The vast majority of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts have volunteer planning boards and zoning boards of appeal. These boards have significant decision-making power over zoning, development, natural resource protection, and other important land use issues that relate to the well being of the environment. With the complexity of changing state regulations and without dedicated professional staff, many board members struggle to stay informed of new developments, and the tools and techniques that can promote better decisions or avoid unnecessary or costly appeals.
The Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) provides local planning and zoning officials with up-to-date learning tools to make effective decisions regarding their communities' current and future land use. CPTC offers a series of Fall Workshops, an annual Spring Conference and On-Demand Training. Information is also delivered through the CPTC website, and a through and an innovative web-technology (webinars) that allows users to participate in distance learning programs. The Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) is the only comprehensive training option targeted specifically to the citizens (mostly volunteers) that serve on boards in the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.