Center for Urban and Regional Analysis

A division of the L. Douglas Wilder School of government and Public affairs

Land Use Education Program

The Land Use Education Program (LUEP) aims to inform the discretion of Virginians as they make decisions regarding the use of Virginia’s land. To that end, the program helps planning commissioners, BZA members, professional planners, planning students, and interested citizens to make decisions related to land use that are:

  • Legal,
  • Fact-based,
  • Community-oriented, and
  • Equitable

LUEP is the home of the nationally recognized Virginia Certified Planning Commissioner Program, which is held several times each year in various parts of the state. We also offer the Virginia Certified Board of Zoning Appeals Program, annual Legal Seminar, seminars/workshops on special topics, and customized training programs. 

In addition to our ongoing programming, we work with many wonderful partners across the state and to enhance professional development opportunities for groups such as the APA Virginia Chapter. Our partners and supporters often speak at events, help us to hear about emerging issues, guide and provide oversight to our programming, and provide local assistance, as resources allow.

Upcoming events

105th Certified Planning Commissioner Program
January 24 - April 5, 2022
Click HERE to register

106th Certified Planning Commissioner Program
March 7 - May 24, 2022
Click HERE to register

107th Certified Planning Commissioner Program
June 13 - August 23, 2022
Click HERE to register

108th Certified Planning Commissioner Program
September 8 - November 18, 2022
Click HERE to register

42nd Certified Board of Zoning Appeals Program
June 6 - August 8, 2022
Click HERE to register

43rd Certified Board of Zoning Appeals Program
September 26 - December 5, 2022
Click HERE to register


The Land Use Education Program offers a range of online, blended, and face-to-face training opportunities for local governmental officials, professional planners, and interested citizens. Our signature Certified programs are nationally recognized and offer a comprehensive training program for planning commissioners and board of zoning appeals members. Annual events provide advanced trainings on legal and skills-based topics. LUEP often partners with other allied organizations to extend opportunities for our audiences. We are grateful to APA Virginia and other organizations for their commitment to professional development for local appointed officials and all Virginia's residents. We welcome opportunities to connect with localities across the Commonwealth to provide local trainings and regional workshops through our Planning District Commission (PDC) partners and web-based trainings.

Learn more about our programs.

LUEP's History

For nearly forty years, land use education in Virginia has been synonymous with Dr. Mike Chandler. The nation's first structured training program for persons serving on local planning commissions was developed by Dr. Chandler in concert with the Va. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD and the late John Marlles) in 1984. The nation's first structured training initiative for members of local Boards' of Zoning Appeals followed in 1987. Additional education initiatives involving Dr. Chandler include the Virginia Institute for Planning Commissioners; annual graduate seminars for certified planning commissioners and certified BZA members; and, more recently, an annual legal seminar for citizen planners, planners, zoning practitioners, BZA members, and local elected officials. In the aggregate, Dr. Chandler trained and educated more than 15,000 Virginians in matters involving land use planning and zoning practices since 1980. In 2018, LUEP moved to the Center for Public Policy at VCU's Wilder School.

Contact us

  • Phone: (804) 828-2292
  • Email:
  • Box 842028
    923 West Franklin Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23284

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