2012 Annual Award Winners

2012 Awards Ceremony

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (PA Chapter of APA) held its Annual Awards Luncheon in Erie, PA where almost 300 attendees celebrated the esteemed award winners of this year’s highly competitive program. The following individuals and organizations were honored for their excellent contributions to planning in Pennsylvania. Congratulations!

 The following awards were presented:

 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan
   Awarded to Char-West Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan

Char-West Council of Governments
McKees Rocks Borough
Neville Township
Stowe Township

The Char-West Plan is the determined effort of McKees Rocks, Neville, and Stowe to reverse years of economic and population decline and to transform challenges to assets. The plan gives insights in zoning, market analyses, and infrastructure and taps into the area’s strong institutions, potential for cooperation, and 16 miles of waterfront. The plan hits hard with a wake-up call of key trends. And it helps local officials and partner organizations zero in on 12 Essential Actions and Places to Grow in each municipality. (More information in resource library)

 Opportunity and Empowerment Award
    Awarded to Spring Garden II Scattered Sites

Philadelphia Housing Authority
Spring Garden CDC
Michaels Development

The $19.3 million Spring Garden II project created 58 affordable housing units by rehab of 22 Philadelphia Housing Authority properties and new construction by the Spring Garden CDC. The authority properties were restored to historic standards and are a show place in the Historic District. Affordable units look no different than market rate units, and the neighborhood is truly mixed income and more safe. Residents benefit from nearby jobs, transit, educational, and cultural opportunities. The project transformed several blight-ridden blocks. (More information in resource library)

 Planning Excellence Award Best Practice
    Awarded to Philadelphia Integrated Planning and Zoning Process

Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission

Philadelphia through 2011-2012 undertook a comprehensive plan, zoning code rewrite, and citizen planner leadership program, and integrated them to achieve the most positive outcomes! The Citizens Planning Institute and its curriculum and results are a model to follow. The adoption of the Citywide Vision part of Philadelphia2035 (comprehensive plan) and enactment of the new city zoning code are major accomplishments that will inspire other cities. Via Philadelphia’s planning efforts, community education led to policy reform, policy reform led to innovative regulatory changes, and improved regulations are implementing community visions and plans. (More information in resource library)

 Planning Excellence Award Best Practice
    Awarded to Dam Park at Austin: Master Plan & Economic Development Strategies

Austin Dam Memorial Association
Austin Borough
Potter County Visitors Association

The Austin Dam plan was more than a park master plan and economic development strategy. It also helped Austin reflect on its own but lesser-known historic flood tragedy. The plan helped the community realize what it has, the story it can tell, and how to capitalize by promoting the unique history, environment, and culture of days past and present. With limited resources the community has begun re-branding “the whole Dam story”, undertaking improvements in the park, and promoting local events and businesses for economic development along Austin’s Main Street. (More information in resource library)

 Planning Excellence Award Public Outreach
    Awarded to Planning Commission University

Cumberland County Planning Department

Planning Commission University was created by Cumberland County Planning Department to train local planning commission members, both rookies and veterans. It provides three sessions of basic and advanced instruction on planning commission roles and responsibilities, from why planning is important, to comprehensive plans, subdivision, and zoning, to running a meeting, to emerging issues. And, the course provides a transferable handbook and CD with electronic copies of planning guides and best practice examples from throughout the county. (More information in resource library)

 Student Project Award
    Awarded to Chester Remakes: A Strategic Plan to Green and Grow Chester!

Temple University Community and Regional Planning Department

Chester Remakes is the work product of the Temple Planning Department’s graduate capstone studio course. The student project promotes investing in the city’s more traditional spaces: its neighborhoods, its downtown and its places of recreation. Recommendations strive to offset the legacy of environmental degradation in the city and to rejuvenate its ecological and recreational assets and improve community health. The plan rises beyond speculation and whimsy and promotes action, action which is already taking place. (More information in resource library)

 Planning Leadership Award – Professional Planner
Awarded to John Woodling, Monroe County Planning Commission

John Woodling has had a stellar 41-year planning career, the last 22 years as director of Monroe County Planning Commission. His strongest accomplishment was the Monroe 2020 county comprehensive plan, completed in 1999, which initiated county-municipal partnerships, open space protection programs, and then innovative smart growth principles now considered commonplace. Monroe 2020 won numerous awards. In John’s tenure, 12 of the county’s 20 municipalities adopted multimunicipal comprehensive plans, 18 enacted conservation subdivision practices, and 18,000 acres of open space and ag lands were protected.

 Planning Leadership Award – Elected Official Planning Advocate
    Awarded to Salvatore J. Panto, Jr., Mayor, City of Easton

Mayor Panto, in his fourth term, is credited with rejuvenating Easton. He stabilized a government teetering on bankruptcy despite the worst economy since the Great Depression. His planning-driven and business-friendly approach has resulted in $400+ million invested in Easton since 2007. Accomplishments under his leadership include the city’s new smart development code, pedestrian-oriented road-dieting of downtown arterials, a planned, mixed-income development to replace deteriorated public housing, and transformation of older space into new restaurants, retail stores, and places for recreation, culture, and the arts. Mayor Panto’s leadership is replacing neglect and despair with investment and hope.

 Planning Leadership Award – Distinguished Service
    Awarded to Stanford M. Lembeck, Ph.D., AICP

Stan Lembeck has had a distinguished lifetime of service to planners, local officials, and the practice of planning in Pennsylvania. In 36 years at Penn State University, Stan developed and taught courses in planning and land use, and trained innumerable local elected officials, planning commissioners, zoning board members, civic groups, citizens, and professional planners. He was involved in drafting the Municipalities Planning Code in 1968 and major amendments in 1988 and 2000. He co-founded, chairs, and authored courses for the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute, a partnership of PA APA and Penn State Cooperative Extension. He has been active in most aspects of the PA Chapter of APA and its predecessors, recently serving as chair of the MPC Task Force writing the next generation of PA’s planning law, and the Required Training Task Force. Stan is a straight talker, a leader, and a doer, and he has been persistently effective in serving Pennsylvania planning and planners.

 Certificates of Merit were awarded to:

Best Practice – Montgomery County Model Ordinance Series

Montgomery County Planning Commission

Student Project – Complete Streets: A Framework for Northern Lancaster (more information in resource library)

Temple University Community and Regional Planning Graduate Program

Elected Official Planning Advocate – Christine Fizzano Cannon, Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County

Thanks to the members of the Awards Committee for the time and hard work they contributed to carefully review all awards submissions.

Denny Puko, Chairman
Pennsylvania DCED
Robert M. Behling
 South Heidelberg Township Planning Commission
Cindy Campbell
Pennsylvania DCED
Graciela Cavicchia, AICP, PP
The Reinvestment Fund
Deborah Howe, PhD, FAICP
Temple University
Brian O’Leary, AICP
Montgomery County Planning Commission
Brandi Rosselli, AICP
Mackin Engineering
Vaughn Stebbins, AICP
EDMC – South University