2020 Learning Series

2020 Learning Series

The 2020 Learning Series is part of One Region Forward’s ongoing efforts to provide technical assistance to municipalities and promote sustainable development in the Buffalo Niagara region. The Learning Series will explore topics in clean energy, water resilience, Complete Streets, land banking, and smart growth. These topics correspond with strategies and actions put forward in the One Region Forward Plan.


Learning Session 1: How do I develop a good solar project in my community?

Legal experts, solar developers, local municipal peers, and representatives from governmental agencies will share what you need to know before, during, and after developing solar.

March 20, 2020, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Erie County Fire Training Academy
3359 Broadway St.
Cheektowaga, New York 14227

      Register today!

Registration is $20 and covers the cost of lunch and other refreshments
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8:00 – 8:30 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30 – 8:45 AM
Welcome remarks provided by Deputy County Executive for Erie County Maria Whyte

Preparing for Solar
8:45 – 9:45 AM
Learn about the NY-Sun toolkit, solar code development, and other resources available to municipalities to prepare for solar.

  • Jason Kulaszewksi, UB Regional Institute (moderator)
  • Jennifer Manierre, NYSERDA
  • Peter Jeffrey, Town of Porter
  • Mary Underhill, Livingston County

Engaging the Process
9:50 – 10:50 AM
Learn about Article 10, SEQR, PILOTS, and community benefit agreements for municipalities to use during a solar project.

  • Daniel Castle, AICP, Erie County (moderator)
  • Mike Saviola, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Mark Geise, Chautauqua County
  • Dan Spitzer, Hodgson Russ

Meeting Community Goals
10:55 – 11:55
Learn how municipalities can mitigate project impacts and maximize community benefits.

  • Mariely Ortiz, Erie County (moderator)
  • Nancy Smith, Western New York Land Conservancy
  • Jim Sharpe, Town of Grand Island (former)

Networking Lunch
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Please stay to network and continue the discussion. Lunch will be provided for registrants only.


This event qualifies for four hours of land use training credit toward meeting the NYS mandatory training requirement for local planning and zoning officials. Attendance certificates will be available for all participants.

AICP members can earn Certi­fication Maintenance (CM) credits for this activity [or many activities at this event]. When CM credits are available, they are noted at the end of an activity description. More information about AICP’s CM program can be found at http://www.planning.org/cm.

AICP members must be in attendance for the duration of the event in order to receive CM Credit.