Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Legal Foundation of Planning and Zoning in Alabama

January 31, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm



The purpose of this workshop is to provide local officials and the citizens who serve on local planning commissions and boards of adjustment with a basic understanding of the constitutional and statutory framework for comprehensive and regulatory planning in Alabama. Although a number of constitutional issues and landmark cases will be included in the material presented, it should be emphasized that they will be discussed from a laymen’s and not a legalistic point of view.

 Topics include:

  • The evolution of legal principles relating to the public regulation of private property.
  • The origins of the current Alabama planning enabling legislation and recent efforts to amend it; the landmark decisions of the US Supreme Court relating to the regulatory and planning powers of local governments.
  • The major constitutional issues being raised in current land use litigation.
  • The procedural and strategic aspects of land use litigation.
  • Alternative approaches to the resolution of regulatory issues and developmental conflicts.
  • The discussion of these topics will include reviews and analyses of significant cases through which the Alabama courts have on the one hand established doctrines and precedents, and on the other hand created confusion.


Katherine Ennis recently retired as the Director of Planning & Inspections for the City of Northport, Alabama, where she oversaw the administration of the City’s zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations, comprehensive plan and building code standards. Katherine has over 28 years of experience in municipal, county, and regional planning. In addition to her work with Northport, Katherine is an elected official sitting on the City Council of the City of Helena, Alabama. She has also served on Helena’s planning commission, design review board and chaired their greenway committee. Katherine is a member of the Auburn University Planning Advisory Council, has served nine years in various positions on the Executive Committee of the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association, currently as its President, and sits on the Board of Directors of Your Town Alabama. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Katherine moved to Alabama in 1980. She is a Graduate of Auburn University with Masters Degrees in both Community Planning and Public Administration and holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing. Katherine began her career in public service in 1982 with the City of Auburn where she worked for 18 years in the planning department. In 2000 she joined the staff of Shelby County’s Planning Department as the Senior Planner in charge of land development. In 2002 she took a position with Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission as Senior Planner, serving the three counties and ten cities in that region.

CAPZO Credits

0.35 credits are available for this event.

Registration / More Information

To register, visit the Alabama Planning Institute’s website or call 1-800-825-5862, ext. 4862.

This course is part of a six-course series that can be taken for CAPZO certification.


January 31, 2014
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Arab City Hall
740 North Main Street
Arab, AL 36575 United States
+ Google Map


Alabama Planning Institute
View Organizer Website