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Tips for Writing Good and Effective Development Code Provisions

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
12 PM - 1 PM
Cost: $35
Credits Available: 1.0 AICP CM - see below


Registration closes Tuesday, March 24 at 12 PM. This webinar will be recorded, and all preregistered attendees will receive a link to view the recording. Read about scholarship opportunities.

Webinar Overview

While long-range planning is a vital process for local governments, it is your zoning code and other development regulations that actually implement much of your comprehensive plan. It is critical that those development regulations do an exceptional job of addressing your plan’s goals so that your community’s vision can be achieved. Yet techniques for writing good and effective development codes are rarely taught at planning schools. Instead, most beginning planners are forced to learn about them “on the job.”

This webinar will identify the key elements of a good zoning/development code. The focus will then shift to techniques on how to prepare effective and easy-to-use code provisions.

Educational Objectives

The webinar will cover:

  • What to include in a “good” zoning/development code.
  • Tips on how to write effective and user-friendly code language.
  • How to engage key stakeholders when working on new development code language.
  • The importance of having well-thought-out development review procedures to make your zoning/land use regulations easy to understand and use.

Who Should Attend?

Planners, building officials, permit counter staff, other people involved/interested in the development project review process, city managers, and elected officials.


  • Allan Giffen, Planning Director, City of Everett. A planner since 1978, Allen began working for Everett in 1986 and was appointed as the Planning Director in 2004. Prior to Everett, he worked for the cities of Mukilteo and Olympia (WA) and Kern County and the City of Fresno, both in California. Allan has extensive experience in comprehensive planning, writing land use codes, and transportation planning and funding. He and his staff are currently in the process of overhauling, streamlining, and improving the code he wrote for Everett in 1990.
  • Jennifer Kester, Planning Manager, City of SeaTac. Jennifer has worked at SeaTac since 2018, and prior to that she spent 16 years at Gig Harbor. Jennifer has a degree in landscape architecture, but she chose planning after working for a private firm designing to the Port of Seattle’s landscape standards and working abroad in Copenhagen.
  • Kirsten Sackett, Community Development Director, City of Ellensburg. Kirsten joined Ellensburg in 2015. Prior to that she worked for Cortez, Colorado for nine years, serving the last five years as Director of Planning and Building. She has overseen the creation of new comprehensive plans for each community and has worked extensively on drafting code amendments to bring land development regulations into sync with identified community values.
  • Steve Butler, FAICP, Policy Manager/Planning Consultant, MRSC. Steve has been a professional planner for over 30 years. He has been at MRSC since 2015, where he conducts research and provides planning advice to cities and counties throughout Washington State. His previous planning experience includes serving as community development director for Milwaukie, Oregon, and in Washington, serving as the community development director for Mill Creek and director of planning and community development for SeaTac. He has also worked in the states of Maine and Wisconsin, where he was involved in all aspects of community planning, both in the public and private sectors.


  • 1.0 CM credits from the American Planning Association (pending approval)

Refund policy: Refunds of the webinar fee will be provided minus a $5.00 administrative fee if registration is canceled by 12 PM on Tuesday, March 24. If you are registered for the webinar and unable to attend, you will still be able to view the recorded webinar afterwards. However, if you cancel your registration, you will not receive a link to the recording.