Introduction to the Zoning Board of Adjustment

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AICP Member
$60.00
APA member
$68.00
Nonmember
$80.00


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.


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About the Speakers

James Driscoll
No Bio Available

Stuart Meck
My website: http://bloustein.rutgers.edu/meck/

Gail Easley
No Bio Available

Richard Lehmann
No Bio Available

Karin Franklin
No Bio Available

Jeri Parish
No Bio Available

Stephen Sizemore
No Bio Available

Dwight Merriam
Dwight H. Merriam founded Robinson & Cole’s Land Use Group in 1978. He represents land owners, developers, governments and individuals in land use matters. Dwight is a Fellow and Past President and of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a former Director of the American Planning Association, a former chair of APA’s Planning and Law Division, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s national Section of State and Local Government Law; the Connecticut member of Owners’ Counsel of America, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute National Advisory Board, a Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, a Counselor of Real Estate, a member of the Anglo-American Real Property Institute, and a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He has taught land use law at Vermont Law School, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and the Quinnipiac Law School and has published over 200 articles and twelve books and including Inclusionary Zoning Moves Downtown, The Takings Issue, The Complete Guide to Zoning, and Eminent Domain Use and Abuse: Kelo in Context. He is lead author of the leading casebook in his field, Planning and Control of Land Development, and co-editor of the leading treatise in the field, Rathkopf’s The Law of Planning and Zoning 4th. Dwight has been named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list in the area of Land Use Law since 2006, is ranked the number 2 Connecticut Super Lawyer in Connecticut 2017, is one of the Top 50 Connecticut Super Lawyers in Connecticut 2014, one of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers in 2014 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.), ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in Connecticut in the area of Real Estate, listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Land Use & Zoning Law and Real Estate Law since 1991 and the areas of Litigation - Land Use & Zoning and Litigation - Real Estate for 2012 and 2013, and listed in The Best Lawyers in America® as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Litigation - Land Use & Zoning for 2013 and in the area of Land Use & Zoning Law for 2012. He received his B.A (cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts, his Masters of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, where he was invited back as the graduation speaker in 2011, and his J.D. from Yale. He is a featured speaker at many land use seminars, and presents monthly audio land use seminars for the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Dwight has been cited in the national press from The New York Times to People magazine and has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, MSNBC and public television. Dwight served for seven years on active duty in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, including three tours in Vietnam, and 24 more years in the reserves, retiring as a Captain following his command of the reserve augmentation unit of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. Military Bio: Captain Dwight H. Merriam, U.S. Navy, Surface Warfare (retired), entered Naval Service in July 1968 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island in March 1969. He then attended communication school and the non-lawyer judge advocate general course, ultimately reporting to his ship, the USS KAWISHIWI (AO-146), a fleet replenishment oiler, in Vietnam in September 1969. He completed that tour with the ship and participated in two other deployments to Vietnam aboard KAWISHIWI totaling 17 months in the war zone. He served as the ship’s communications officer and assistant operations officer, and also was an officer of the deck, command duty officer, officer the deck for replenishment operations, and general quarters officer of the deck. In 1971 he augmented to the regular Navy from the reserves. In 1972 Captain Merriam was ordered to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as the Senior Advisor and Instructor, and later Assistant Professor of Naval Science, teaching a graduate and undergraduate course in Defense Administration and Military Management for civilian and military students in the University’s interdisciplinary Peace, War, and Defense Curriculum. In 1975 after seven years of active duty Captain Merriam resigned his regular commission and left active duty to pursue his law degree at Yale. He began his 24-year career in the reserves serving in various units and billets, among them training units and shipboard units including USS FULTON (AS-11) stationed at the State Pier in New London, where he served as operations Officer and then Executive Officer. As a Commander he was selected to be the Commanding Officer of Personnel Mobilization Team 101 based in Providence, Rhode Island, responsible for the mobilization of approximately 80,000 Navy reservists and retirees from New England. Captain Merriam was then assigned to Naval Ship Research Center 101, which is the reserve augmentation unit for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, with a laboratory in New London, Connecticut and facilities in Keyport, Washington, and Andros Island in the Bahamas. He served as Executive Officer. Following his promotion to Captain, he was selected to be the Commanding Officer. In that capacity he oversaw the research and development of undersea warfare and weapons and maintained the unit's preparedness to augment their active-duty counterparts in the event of a mobilization. He served in that capacity through the Gulf War. Following his Naval Undersea Warfare Center command, Captain Merriam served in various capacities assisting NUWC in special projects until his retirement in 1999 after 31 years of service. Captain Merriam is a qualified Surface Warfare Officer and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for his Vietnam service, the Navy “E” Ribbon for battle efficiency aboard FULTON, the National Defense Service Medal with a bronze service star for two periods of service, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for operations off North Korea, the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars for his multiple deployments to Vietnam, the Navy Reserve Sea Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960’s device. Captain Merriam of Simsbury and Hartford has four children: Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam, U.S.M.J., Jonathan H. Merriam, Alexander H. Merriam, and Lucy C. Merriam.

James Schwab
Mr. Schwab joined the American Planning Association in November 1985. Originally the assistant editor of Planning, APA's monthly magazine, he joined APA’s research department in August 1990. He serves as the co-editor of a monthly publication, Zoning Practice. He is the Manager of APA’s Hazards Planning Center in the Chicago office. Mr. Schwab is currently managing two FEMA-funded projects for the Hazards Planning Center. One is the Planning Information Exchange, a series of peer-exchange webinars on hazard mitigation planning, which involves the Association of State Floodplain Managers as a partner organization. The second began in October 2015, Innovations in Planning and Public Engagement for Local Resilience, and involves University of California-San Diego, Placeways LLC, and National Charrette Institute as partners. He is also currently involved in two NOAA-funded projects. One is nationally focused with the Association of State Floodplain Managers as the lead partner; it aims to help communities incorporate climate data into capital improvements planning. The other is led by APA, with Jim as the project manager, and is focused on the Great Lakes, with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the University of Illinois as partners; its purpose is to work with pilot communities in metropolitan Chicago on incorporating climate data into comprehensive plans and capital improvements programs. Both started in 2016. Mr. Schwab was the project manager for “Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation,” an ambitious effort funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to completely rewrite Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment (1998), which APA produced under a cooperative agreement with FEMA. This effort included substantial multimedia web tools including the Recovery News blog and a series of briefing papers. Mr. Schwab was also project manager and general editor for the FEMA-funded APA Planning Advisory Report, Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning, released in May 2010. He was the general editor and project manager for Planning for Drought, a PAS Report released in January 2014 and produced under a subcontract with the University of Nebraska’s National Drought Mitigation Center. Under an APA subcontract with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, he has also been involved in a project providing training and online resources to communities affected by Great Lakes coastal hazards. In 2016, APA also published Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas, a PAS Report project he led with ASFPM as the major partner. Mr. Schwab was the sole author of two PAS Reports in the 1990s, Industrial Performance Standards for a New Century and Planning and Zoning for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. He served as the project manager for a FEMA-supported project in which APA has developed training for planners on the planning provisions of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, and for the Firewise Communities Post-Workshop Assessment. With Stuart Meck, he co-authored the 2005 PAS Report, Planning for Wildfires. He was also the principal investigator and primary author of Tribal Transportation Programs, produced for the Transportation Research Board. He was the project manager and general editor for the PAS Report, Planning the Urban Forest: Ecology, Economy, and Community Development, released in January 2009, and led the subsequent development of a training workshop based on that report, with a matching grant from the U.S. Forest Service. Finally, Mr. Schwab is APA’s lead representative for its partnership with NOAA’s Digital Coast. Mr. Schwab has worked overseas several times on hazard-related planning: in the Dominican Republic overseeing site planning training in 2001, in Sri Lanka following the Indian Ocean tsunami, speaking at a disaster recovery conference in Taiwan in 2006, as a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Engineering in New Zealand in 2008, and speaking in May 2013 at a European Union conference on cities and climate change in Venice, Italy. Mr. Schwab is also the author of two books. The first, Raising Less Corn and More Hell: Midwestern Farmers Speak Out, was published in 1988 by the University of Illinois Press. It is an oral history of the farm crisis that affected the Midwest during the 1980s. The second, Deeper Shades of Green: The Rise of Blue-Collar and Minority Environmentalism in America, was released by Sierra Club Books in the fall of 1994. He is presently developing plans for a two-book series about the 1993 and 2008 Midwest floods.

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.