Skip to main content

Academy Information

Lakewood’s popular Citizens’ Planning Academy (CPA) is a dynamic and interactive program intended to provide residents with the fundamentals of city planning.


The CPA is tailored to the interests of residents, neighborhood leaders, and future members of City Council and its appointed boards and commissions. This program provides an opportunity to learn about the city planning process and to participate in lively discussions about how city planning helps shape our community. Sessions are led by non-partisan planning experts who present on a variety of planning topics.


The Academy does not advocate particular solutions; rather it is an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the topic of the day and to hear more about the different perspectives on a specific issue. The CPA seeks to provide information about city planning and is not intended to address the City’s position on any particular topic or project.


By the end of the program, participants have gained a better understanding of the legal aspects of planning and how the city planning process works. They will also have engaged in a meaningful dialogue between residents and the City about Lakewood’s future. And, participants create a fictional project that is presented in front of a mock Planning Commission which is always a highlight for the Academy!


The Citizens’ Planning Academy, sponsored by the Lakewood Planning Department, is made up of six sessions that begin in early August and continue through late October. The program is open to anyone who is interested in learning about city planning and the sign-up typically begins in late summer. For more information about next year’s program, please contact

Class Schedule

Participants for this year's academy have been selected and classes have begun!  Our current class schedule is as follows:


Session 1: Introduction + Zoning and Subdivisions



Session 2: Community Visioning



Session 3: Legal Issues

  • Session 3 Agenda
  • Basic Legal Issues Involved in Municipal Land Use with Robert Widner, Esq. - Widner Michow and Cox, LLP
    • Legal Issues Presentation



Session 4: Hands-On Site Planning Exercise

  • Session 4 Agenda
  • Site Planning with Gretchen Wilson, PLA, ASLA - DIG Studio



Session 5: Transportation and Land Use Planning

  • Session 5 Agenda
  • Transportation and Land Use Planning with Carlos Hernandez, AICP - Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group



Session 6: Mock Hearing and Graduation

  • Session 6 Agenda
  • Mock Hearing and Graduation led by the City of Lakewood Staff
Please let us know how we did!  Take our Evaluation on Survey Monkey.
CPA Site Plan Exercise 1CPA Site Plan Exercise 2CPA Site Plan Exercise 3