Please join us in December for NYCOM’s 2020 Planning and Zoning Webinar Series. Over the course of four webinars that begin on December 8th, NYCOM will cover four separate topics related to municipal planning and zoning. Whether you are a new or a seasoned municipal official, these webinars will provide you with the most up-to-date information in planning and zoning law. These 1.25 hour webinars will cover the following topics:

Conducting Meetings and Hearings During the Pandemic | Tuesday, December 8th (2:00-3:15 p.m.)
How do local officials conduct meetings and public hearings when people are supposed to be keeping socially distant? During normal times, the New York State Open Meetings Law mandates that the public be allowed to attend meetings of public bodies in person. During a pandemic, however, in-person meetings should be avoided to minimize the risk of transmitting the disease. On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspends the Open Meetings Law’s in-person requirement in order to allow government officials to perform essential work. This webinar will provide an overview of how meetings and public hearings can be conducted during this pandemic in compliance with both EO 202.1 and the Open Meetings Law. Specific attention will be paid to conducting ZBA and planning board hearings.
Speaker: Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Counsel

Lawyers and Ethics for ZBAs and Planning Boards | Thursday, December 10th (2:00-3:15 p.m.)
Ethics in government is a hot topic with daily news headlines highlighting ethical lapses by officials at all levels of government. A unique sub-category of municipal ethics involves the municipal attorney specifically. Providing legal advice to a municipality can be a complicated endeavor for an attorney. On the other side, hiring and getting advice from an attorney can be equally confusing and challenging. This webinar will address the various ways local governments may retain a municipal attorney, the issue of who the attorney’s client is, and when local officials and employees have a right to an attorney or to contact the municipal attorney.
Speaker: Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Counsel

Cell Towers and Wireless Regulations and a Case Law Update | Tuesday, December 15th (2:00-3:15 p.m.)
What a year! The pandemic wasn’t the only thing to happen in 2020. In the area of land use law, the Second Circuit upheld much of the FCC’s 2018 Wireless Order that preempted local siting regulations related to small wireless facilities, and the FCC is adopting new regulations that would prohibit local governments from denying modifications to certain “macro” cell towers. The webinar will conclude with an overview of important court cases including RLUIPA, short-term rentals, and special use permits.
Speakers: Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Counsel; Rebecca Ruscito, NYCOM Counsel

Solar Panels, Large Scale Energy Generation Siting, and Local Zoning | Thursday, December 17th (2:00-3:15 p.m.)
Renewable energy is a key component to efforts to address climate change. In addition, market forces are resulting in a proliferation of renewable technology throughout New York, ranging from solar panels on individual homes to large solar farms and wind turbines. This webinar will provide an overview of the recent amendments to New York’s large energy-generating siting rules. Specifically, the webinar will address the changes implemented by Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefits Act, the draft regulations implementing the legislation, and the new Office of Renewable Energy Siting that replaces the Article 10 Siting Board. The webinar will then turn to what local governments can and cannot do with respect to regulating small solar installations.
Speakers: Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Counsel; Rebecca Ruscito, NYCOM Counsel

These webinars are open to NYCOM members and non-members, including non-planning board and non-ZBA members. The cost of participating in each webinar is $39 for members and $89 for non-members.

Annual Planning & Zoning Training Requirement: Note that each of these webinars will last 1.25 hours. If your city or village allows webinars as a valid form of training, individuals who participate in each of the four webinars will satisfy the State’s four-hour annual training requirement for planning board and ZBA members.

CLE: In addition, each of these webinars is eligible for 1.5 hours of CLE credit in the Area of Professional Practice, except the webinar entitled “Lawyers & Ethics for ZBAs & Planning Boards” which is eligible for 1.5 hours of CLE credit in the Ethics and Professionalism category. Attorneys wishing to obtain CLE credit for participating in these webinars MUST PRE-REGISTER. These CLE courses contain new content for 2020 and are not “repeat” courses for purposes of the NYS CLE Board's “no repeat” rule. In addition, these CLE courses are appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys and are a permissible format for newly admitted attorneys. For a copy of NYCOM's CLE Financial Hardship Policy, contact Wade Beltramo at (518) 463-1185.