REGISTRATION OPENS FOR 2017 SDPA/WESTERN PLANNER CONFERENCE This year's event will take place September 13-15, 2017, at the Spearfish Holiday Inn, Spearfish SD. The theme of this year’s conference is “Partners in Progress." Register online or via mail today!
Although the Internet and social media have made it possible to obtain input from virtually everyone in the community, summarizing input from hundreds or thousands of residents responding to a project website questionnaire is not an easy task, nor is the process of educating the public about the issues facing the community. And the scope of a comprehensive plan has expanded over the years to include sustainability, resiliency, active and healthy living, mobility and livability. Addressing these topics takes time, effort and creativity. by Alan White, AICP, Arapahoe County, Colorado
Lafayette, Louisiana has a predicament. Infrastructure was supposed to serve them. Now they serve it. All of the programs and incentives put in place by the federal and state governments to induce higher levels of growth by building more infrastructure has made the city of Lafayette functionally insolvent. Lafayette has collectively made more promises than it can keep and it's not even close. If they operated on accrual accounting -- where you account for your long term liabilities -- instead of a cash basis -- where you don't -- they would have been bankrupt decades ago. This is a pattern we see in every city we've examined. It is a byproduct of the American pattern of development we adopted everywhere after World War II. by Charles Marohn
Tailored to land use planners, Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado provides detailed information about assessing a community’s risk level to hazards and describes how to implement numerous land use planning tools and strategies in a manner that reduces risk. While the guide’s examples and data sources are largely Colorado-specific, the description of tools and sample land use code language provide a good starting point for any municipality or county in the West or across the country. by Logan Sand, Recovery and Resilience Planner, Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Heavenly Mountain Resort was the first Lake Tahoe resort to propose activities under a federal bill that allows the Forest Service to review and accept non-ski-related activities. by Nick Exline, AICP, Zephyr Cove, Nevada
More frequent and intense climate events result in increased demand on our emergency response systems, greater financial impacts, and greater public health impacts. The challenge is to effectively communicate the ever-increasing demands these events place on our communities and get individuals, communities, and government to prepare. by Katherine Mortimer, Santa Fe, New Mexico
This article looks at the methods and tools available to help cities become resilient for the imminent changes ahead. by Gretel Follingstad
The 25th anniversary of Washington State’s Growth Management Act (GMA) was celebrate in late 2015. Adopted in 1990, the Growth Management Act has helped guide development in Washington’s cities, counties, and other jurisdictions. Twenty-nine Washington counties containing 177 cities are required to use the principles of Growth Management.
Land trusts are non-governmental organizations with a mission to protect key private land from subdivision and development. A review of land trusts’ varied success in the Western Planner region. by Dr. John B. Wright
While interest in fostering walkable communities in Utah has grown in recent years, the longer-term trend is showing that people are walking less. This article describes an analysis of the factors that impact walking. The principle data source for this analysis was the 2012 Utah Household Travel Survey (UTHS). by Jonathan Larsen, PE, Andy Li, Ph.D., and Callie New
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has entered into a data-sharing partnership with Waze to arm residents with information about current road conditions and construction projects to ease their commutes around the valley.
Demographics and Trends in Planning
Employment & Career
Housing and Subdivisions
Nothing in the current housing discussion has created the same stir like the tiny house movement and Spearfish, South Dakota has wrestled with trying to understand where this option fits into the menu of choices for housing in the city. The bottom line is that although they are not for everyone, the people who seek the tiny house lifestyle need the same amount of help and assistance to realize their dream as those who are building traditionally constructed homes. by Jayna Watson, AICP
Cappie recently built the first straw bale/cob home with a state-approved gray water system and composting toilet. by Jayna Watson
A case study in Douglas County, Colorado that highlights why a planner should be nimble enough to work through the twists and turns of a contentious and long running land use application. by Katherine E. Rider, AICP
Zoning and Code
Small towns face enormous hurdles in enforcing code. This article highlights the importance of small towns having strategies that work for their unique situation. Although this article is directed to small-town leaders, the principles inherent in code enforcement strategies can benefit leaders, planners, and code enforcement officers in any community. by Kyle Slaughter
The article discusses Albuquerque’s efforts to overhaul its development review process with an Integrated Development Ordinance. by Andrew Webb and Mikaela Renz-Whitmore
Since the passage of TEDD legislation in 2013, three TEDD districts have been established in Montana. by Janet Cornish and Lanette Windemaker, AICP