photo of Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler is a planning consultant based in Richmond, Virginia. He is a former Professor and Community Planning Extension Specialist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and co-founder of the Virginia Institute for Planning Commissioners. Chandler has for many years conducted planning commissioner training programs across the country, and is a frequent speaker at planning workshops.

From 1992 to 2003 Chandler wrote “The Planning Commission at Work” column for the Planning Commissioners Journal, covering topics ranging from comp plan development to meeting management. All of his columns are listed below. Just click on a title to read extended excerpts from the article; PlannersWeb members can then also download the full article in pdf format as published in the PCJ.


Zoning Basics

Zoning Basics Members Only Content

Mike Chandler and Greg Dale look at zoning basics with an overview of the purposes of zoning, the structure of a typical zoning ordinance, and the principal players in the “zoning universe.” With sidebars on key zoning-related legal issues.

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Bringing the Plan to Life Members Only Content

Most planning commissioners realize that all the effort spent on preparing a comprehensive plan will only pay off if the plan’s policies and objectives are implemented. Michael Chandler offers an eight-step process for helping assure that your plan is brought to life.

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Decision Making Members Only Content

Mike Chandler considers why decision making can be hard for planning commissioners, and explores the substance, form, and function of planning commission decision making.

illustration of graduation cap and diploma

Citizen Planning Academies Members Only Content

One of the major challenges facing most communities, and their planning boards, is how to explain planning and the planning process in terms citizens can understand. Mike Chandler looks at how “citizen planning academies” helped in two Virginia counties.