stay out of court,” MSU Extension government and public policy educator Brad Neumann said.

The training includes best practices and guidance on how to grow in a changing economy. There’s a set curriculum, but MSU Extension keeps the program locally relevant.

“There’s plenty of time during each of the evening courses to have discussion with participants and talk about situations in their communities,” Neumann said. “We also have a hands-on activity during each of the sessions where communities can apply some of the principles that we’ve learned.”

The program will be held in Hancock, Munising and Iron Mountain. It’ll be held every Tuesday night for seven weeks, starting on September 30th.

The Citizen Planner program costs $275 per person, or $250 per person for a group of three or more people from the same organization. Registration is available through September 19th by phone at (269) 657-8213 or online by clicking here.