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Financial Aspects of Planning

Gain an understanding of how planning decisions impact the economic feasibility of a proposed project for the developer and the public agency.

Topics include:

  • Fiscal impact analysis: how it's done and why it's so important
  • How local governments get their revenues
  • Public financing: why it's needed and what alternatives are available
  • Integrating fiscal and financial analysis into the planning process
  • The developer’s perspective: How planning decisions affect the bottom line
  • Striking a balance between the goals and objectives of public and private-sector participants

Approximately 20 hours of study and full attendance to all course meetings are required. A course assignment will be mailed four weeks before the course begins, which you are required to complete before the first day of class.


Russ Branson, MBA, is the assistant city manager/treasurer for the city of Roseville.  Prior to that he was a principal at Economic & Planning Systems in Sacramento, where he worked for 12 years on a variety of projects and issues related to urban land development and economics. He has participated in a number of transportation funding projects and has experience working with both the public and private sector in addressing transportation funding issues.
Michael Coleman, M.P.A., is an expert on California local government revenues, spending and financing. He is the creator of California Local Government Finance Almanac, an online resource of data, analyses and articles on California municipal finance and budgeting. Coleman is the principal fiscal policy adviser to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and the League of California Cities. He is also a popular presenter at graduate schools and conferences and is the author of numerous articles and references, including The California Municipal Revenue Sources Handbook.
Stephen Des Jardins is president of Diamond Equities, Inc. and general partner of Diamond Creek Partners, LTD. He has been involved in development in the city of Roseville for the past 25 years. Des Jardins has overseen project development of a number of projects, including the 360-acre Diamond Creek master-planned community, the final communities in Diamond Oaks and Bridgeside custom. He recently completed entitlements on another master planned community in Auburn.
David Zehnder, M.S., is a principal at Economic & Planning Systems, an urban economics consulting firm that serves public- and private-sector clients throughout the U.S. Zehnder specializes in public/private development, transactional real estate, feasibility analysis and public finance and centers his practice on the creation of viable land use and financial strategies that take full account of regional site context, market conditions, public policy objectives and private-sector financial requirements.


Sept. 16 & 17 & Oct. 14 & 15: Tues. & Wed., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Technical requirements:

Certain elements of this classroom course will be conducted online. All materials will be available for download. Passwords and login information to access the course materials will be issued one week before the course start date. You must provide an email address when enrolling to receive your login information.


Sutter Square Galleria, 2901 K St, Sacramento, CA





Special Discounts:

10% discount for APACA Section and BIA members
10% discount for organizations enrolling three or more people at the same time in the same course. All registrations must be submitted at the same time and fees paid with one check, credit card or purchase order.


4 quarter units academic credit, X432.4, 40 MCLE Hours, 40 AICP Hours

Recommended textbooks:

Guide to Local Government Finance in California ISBN 9781938166006. Buy this book from the UC Davis Bookstore.




Enrollment policies:

You must attend all course meetings in order to recieve a passing grade. Requests to withdraw with a refund (less a $30 processing fee) must be received seven days prior to the start date.



Earn a Certificate

This course is part of these certificate programs:

Land Use and Environmental Planning