Wake Forest Planning 101


In 2009, the Board of Commissioners directed Planning Department staff to develop a training program for potential Planning Board members to reduce the learning curve of newly appointed members and to provide an opportunity for aspiring members to better understand to the requirements and expectations of the position.

The first Planning Board Academy was assembled in 2011 and included members of the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners, as well as interested citizens. Based on the success of the initial academy, the Board of Commissioners elected to fund and continue it on an annual basis.

In 2019, the Planning Board Academy was renamed the Citizens Planning Academy, and it was given a broader purpose of educating residents of Wake Forest and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) about the Town’s planning processes and practices.

In 2023, the name of the Citizens Planning Academy was changed to “Wake Forest Planning 101.”


The curriculum was revised in 2023 to provide a truly hands-on learning experience. Each session includes discussion of fundamental topics in planning and development in Wake Forest (history of planning and zoning, Community Plan policies, the transportation network, zoning requirements, etc.), followed by small group exercises that require application of those concepts to real-world scenarios. All sessions are taught by Planning Department staff.

A major goal of Planning 101 is connecting participants to the resources that will allow them to engage in the development review process and in future planning efforts. The Planning Department also hopes to learn from participants as it refines resources for sharing information about planning and development in Wake Forest. Through questionnaires and informal discussion, participants are encouraged to share their impressions of existing resources and their suggestions for improvements.

2024 Application Period 

The open period for submitting 2024 Wake Forest Planning 101 applications closed February 12. 

2024 Schedule

In 2024, participants will take part in four evening sessions on consecutive Wednesdays from May 1 through May 22.

Each session is scheduled from 5:45-8:15 p.m. at Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and will include dinner starting at 5:15 p.m. 



Participation in Wake Forest Planning 101 is limited to residents within the corporate limits or the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the Town of Wake Forest.

Map of Town Limits and ETJ


Wake Forest Planning 101
Senior Planner - Development Services
Senior Planner - Development Services

Wake Forest Town Hall
301 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC