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A Note from APA Texas Chapter President Doug McDonald, AICP

The full 26-member APATX Board of Directors will meet this Friday in Waco, Texas to discuss Chapter programs, new committees, and the FY2019 budget. Read more from the Chapter President!

Hurricane Harvey Needs Survey Results

In the aftermath of a major disaster, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that community recovery continues long after the initial demands for food and shelter are met. Because the APA’s members are on the ground, working to keep our cities running every day, we wanted to understand the experience of community planners and other officials working toward Harvey Recovery, and ways for the Texas Chapter to support recovery efforts.

To date, 500 surveys have been distributed to APA members and participants at disaster recovery events, with an approximate response rate of 10% from communities across the affected regions. 

Take the survey!

See preliminary results!

Call for 2018 Texas Chapter Awards and Planning Excellence Recognition Is Open!

We are looking for Texas' best! The Call for the Annual Texas Chapter Awards Program and Planning Recognition Program is now open! There has been some minor changes to the Texas Chapter Awards Program as the process will be moved completely online using ZoomGrants (same software for the Conference Sessions). Be sure to check out the website for updates to the Annual Texas Chapter Awards and Planning Excellence Recognition Program

Due Dates:

Planning Excellence Recognition Nominations: July 2

Texas Chapter Awards: July 13

Call for Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Conference Program Ads for APATX18

It is time to have your company logo in our newsletter! The APA Texas Chapter continues to put on great conferences primarily because we have great sponsors. We invite you to view our new 2018-2019 Sponsor and Exhibitor package and check-out additional opportunities to provide ad space in the conference program.

APA News from NPC18 in New Orleans

The 2018 National Planning Conference in New Orleans offered APA leadership an opportunity to share progress with Chapters and Divisions on ongoing initiatives and unveil plans for new programs, as well. Here are a few updates and what’s on the horizon.


APA’s student and new member program offering free and reduced memberships has resulted in increasing membership for the organization. As part of this program, Division membership has skyrocketed, in some cases doubling or even tripling in size. The full impact has yet to be felt; while no commitment or timeline was proposed, the Divisions Council Chair shared his future goal of making division membership free to all APA members.

• Since the launch of the AICP Candidate Program in November, more than 600 applications have been received along with a lot of positive feedback from participants.

• APA will be launching a new education platform for members only called APA Learn this summer. The online platform will provide continuing education about planning and will automatically track AICP CM credits for certified planners. According to Executive Director Jim Drinan, this will be a game-changing member benefit and will also impact the ways Chapters and Sections plan conferences and deliver education to their members.

• APA Learn is part of APA’s blueprint for education, a five-year plan developed to ensure that there is content for planners at all stages of their careers, as well as citizen planners and allied professionals. The potential for “micro-credentialing” was discussed, where planners could access a suite of educational offerings that, once completed, would be recognized to show expertise in a topic area.

• Expect to hear and learn a lot more about the topic of housing as APA ramps up its campaign to address the national housing crisis through detailed policies, tools and resources around this subject. To set the stage, APA’s Board of Directors adopted a set of Housing Principles this spring that are available on APA’s website.

(as summarized by APA-Ohio)

May Planner Profile: Jeff Fisher, AICP

Name: Jeff Fisher, AICP

Title: Senior Planner

Agency: City of San Angelo

Time at current location: 4 years

Education: Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Planning (BES, Pl.), University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)

Why did you get into Planning? Wanted to serve my community and enjoy land use/zoning/city planning  

What is your proudest accomplishment? Contributing to our APA Texas Great Places proposal in which our City was one of the winners (San Angelo RiverWalk)

What is your dream project? To create an amazing new urban space in Downtown San Angelo.  (And to do any planning review on a future ice hockey arena, if we ever get a team back in San Angelo)

Picture: Jeff Fisher paints edging on a home during the 6th annual Neighborhood Blitz in San Angelo

APA Louisiana Conference Call for Sessions

APALA will be holding its annual conference in Shreveport in October. The Chapter has asked for assistance in sessions from surrounding chapters including APATX! The call for session topics is due June 22nd! Click here to submit a session proposal!

Texas A&M Grad Tristan Lanza featured by APA

The National APA recently featured Tristan Lanza's journey to Belize City and his work with the Yarbrough Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT)! The article also gave Texas A&M's Texas Target Communities and the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center some much needed national attention!

Read the article here!

Dr. Shannon Van Zandt, AICP Named Program Chair at Texas A&M University

On March 22, 2018, Dr. Shannon Van Zandt was formally announced as the new Head of LAUP at Texas A&M. Dr. Van Zandt has served as the Interim Head since Fall 2016. According to a press release, the Department received 25 applications and shortlisted to a pool of six. Dr. Van Zandt will assume her new position on September 1st, 2018.

Dr. Shannon Van Zandt joined the faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (LAUP) in the College of Architecture (CARC) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 2005 as an assistant professor, and subsequently, in 2011, she was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Subsequently, in 2016, she was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. She currently holds the Nicole and Kevin Youngblood Professorship in Residential Land Development. Dr. Van Zandt earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from CARC at TAMU, graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Design (summa cum laude) from the Department of Architecture (ARCH) in 1993, and with a Master of Urban Planning from LAUP 1997. Subsequently, in 2004, she received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Department of City & Regional Planning University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

View the press release here

Stay engaged and win!

Be sure to stay engaged with your fellow Texas planners and watch out for opportunities to earn entries into monthly drawings for a gift card!

Log your eligible actions here! The list of eligible actions per month will be updated on the first of the month and shared frequently throughout the month on the Chapter's social media platforms!

November AICP Registration Opens June 1st!

The November 2018 Registration will open June 1st! Apply by June 7th for the Early Bird Registration!

APATX has many resources to help you prepare for the AICP exam. Stay tuned for information regarding workshops and exam scholarships!

AJ Fawver, AICP hired as Planning Director for City of Lubbock

Mike Bell, AICP promoted to Lead Planner for City of Plano

Ken Schmidt, AICP promoted to Lead Planner for City of Plano

Ross Altobelli, AICP promoted to Lead Planner for City of Plano

Helen-Eve Liebman, AICP hired has Director of Planning and Development for City of Corinth

Raha Pouladi hired as a planner for City of Celina

Dan Tracy, PE with the City of Richardson was promoted to Assistant Director of Development Services

Chris Shacklett, AICP with the City of Richardson was promoted to Development Review Manager

Send us your news about promotions, appointments, awards, etc. so we can share it with the rest of APATX

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