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Learn about land use policy in Summit County’s Community Planning Lab

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Coalville's Main Street. Summit County's new planning lab is an effort to teach residents that may be interested in a future role on planning commission or county council.

Applications are open for Summit County’s Community Planning Lab, which is a partnership with the University of Utah aimed at making residents more informed about land use policy decisions.

The lab is a 10-week course that reviews planning history and the impacts of past policymaking in the area, then covers zoning, public processes and how to make an impact.

It will dig into topics such as:

Urban design principles

The what, where, how, and why of affordable housing

Sustainable development and open space preservation

Transportation and finance

The free program is scheduled to begin Jan. 23 and will end in April. Classes will be either in-person or virtual from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays. People should plan to attend all 10 classes and commit about two and a half hours per week to the program.

In addition to adults, students over 15 years old are welcome to apply.

Information and a link to the application can be found here. Applications are due Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Participation is limited to 35 people, and organizers expect to receive more applications than they can accommodate.

The goal is to build a class of people dedicated to Summit County and interested in supporting and leading their community. The class will represent a range of age groups, geographical locations and interests.

Though this is a first for Summit County, there are currently 52 similar planning academies in North America, according to the Wasatch Transportation Planning Academy.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.