APA PA Chapter News: June

The Latest News from PA Chapter of APA… 

The Impact of Large & Medium Scale Solar Projects on PA Communities
June 5 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The webinar will provide a comprehensive discussion of large and medium scale solar developments on the PA landscape including where and why they are being sited, common concerns in communities, zoning and land use considerations in ordinance development and proposed legislation that could impact solar in PA.

Deadline to register is Tuesday, June 4.

CM credit is pending approval. You must attend the webinar live to earn CM credit.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a Webinar Wednesday or have a session for Webinar Wednesday, please contact us. Send your request to info@planningpa.org

APA PA Conference 

The 2024 Annual Conference, Investing in a Dynamic Culture of Planning, will be October 13-15, 2024 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA.

The Annual Conference provides a unique and effective opportunity to showcase your work and capabilities to planning professionals and policy makers from across the Commonwealth. It’s also one of the ways to support planning in Pennsylvania by providing valuable networking, education, and development for planners.

The sponsorship brochure will allow you to choose the marketing opportunity that best suits your needs. 

Our conference committee are working diligently to plan a creative and innovative event, one that will pair both educational and provide networking opportunities. We look forward to including you in the continued success of the APA PA Annual Conference!

Planning Webcast Series

Earn over 50 CM credits each year online – at no cost to members of participating organizations that support the Planning Webcast Series. Webcasts take place live on Fridays from 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET and are worth 1.5 CM credits (for live viewing only) unless otherwise noted. More information online.

Communication and Membership Committee

We are always looking for volunteers to contribute articles for our monthly E-News and LinkedIn page. It’s a great way to share your work and local news with a statewide audience! Authors are credited with a by line and tagging on social media, if applicable. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Amy Evans or Amy McKinney.

Opportunities for Giving

Each year the Chapter offers a scholarship to support individuals seeking funds for academic degree programs, internships, and professional development activities.  If anyone would like to contribute to the Chapter’s Scholarship fund, donations can be made here. We accept all major credit cards, or you can send a check. Please make your check payable to “PA Chapter of APA Scholarship Fund” and mail it to P.O. Box 4680, Harrisburg PA 17111.

Mid-Atlantic Collaboration: Planning for Clean Water Webinar Series

The Mid-Atlantic Planning Collaboration webinar series explores the vital connections and partnerships between planners and the health of our water resources and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Each webinar features local planners who are engaged in initiatives that serve their community and further water quality and living resource goals. Each webinar also includes resources available to planners that may be relevant or helpful. All webinars are recorded and posted to the Mid-Atlantic Planning Collaboration’s YouTube page.

Northwest Late Spring/Summer 2024 Free LTAP CLASSES

  • June 6th – Erosion and Sedimentation Control (8am – Noon)
  • July 11th– Full Depth Reclamation ( 8am – Noon)

To register, contact Jessica Carroll at 814-677-4800 x109 or by email at jessicac@northwestpa.org


The Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute will be offering courses online and in person in 2024. Please check their website for the most up to date schedule online.

From Juneteenth to Pride Month: Addressing Historic Inequities in Housing and Zoning
By Betsy Logan, AICP

June marks two noteworthy events in the United States’ history of discrimination and inequity. Each year, Juneteenth, now a federal and state holiday, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on the 19th of June. Pride Month celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride, commemorating the Stonewall riots of 1969. Both Juneteenth and Pride Month remind us that while progress has been made, a history of discriminatory practices, such as the impact of redlining on zoning districts, continues to affect equality and justice.

Philadelphia’s “hazardous” red lined zones compared to present-day segregation. Graphic: Graphic: FiveThirtyEight and ABC News analysis. Image Article Source: Allen, T. 2022. Philadelphia’s redlining legacy persists. Axios Philadelphia.

As planners, June provides an opportunity to recognize how past planning policies and practices impact protected classes and their access to housing. A recent APA-PA Central Section training session explored the history of how redlining evolved into a zoning tool to segregate cities and exclude neighborhoods based on race. Adrian Garcia from the PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC) detailed the legacy of redlining and how it continues to influence fair housing and discrimination.

Understanding the impacts of exclusionary zoning is especially important when rewriting zoning ordinances, working on affordable housing projects, and implementing stronger design standards and revitalization projects that may affect neighborhood gentrification. The PHRC offers training and events for communities and organizations on Fair Housing, Bias, Discrimination, Equity, and Inclusion, workplace discrimination, and Civil Rights. The PHRC is also a valuable resource when considering zoning amendments or developments that could impact housing in a community. In addition to educating ourselves and our communities, planners can advocate for inclusionary zoning that adds affordable housing choices outside traditional city areas and promotes the reduction of concentrated areas of poverty.

PMPEI to offer Train-the-Trainer 
By Charles L. Guttenplan, AICP

The Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) is planning a Fall ‘Train-The-Trainer’ (TTT) session to certify additional instructors for The Course in Subdivision and Land Development Review. This is one of four in-person, ten-hour courses offered by the Institute. PMPEI is continually looking for new instructors to expand course offerings to all sections of the state (Hint: PMPEI is especially interested in training more instructors from southwest PA).

The ‘Train-The-Trainer’ session will be held in State College, PA, from Thursday, October 24 through Saturday, October 26. The session will start with dinner on Thursday, followed by full-day training sessions on Friday and Saturday. 

This training session was originally scheduled for Fall 2023 but regrettably had to be postponed due to some scheduling conflicts. This year, PMPEI is providing scholarships to cover the full registration fee traditionally charged for TTT.

Several potential instructors have already indicated their interest in attending this session to fill the class. PMPEI is also creating a waiting list should any openings develop. For those interested, please contact the author of this article, Charlie Guttenplan, AICP. Charlie heads the PMPEI Board subcommittee for the TTT program. Many planning to attend the Fall TTT session are already instructors in other PMPEI courses, along with a number of new recruits.

For those interested in attending the future TTT program for PMPEI’s other three courses, please reach out to Charlie. The three other courses are: 

  1. The Course in Community Planning;
  2. The Course in Zoning; and
  3. The Course in Zoning Administration. 

PMPEI also offers a 90-minute virtual course which highlights key takeaways from each of the longer courses.  Those trained for a ten-hour course receive certification to teach the associated virtual course. For more information on course offerings and schedules, please visit the PMPEI website.

Planning & Pride Month
By Christina Arlt, AICP, McCormick Taylor and Max Dickson, AICP, OLIN

More than 20 million U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.[1] LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprisings in New York City, a major tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the US. In honor of Pride Month and to recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on the planning profession and in our communities locally and nationally, we’ve compiled a few planning-related articles and resources:

  • This May 2023 article by Aaron Greiner explains why we need Queer Urbanism and how heteronormative planning structures can exclude queer people, especially those who are trans and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color). It’s important to involve queer people in all levels of planning, from hiring to project consultation and community engagement. Don’t assume a heteronormative family structure, plan for flexible spaces that people can adapt to their needs and ask queer people what they need to feel comfortable in a space and follow their suggestions.
  • This May 2022 article by Tatiana Walk-Morris describes how to Kentucky and Maryland are uncovering and honoring LGBTQ+ history in the built environment through planning efforts. For example, Preservation Maryland led Maryland’s 2020 LGBTQ+ survey, which identified almost 400 sites with ties to non-binary historical figures, elected officials, community groups, gay bars and cafes, advocacy for AIDS treatment and marriage equality, and more.
  • Hear from 7 LGBTQ+ planners on pride and what the profession needs to do to support them and the communities they serve in this 2021 Planning Magazine roundtable.
  • Heading out on vacation this summer? If you’re going to Detroit; Ithaca, NY; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Roanoke, VA; or St. Louis, check out these six LGBTQ+ walking tours.
  • As part of the past two National Planning Conference’s, the APA LGBTQ and Planning Divisions has collaborated to create walking tours of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood and Minneapolis’ queer history. Check out the interactive StoryMaps!
  • Interested in learning more? Join the American Planning Association’s LGBTQ and Planning Division, or follow them on Instagram at @apa_lgbtq.
  • Did you know that only Trans Cultural District in the world is in San Francisco? Listen to APA’s podcast series ‘No Small Stories’ to learn more about Compton’s Transgender Cultural District.
  • Does your workplace use gender-inclusive language? Learn why equitable planning starts with inclusive language here!
  • Last, but not least! If you’re in the Philadelphia area on June 6th, join the Pride in the Built Environment Happy Hour at Cockatoo from 6-8 PM. This networking event for planners, landscape architects, and architects is free, but registration is required. Bring your friends and colleagues and celebrate Pride Month!

[1] 2024 Gallup poll