Conference Program Spotlight: Break-out Sessions featuring: Plan Making, Community Development & Public Engagement

May 19, 2017

*All sessions may be eligible for CM credits.

 

Creating Collaborative Community Projects: What’s the Special Sauce? (Monday July 17 – 10:15am to 11:15am)

 

The Old Prices Fork School Community Revitalization Project brings together diverse community partners to support affordable housing, economic development and local food access for residents of the New River Valley. This multi-phased project involves the historic revitalization of a former elementary school located in southwest Virginia in Montgomery County. Many communities are faced with the costly decision of how to reuse vacant or under-utilized buildings. Often, these structures are in such disrepair that renovations would be cost prohibitive. Zoning and infrastructure may also restrict what type of future use the space can accommodate. This session will highlight how to approach community projects in innovative ways that effectively navigate the local planning process, follow economic trends, use partnerships to leverage funding, and build sustainable projects that benefit communities far into the future.

 

Speakers:

Emily J. Gibson, Planning Director, Montgomery County

Emily is the Director of Planning & GIS in Montgomery County, Virginia and has served in local government planning for over 10 years. She currently serves on the APA Virginia Chapter Board as Secretary and served for the previous four years as VP of Legislative & Policy Affairs.

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Wilsie, AICP, Regional Planner II, New River Valley Regional Commission

Jennifer has been with the New River Valley Regional Commission since 2007 and specializes in affordable housing and community development projects across the region. She works closely with state and federal funders such as the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Rural Development. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech and earned her AICP certification in May of 2015.

 

There’s an App for That (Monday July 17 – 10:15am to 11:15am)

 

Given both the increased responsibilities and financial demands of local governments, diligent public officials must find innovative ways to do more with less. In 2014 the County of Roanoke embarked on an effort to modernize and improve their Code Enforcement Program through a comprehensive management system. Roanoke County created the system in-house, leveraging technologies already utilized by the County, at minimum cost, while having at its core spatial awareness and data interoperability. Roanoke County engaged significantly with citizens in creating this program. The Virginia Association of Counties recognized Roanoke County for accomplishment in this area with an achievement award in the area of Community and Economic Development. This session will explore how local governments can improve efficiency and effectiveness through creation and implementation of a 

Neighborhood Concerns Application.

 

Speakers:

Brian Hughes, CZA, Planner I, Roanoke County

 

Brian has eighteen years of diverse experience in local government, including the fields of planning and public safety. Prior to working for Roanoke County, Brian was employed by the Cities of Roanoke and Richmond. He holds a B.A. in Public Affairs from Roanoke College and a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech

 

David Wray, GIS Manager, Roanoke County

 

David joined Roanoke County CommIT in April 2012 to lead GIS Services which was formed in November 2012.  David has over 25 years of IT and GIS technology experience.  Previously, he served as a GIS consultant in the Homeland Security arena, Director of Information Support Services at North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Raleigh, NC.  David received his BA in Geography from Emory and Henry College and his MA in Geography from Appalachian State University.  David is a Subject Matter Expert for Food and Agriculture Transportation and Commodity Movement and Disease Spread Modeling and scenarios using FMD as a biological weapon.  He has worked with such organizations as the Department of Defense, National Defense University, Department of Homeland Security, USDA and ANSER.       

 

Huntersville Plan Book (Monday July 17 – 2:30pm to 3:30pm)

 

How do you incentivize investment in older, struggling neighborhoods, that is both compatible with existing architecture and maintains affordability? The Huntersville neighborhood in Norfolk, developed during the early half of the 1900’s, is a historic African American community of low and moderate income families, with homes typically built on narrow lots averaging 25 feet in width. The housing stock has suffered from neglect due to struggling economic and social conditions, paired with an emerging mindset that “narrow” homes were less desirable. The result was the loss of many of the older single family homes to demolition or conversion, leaving behind a scattered assortment of vacant lots. Little new construction has taken place due to lack of market demand and the challenges of designing homes that “fit” on these narrow lots. In this era of uncertain government funding, finding a way to get the private sector to invest in these areas is essential to sustaining development. The session will review all the steps necessary to develop and implement a plan book, from the initial concept and ongoing public input, to the creation of a new zoning district, to finding partners to build the new homes.

 

Speakers:

Paula M. Shea, AICP, Principle Planner, City of Norfolk

  

Paula is the project manager for the Huntersville Plan Book project.  Paula began working for Norfolk in late 1980's as a neighborhood planner, witnessing the transformation of the City of Norfolk over her almost 30-year tenure.  Career highlights include managing the Central Hampton Boulevard Plan, the St. Paul’s Quadrant Plan, the Military Highway/Circle Plan and co-managing plaNorfolk2030. Paula has a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a Master’s of Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

 

 

Robert (“Bobby”) J. Tajan, AICP, CFM, Zoning and Floodplain Administrator, City of Norfolk

Bobby is the Zoning and Floodplain Administrator for the City of Norfolk. Over his nine years with the city, he has dealt with zoning and floodplain regulations and their impact on existing structures and properties. Over the last three years Bobby has lead an overhaul and implementation of Norfolk’s floodplain regulations which has led to more resilient design regulations including three feet of freeboard for development and substantial redevelopment.

 

Mel Price, AIA, Principle, Work Program Architects

Mel founded Work Program Architects (WPA) with her partner, Thom White, in 2010. Mel serves AIA National as a Co-Chair of the Small Firm Exchange, representing small architecture firms throughout the United States. She is a founding member of the Friends of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation and Re:Vision Norfolk and serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Norfolk Corporation and the Board of the Downtown Norfolk Council.

 

Anthony James, Project Manager, Work Program Architects

 

Anthony is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who holds a Master’s in Architecture.

 

 

Pattern Books: Community Tools for Neighborhood Revitalization (Monday July 17 – 3:45pm to 4:45pm)

 

A neighborhood pattern book can be an insightful tool in helping residents and investors understand community architectural features and development patterns. As an illustrated guide, a user-friendly pattern book encourages appropriate, complementary renovation of buildings, additions, and new infill construction. This session will explain the difference between a pattern book and design guidelines typically used by an Architectural Review Board in a historic district. Case studies would include information, discussion, and the success of pattern books in Roanoke, Virginia and

Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Speakers:

Evelyn A. Slone, AICP, Director, Hill Studio

 

Evelyn is Director of Community Planning for Hill Studio in Roanoke, Virginia. Evie has over thirty five years of experience in local government and private consulting developing comprehensive and area plans that focus on strategic community development and involving the public. Evie has prepared and directed over 40 area and comprehensive plans in Virginia and the Carolinas. She was the former Director of Planning for the City of Roanoke. She has served on regional boards, as designated agent to local planning agencies, and facilitated numerous sensitive community development and planning projects. She is an advocate for developing user-friendly, well-illustrated, strategic plans to guide community investment, land development and collaborative partnerships.

 

Chris Chittum, AICP, Director of Planning, City of Roanoke

 

Chris is the Director of Planning, Building and Development for the City of Roanoke. He has been with the City for over twenty-five years working in planning, development, and building neighborhood capacity. Chris was a planner and facilitator actively involved in developing the 2020 Roanoke Vision Plan and has shepherded implementation of the plan over the years. He has a passion for encouraging outstanding urban design and fostering neighborhood preservation – both a part of Roanoke’s success story.

 

Alison Stone Blanton, Preservation Planner, Hill Studio

 

Alison is responsible for cultural and historic preservation projects undertaken by Hill Studio. She has worked with planners, architects, economists, attorneys, and developers on Historic Tax Credit projects in VA and beyond. She has completed National Register nominations and architectural/district surveys, and consults frequently with State Historic Preservation Officers and the National Park Service to assist clients in coordinating historic preservation projects with state agencies. Alison has a Master’s in Architectural History / Certificate in Historic Preservation from UVA, and a BA from the University of Texas.

 

Katherine C. Gutshall, Preservation Planner, Hill Studio

 

Katie is a historic preservation planner at Hill Studio in Roanoke, Virginia. Prior to joining Hill Studio, she worked as a planning consultant in Upstate New York. Katie has over four years of experience preparing National Register nominations, historic surveys, Section 106 reviews, design guidelines, and historic tax credit applications. With her blend of experiences in preservation and community planning, she strives to help communities recognize and appreciate the past during the planning process.

 

Katie holds an undergraduate degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia and a graduate degree in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University. She is the Secretary of the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation and the Chair of the Roanoke Architectural Review Board.

 

Stephanie Sample, Historic Preservation – Planner III, City of Alexandria

 

Stephanie has worked in both historic preservation and urban planning, and is a former member of the Parker-Gray Board of Architectural Review.  She has worked on a number of special projects, including: managing the Modern & Sustainable Materials work group which resulted in new window, roofing, and minor architectural elements policies for both local historic districts; and, staffed the Parker-Gray Ad Hoc Design Guidelines work group, which streamlined and re-wrote the Parker-Gray District standards in 2012 in response to concerns of current property owners.  

 

A Strategic Approach to Planning the Mountain Valley Pipeline (Monday July 17 – 3:45pm to 4:45pm)

 

In October 2014, Roanoke County received a proposed route map for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) that would run along the western border of the county. In March 2015, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors (Board) appointed a 16-body Roanoke County Pipeline Advisory Committee (PAC) to provide key stakeholders to assist the Board in its review of the potential benefits and impacts to citizens, businesses and natural resources within the County. In addition, Roanoke County designed the MVP GIS Pipeline Viewer application to show proposed MVP routes with parcel information. The Viewer application was simply designed but conveyed a sophisticated level of effort that reassured the public that the County was invested in its analysis of potential MVP impacts. This session will explore how local government can actively address citizen, and elected official, concerns regarding pipeline projects by creating new forums for public engagement and using GIS applications to inform decision-making.

 

Speakers:

Richard Caywood, Assistant County Administrator, Roanoke County

 

Richard has served as the Assistant County Administrator for Roanoke County since 2013. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, with a focus on construction engineering and management. Prior to entering local government service, Richard held a variety of positions at VDOT over a 20 year period including Resident Engineer of VDOT’s Petersburg Residency Office and District Administrator for VDOT’s Salem District. Richard has been a licensed engineer since 1999 and is currently in the process of becoming a Credentialed Manager through the ICMA. His favorite part of the job is working with a close knit team to deliver a tough project.

 

Ruth Ellen Kuhnel, County Attorney, Roanoke County

 

A 24-year resident of the Roanoke Valley, Ruth Ellen began working for the Roanoke County Attorney’s Office in 2007 representing the County in a variety of matters, specializing in land use, contracts, and litigation on behalf of the Department of Social Services. She assumed the County Attorney position in 2015. Ruth Ellen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi and her Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University.

 

David Wray, GIS Manager, Roanoke County

 

David joined Roanoke County in April 2012 to lead GIS Services which was formed in November 2012. David has over 25 years of IT and GIS technology experience. Previously he served as a GIS Consultant in the Homeland Security arena, Director of Information Support Services at North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Raleigh, NC. David received his BA in Geography from Emory & Henry College and his MA in Geography from Appalachian State University. David is a Subject Matter Expert for Food and Agriculture Transportation and Commodity Movement and Disease Spread Modeling and scenarios using FMD as a biological weapon. He has worked with such organizations as the Department of Defense, National Defense University, Department of Homeland Security, USDA and ANSER.

 

David Perry, Executive Director, Blue Ridge Land Conservancy

 

David is executive director of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, a Roanoke, VA-based non-profit which works with rural residents to conserve land and water. He is the chairperson of the Roanoke County Pipeline Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy in 2006, he held management positions with the Wicomico County, Maryland Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America. David has an M.S. in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University and a B.S. in geography from James Madison University.

 

Engaging Comprehensive Plans: Tools for Successful Planning Projects (Tuesday July 18 – 2:30pm to 3:30pm)

 

Every community needs a comprehensive plan that effectively guides public investment and land development decisions. However, major projects like a new Comprehensive Plan can seem overwhelming due to the extensive project scope, costs, diverse stakeholders, controversial topics, staffing, and challenging timelines. Planners struggle with factual, and sometimes boring, plans that can sit on the shelf. This session will identify how planners in three different size communities - Loudoun County, Virginia, the Town of South Boston, and City of Roanoke – have had proven success in their comprehensive planning efforts. Learn new techniques and approaches that will help you develop an engaging comprehensive plan that involves the community, provides vision for the future, and is used by both governmental officials and citizens to guide successful decisions and achieve results.

 

Speakers:

Ricky W. Barker, AICP, Director of Planning & Zoning, Loudoun County

 

Ricky is the Planning and Zoning Director for Loudoun County. He has a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and has over 30 years of diverse planning experience in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Ricky has been a National Planning Association conference speaker on transportation planning, building and site design standards, and mixed use development. Before joining the staff at Loudoun, Ricky spent over 20 years as the Associate Planning Director for the Town of Cary (located adjacent to Raleigh North Carolina where he assisted the town council to shape, direct, and managed growth and development through innovative planning and regulations.

 

Chris Garcia, AICP, Planning Manager, Loudoun County

 

Chris is the Planning Manager in the Community Planning section for Loudoun County. Chris has a Master’s degree from the Hood College and a Bachler degree in Architecture from the University of Texas. Chris has over 17 years of diverse planning experience including working for the City of San Antonio and carrying out federal planning projects with the Department of Defense. Chris is presently the project manager for Envision Loudoun, a new comprehensive plan for Loudoun County as well leading the development of a comprehensive plan for the areas around the future Silver Line metro stations.

 

Evelyn A. Slone, AICP, Director, Hill Studio

 

Evelyn is Director of Community Planning for Hill Studio in Roanoke, Virginia. Evie has over thirty five years of experience in local government and private consulting developing comprehensive and area plans that focus on strategic community development and involving the public. Evie has prepared and directed over 40 area and comprehensive plans in Virginia and the Carolinas. She was the former Director of Planning for the City of Roanoke. She has served on regional boards, as designated agent to local planning agencies, and facilitated numerous sensitive community development and planning projects. She is an advocate for developing user-friendly, well-illustrated, strategic plans to guide community investment, land development and collaborative partnerships.

 

Chris Chittum, AICP, Director of Planning, City of Roanoke

 

Chris is the Director of Planning, Building and Development for the City of Roanoke. He has been with the City for over twenty-five years working in planning, development, and building neighborhood capacity. Chris was a planner and facilitator actively involved in developing the 2020 Roanoke Vision Plan and has shepherded implementation of the plan over the years. He has a passion for encouraging outstanding urban design and fostering neighborhood preservation – both a part of Roanoke’s success story.

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The Conference Program

April 4, 2017