​Plan Commission Handbook

The plan commission performs a wide variety of functions related to community planning and land use development. Formal roles are outlined in state statutes and local ordinances while informal roles evolve as a result of the nature of the plan commission’s work.

The Plan Commission Handbook is designed to assist the plan commission, local government officials and citizens in understanding the roles and responsibilities of the plan commission and related decision-making standards.  The handbook is available for download in pdf format free of charge, or in print for $25.00 by the handbook order form, emailing landcenter@uwsp.edu or by calling 715-346-3783. 

* Printed copies of the Plan Commission Handbook are in black and white print.

Complete Plan Commission Handbook


Plan Commission Handbook Chapters

Cover and Foreword

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Commission

Chapter 2: Procedural Responsibilities

Chapter 3: Community Planning

Chapter 4: Public Participation

Chapter 5: Plan Implementation

Chapter 6: Ordinance Administration

Chapter 7: Zoning Regulations

Chapter 8: Subdivision Regulations

 Plan Commission Worksheets and Forms

Job Description and Application Form

Code of Conduct and Rules of Procedure

Hearing Appearance Slip and Announcement of Proceedings

Plan Commission Decision Forms

Planning Worksheets

Public Participation Worksheets

Plan Implementation Worksheets

Three Major Land Use Tools

​Additional Resources

The Town Plan Commission (Fact Sheet #16) Currently unavailable.
Local Government Center

Village Powers for Town Boards (Fact Sheet #18) Currently unavailable.
Local Government Center

Town Plan Commission Sample Ordinance and Notes and Updates to Town Plan Commission Sample Ordinance
Local Government Center

Model Ordinance to Create a Town Plan Commission
Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Village Plan Commission Ordinances
Center for Land Use Education

Recruiting and Retaining Qualified Plan Commissioners
Center for Land Use Education

Conditional Use Survey - 2020

The Zoning and Conditional Use Permit Survey was conducted by the Center for Land Use Education in October 2020. The survey responses include towns, villages, cities, counties and others includings airport, regional planning commission, and ​consultant representing mulitple leverls of governement.

​Plan Commission Workshops 

The Center for Land Use Education offers plan commission workshops serving multi-county areas of Wisconsin.  Workshops may be arranged through your county Cooperative Extension office or directly through the Center for Land Use Education by contacting Rebecca Roberts at rroberts@uwsp.edu or 715-346-4322 or CLUE staff at 715-346-3783.  A list of current workshops is available here.

 Sample Plan Commission Workshop Presentation