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News & Announcements

March - April 2015 - Planning Minnesota

Highlights of this issue include:

  • From the Desk of the President
  • Engagement After Retirement
  • New APA-MN Website
  • On Roundabouts
  • City of Battle Lake
  • Transportation Data Sources
  • Conference RFP
  • New Stadium Rises
  • National Planning Conference
  • Upcoming Events and Webinars
  • Job Opportunities and RFPs

Read this month's Planning Minnesota in pdf format.

Read past month's Planning Minnesota newsletters.

Minnesota Planner - December 2014

Highlights include:

  • Time to Vote
  • APA MN Holiday Party
  • Great Places Initiative
  • Resilient Communities RFP
  • Need Law and Ethics Credits?
  • Public Sector Innovation Seminar
  • Healthy Planning Coalitions RFP
  • ....and more!

Read this month's Minnesota Planner online.

Read past month's Minnesota Planner newsletters.

SLUC: How To Get Your Development Approved

When: Wednesday, February 25, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where: DoubleTree Park Place, 1600 Park Place Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN
Costs: $38/members ~ $48/nonmembers ~ $20/students

This program will focus on the "dos" (and "don'ts") that can take you down the road to approval success, or completely derail a worthwhile project.

1.0 Hour of CRE and AICP CM applied for.

Learn more and register at

Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO)
Transportation, Land Use, and Community Forestry Stakeholder Meeting

Where: Minneapolis Central Library
Mary and David Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401
When: March 20, 2015
8:00 A.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Transportation & Land Use)
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Community Forestry)

As a key stakeholder in the transportation and urban land use sector, please join us on March 20th for a meeting of the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO) stakeholder engagement process. This sector-specific working session will provide an opportunity for focused discussion amongst interested stakeholders on what it could look like to implement a set of policy and program options focused on vehicles, transportation, and urban land use planning.

Environmental Initiative is working with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to support the engagement of stakeholders in the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO) initiative. Join us for one or more of the upcoming meetings to share ideas, information, and perspectives that will help to inform decisions about potential near-term (2015 - 2030) actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our economy.

If you have questions please contact Meleah Houseknecht at 612-334-3388 ext. 104.

2015 Planning Webcast Series

February's Webcast lineup (and on into March)...

February 20 - Pennsylvania Chapter - Planning for Immigrant and Multi-Ethnic Communities - Speakers: Stacey Chen, Melissa Kim, Jennifer Rodriguez - Ethics CM Pending

The surge in immigration over the past two decades has engendered an unprecedented level of racial ethnic and cultural diversity in the United States. This session will present an overview of some key concepts, trends and issues to consider when planning in immigrant and multi-ethnic contexts in the U.S. and in Philadelphia in particular. A range of tools (along with their advantages and drawbacks will be presented to explore a range of possible planning approaches and tactics for communities with large immigrant populations and illustrate how these approaches can enrich planning practice more generally. ETHICS BLURB: This session discusses why and how to plan inclusively - how to engage underserved populations and why it creates better outcomes for communities. The APA advocates for inclusive planning, and requires certified planners to uphold a Code of Ethics. This session will address the mandate from the AICP Code of Ethics that a planner's primary obligation is to serve the public interest. This obligation includes seeking social justice, dealing fairly with all participants in the planning process, and giving people the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans and programs that may affect them. Involving the full spectrum of a community, including populations that are typically underserved, in planning and implementation projects not only creates buy-in of projects, but also develops projects that better serve the communities. The panelists will discuss why and how to engage immigrant and cultural diverse populations in planning and implementation.

February 27 - Utah Chapter - Millenials and Mobility in the Modern West (registration coming soon!) - Speakers: Julia Collins and Richard Brockmyer - CM Pending

The Millennial generation (age 18-34) is redefining our communities and the way we plan for the future, truly challenging us to 'plan at the crossroads' of shifting demographic trends. With an appetite for urban living and the convenience, accessibility, and flexibility it offers, Millennials are demanding housing and transportation options that meet the needs of their technology-driven, flexible lifestyles. Learn about the attitudes and behaviors of the largest and most diverse generation in U.S. history and how they impact the future you plan for.

March 13 - Northern New England Chapter - Responding to the FCC New Collocation Rules - How to Avoid ?Deemed Granted" (registration coming soon!) - Speaker: Gerard Lederer, Esq. - Law CM Pending

The FCC adopted new rules at its Oct. 17 meeting that are likely to require changes in the way local governments respond to applications for siting wireless towers, and for adding antennas to, and modifying, existing structures. The rules could necessitate an immediate review and revision of wireless siting ordinances in many communities, and have important implications for the way states and localities deal with siting of wireless facilities in historic districts and environmentally sensitive areas. The change in the rules may also affect the approach of public agencies, schools, special districts and local governments to leasing of their own property.

Distance Education - these webcast recordings are approved for CM credit for viewing during the 2015 calendar year:

Note that the DE CM credits have a different event number than the original live webcast, so the event number in the recording will not work for DE credit. Use these event numbers above to log your DE CM credits.

Building a Foundation 2014-2015
Real Estate Development Education Program (9 sessions)

Urban Land Institute

In each of the nine sessions, industry professionals will present the essentials to completing a successful development project.

Participants will receive:

  • ULI Real Estate Development - Principles and Process textbook ($99.95 value)
  • Course work guide
  • Continuing education credits for each class
  • Each educational session will include lunch and will be held at the industry leader's office (typically Downtown Minneapolis) from 11:30am to 1:00pm

Registration: $300
ULI Members: $225
(price includes all 9 sessions)
Registration is limited to 30 participants. This will sell out!

March 13 Peter Austin, VP Director of Finance, Kelly Brothers; and Paul Muldoon, VP, WaterStone Bank
Capital Markets/ Project Financing

April 10 Peter Berrie, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels
Real Estate Law - Closing the Deal

May 8 Frank Clark, Property Project Manager, Hines
Asset Management

June 11 Graduation Reception and Tour

Register online or call 1-800-321-5011 - Event Code: 8117-1502

APA-Wisconsin Annual Planning Workshop - The Tech Side of Planning

Where: The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee
When: March 6, 2015

For more information and for an application form, please visit, or contact Deb Nemeth, Conference Coordinator, at

National report finds MSP region could be growing in better, smarter ways

New report ranks major metropolitan areas based on their development, and examines how sprawl relates to prosperity, health and quality of life

Measuring Sprawl 2014, released today by ARISE state wide, in partnership with Smart Growth America who are supporting the national release, ranks the most sprawling and most compact areas of the country. The new report evaluates development patterns in 221 major metropolitan areas and their counties based on four factors: density, land use mix, street connectivity and activity centering. Each metro area received a Sprawl Index score based on these factors. In our region, with a score of 87, the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region ranks near the bottom of the list at number 147 out of 221. With a score of 103, the Duluth region ranks above MSP at number 112 out of 221. With a score of 121, the Fargo, ND-MN region ranks near the top of the list at 25 out of 221.

To view the press release on this report, and for more information on Measuring Sprawl 2014, please see the pdf press release.

FAICP Honor for Phil Wheeler

Phil Wheeler has been selected as part of the 2014 Class of the Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP). FAICP is the highest professional honor in the planning field. FAICP members are identified as model planners who have made significant contributions to planning and society. Phil was nominated by the APA Minnesota chapter and will be inducted as Fellow at the APA Conference this April in Atlanta.

Phil recently retired from the Rochester Olmsted Planning Department following over 37 years of service, where he served as Planning Director since 1990. Phil's distinguished career is characterized by a continual pursuit of innovation. His work with the Rochester Olmsted Planning Department on growth management, GIS, and environmental protection pushed the boundaries of current practice, responded to critical challenges in his community, and has directly informed other communities. He has worked diligently to address key social and equity concerns, generating valuable data to assess these issues along with typical planning topics, advancing community-wide inclusionary policies, and partnering with advocacy organizations to address critical needs. He has contributed to peer-reviewed articles and has won awards for community service, GIS, and community needs assessment.

If you wish to reach out to Phil directly, his email is

Citizen Planner Handbook Now Available Online

An invaluable resource is now available on our website for free. The Citizen Planner Handbook, an excellent reference tool for planning commissioners, elected officials, engaged citizens and also planners, is now available to download for free at our website.

The Citizen Planner Handbook contains information on commission bylaws, findings of fact, parliamentary procedure, public hearings and board orientation as well as introductions to comprehensive plans, zoning and subdivision regulations in addition to many more topics.

Download a copy of the APA Minnesota Chapter's Citizen Planner Handbook

Launch of Community and Local Food Resource Website

This website contains extensive links to tools, videos, articles, reports, fact sheets, websites, and more that will help farmers, extension educators, and communities looking to build their local food system infrastructure. Bookmark this website to give you quick access to hundreds of relevant local food resources.

This USDA SARE project was led by a collaboration of the University of Minnesota Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Buy Fresh Buy Local South Dakota; FARRMS (North Dakota), North Dakota State University Extension; and the Northwest Regional Partnership (Minnesota). Farmers and local food advocates from rural communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota participated in workshops and provided input into the themes and content covered in these web tools.

More information can be found at

FBC101e - ABCs of Form-Based Codes on-line

Ten excellent instructors, all of them leading experts in the field, provide a comprehensive overview and key insights into the art of form-based coding.

FBC101e is an on-line course that may be taken conveniently from home or office. Participants log in whenever they're ready to learn. They can finish the course in a couple days, although they have six weeks to complete it. An on-line discussion forum allows participants to ask questions of an expert, and to share comments and questions among themselves.

This on-line course provides 8 AICP CM (including .5 Law), AIA CES, LA CES, CNU-A


  • New Report Helps Sustain America’s Urban Trees and Forests  (pdf)
  • Minnesota Water Framework Sustainability - read it on the web here!
  • Have an idea for the monthly APA Minnesota newsletter? Want to advertise your business? Simple instructions to lead you through the process. Click here for more information. Newsletter Instructions  

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