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President's Message: Good Planning Requires Partnerships and Collaboration

Soon my tenure as APA Colorado Chapter President will come to an end and while this is somewhat bittersweet, I have been so very fortunate to work with a dedicated and tireless Executive Board and with Shelia Booth who has made all our accomplishments happen.

During my time as Chapter President, we have focused our efforts on collaboration, outreach, and communication. The themes we have chosen for our Strategic Plan are “Partners in Planning,” and “Partners in Planning – Finding Common Ground.” For the APA Colorado Board, this has meant forming new partnerships and continuing existing partnerships with allied groups; co-hosting and participating in numerous joint training and educational offerings; strengthening our ties and relationships to the academic community, planning students, and emerging professionals; and improving communication by increasing the frequency of email updates and creating a new website.

The APA Colorado Board, our Chapter Administrator, Shelia Booth, the APA Colorado Past-Presidents, and the membership can be proud of what we have accomplished together. It has taken the work and support of all of these entities. Some of our accomplishments include:

  • Grew partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) – Participated in planning efforts in several Colorado towns; reciprocal participation in each organization’s annual conference; joint social events.
  • Partnered 3 years running with WTS, ITE, ASCE, ACEC, and ITS in the Spring Transportation Symposium, which provided both an opportunity for collaboration and a funding mechanism for scholarships.
  • Formed a partnership with Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) and brought planning sessions to their two yearly conferences.
  • Continued partnerships with DOLA, ULI, ASLA, Sonoran Institute, and others.
  • Supported and shared in efforts by RMLUI, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, and more.
  • Collaborated with the academic community at the University of Colorado of Denver (UCD), including joint events and shared opportunities with the student chapter at UCD and with students at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • Saw the growth of focused, determined committees, including the Sustainability and Emerging Planning Professionals; the reconstitution of the Professional Development Committee; the reorganization of the Outreach and Communication Committees; and the continued strategic efforts of the Legislative Committee.
  • Sought opportunities to participate in the planning of national conferences such as New Partners for Smart Growth; as well as regional and local efforts such as the Land Use Leadership Alliance Program, the Denver Regional Council of Governments MetroVision 2040 Planning efforts; and the list goes on.
  • Built new and improved communication measures including the addition of social media, a truly robust newsletter, email announcements of events and training opportunities approximately every other week, and last, but far from least, built a new website that provides more opportunity to disseminate information in a user-friendly format.

To summarize, the APA Colorado Board has sought out every opportunity to be involved, to champion the value of planning, and to collaborate at virtually every level. These accomplishments are due to the hard work of APA Colorado Board members and Shelia Booth, and to you, the members, who have accepted and embraced new ideas and have served on committees, attended events, and provided enthusiasm and feedback.

These accomplishments have been both spurred by a goal to collaborate, which, of course, is what planners do. Planners are natural collaborators and negotiators and the field of planning is based on bringing together a variety of disciplines, interests, and people. This month’s newsletter focuses on Planned Unit Development (PUD or PD), a flexible zoning category that was first enabled by statute in Colorado in 1972. PUDs embody collaboration. They are the result of a negotiated set of standards that are tailored to provide the framework for a desired development concept and to protect sensitive elements that if disturbed result in poor planning and a failed idea. Done right, PUDs are created through the best efforts of public and private sector planners, with input from the community and ultimate approval by an elected body. Again, PUDs are written via negotiation and collaboration. Without this, it is difficult to achieve a balanced result.

At the heart of good planners, good planning, and good planning organizations is partnership, collaboration, negotiation, and communication. Planners do this naturally. It is our gift. Because of this, we have been able to achieve good plans, good communities, good developments, and good planning organizations like APA Colorado.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Board, to Shelia, and to the members. You are responsible for planning in Colorado and for the accomplishments of APA Colorado. You have many reasons to be proud. Because of you, my experience has been wonderful. In a couple of months, I will be turning the reins over to the creative and capable hands of our President-elect, Stan Clauson who will take the organization in new and exciting directions. I look forward to seeing the new and continuing work and accomplishments of APA Colorado. Again, thank you so much. This has truly been a privilege.

With special thanks and appreciation to APA Board Members and Committee Chairs both present and past:

Shelia Booth, AICP, Stan Clauson, AICP, T.J. Dlubac, AICP, Joni Marsh, AICP, Jessica Ibanez, AICP, Tareq Wafaie, AICP, Erica Heller, AICP, Jessica Osborne, AICP, Lor Pellegrino, AICP, Seth Lorson, AICP, Tamra Allen, AICP, Chris Hawkins, AICP, Rebecca Levy, AICP, Paul Rosenberg, James Cramer, Carrie Makarewicz, PhD, Eric Heil, AICP, Dan Bush, Julio Iturreria, AICP, Anne Miller, AICP, Deryn Wagner, Anna Gagne, Abby Shannon, AICP, Joe Frank, FAICP, Greg Moberg, Nate Owens, Jeremy Nemeth, PhD, Kyle Dalton, AICP, Katie Guthrie, AICP, Carrie Murphy, Steven Chester, Daniel Murray, AICP, Coral Cosway, AICP, Gil McNeish, Joyce Allgaier, AICP, Steve Westbay, AICP, Jeremy Klop, AICP, Chris Kulick, AICP, Meghan Pfanstiel, AICP, Mike Sutherland, AICP, Tim Gelston, AICP, Jim Hayes, AICP, Tom Parko, Meggan Herrington, Jeff Walker, April Nowak, and Anne Lane.

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