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?

**Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, Learning Session 1 has been rescheduled to May 15, 2020**

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.

May 15, 2020, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location TBD. Check back in April for more information.

Registration is currently suspended. If you have already registered, your seat will be held and payment will be retained. If you originally registered and cannot attend due to the date change, please contact Jason Kulaszewski at jasonkul@buffalo.edu or (716) 878-2441 to request a refund.


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
  • Sage Green, PUSH Buffalo

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.

This installment of the One Region Forward 2020 Learning Series was organized by the UB Regional Institute and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.