Introduction to the Zoning Board of Adjustment

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AICP Member
APA member

Certification Maintenance

Zoning boards work in the public eye. Is your community’s board ready for the spotlight? This three-part presentation puts the zoning board’s role in focus. Find out how to conduct effective public meetings. Look at common triggers for litigation. Examine conditional and special uses. Board members will learn how to keep their decisions legal and ethical.

Co-sponsor: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Group Viewing: Training products for planning commissioners and the public may be used for group viewing.

This is a commission and board training product.

About the Speakers

James Driscoll
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Stuart Meck
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Gail Easley
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Richard Lehmann
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Karin Franklin
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Jeri Parish
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Stephen Sizemore
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Dwight Merriam
Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, of the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP, is a Fellow and Past President and of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Past Chair of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law. He chairs the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s Cooper Fellows. He has taught land use law at Vermont Law School and UConn Law School, and is presently a Distinguished Practitioner of Law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law. He has published over 200 articles and 13 books, including serving as co-editor of the leading treatise in the field, RATHKOPF’S ZONING AND PLANNING LAW and lead author of the casebook, PLANNING AND CONTROL OF LAND DEVELOPMENT. UMass BA (cum laude), UNC MRP, and Yale JD.

James Schwab
From 2008-2017, Jim Schwab managed APA’s Hazards Planning Center, but his direct engagement with natural hazards and disaster issues began in 1993. He managed an innovative project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a PAS Report, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. The report became a cornerstone in the planning profession in the development of an entire subfield devoted to hazard mitigation and disaster recovery. By 2014, with the publication of Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation, accompanied by the creation of substantial online resources for the planning community, Jim brought the subject forward again. Jim managed several other major APA projects dealing with hazard mitigaiton and climate change adaptation. Jim left APA in 2017. Jim is currently the chair-elect of APA's Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division. He is the principal of Jim Schwab Consulting LLC, a firm he created after leaving APA. He is also adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning, an author working on a two-book series on the 1993 and 2008 Midwest floods, and a public speaker, and maintains his own blog, "Home of the Brave," on his personal website,

F. Craig Richardson
Craig Richardson, Esq., is a Director of Clarion Associates. He is a planner and lawyer with over 30 years of practice experience, primarily representing local government clients on a variety of zoning and planning matters, including comprehensive development code updates, form-based regulations, sustainable development practices, resource protection, affordable housing mitigation, adequate public facility regulations, character-based regulations, and infrastructure funding mechanisms like impact fees. He has lead or served as principal in over 50 comprehensive code updates across the country; designed and drafted over 100 infrastructure financing programs; drafted and defended mandatory affordable housing programs; and worked with local governments in developing regulations to support green building practices. He serves on the faculty for APA’s national Zoning Clinic, speaks regularly at planning conferences on code implementation issues, worked on the USEPA Sustainable Code Building Blocks project.