2018 CCAPA Planning Award Nominations Now Open!

Each year, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association invites nominations for its annual Planning Awards to showcase outstanding projects, people and places.

The initial nomination process is simple. Simply e-mail the Awards Committee by October 5th at 4:30pm the following:

  • Project Name & Location
  • Nominee Name, Telephone & Email
  • A concise explanation of the project, what was accomplished, who was involved and why you think it is worthy of consideration

The 2018 CCAPA AWARDS Call for Nominations provides more details on which projects are eligible, and how to make a nomination.


New Professional Development Officer

CCAPA is pleased to announce that Steven Sadlowski, AICP will join the Executive Board as our new Professional Development Officer.

For those of you who do not know Steve, he has served as Director of Planning and Community Development in Winchester since 2015. In this role he supervised the creation of an online GIS, new zoning regulations, electronic permitting.  He has also worked on several development projects including the redevelopment of two adaptive reuse mill building projects.  Prior to his job in Winchester, he served as the Land Use Administrator in New Hartford and Canterbury.

Steve is also a steadfast member of “team AICP,” assisting with the annual training class for prospective AICP candidates. Steve’s has an MS in Geography from Central Connecticut State University. In addition to serving as our new PDO, Steve is also on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation.

Please feel free to extend a personal welcome to Steve.

We also wish to acknowledge and thank Sue Westa, AICP, who served for many years as our Chapter’s PDO.  Our AICP-certified planners are truly appreciative of Sue’s work in developing “CM-credit” programs, facilitating professional development and elevating our work in keeping with national best practices.

Thank you Sue and welcome Steve!

SNEAPA Call for Sessions

The Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) invites you share your expertise and experiences in planning and development with a session at the 2018 SNEAPA Regional Planning Conference. CCAPA is hosting this annual event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT on October 18-19, 2018.

The SNEAPA Conference draws up to 700 planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects,
academics, students and other professionals, across the public and private sectors, from Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the surrounding region.

The Committee seeks sessions that will provide attendees with knowledge and skills necessary to engage in best practices in planning, design, and public engagement. Priority will be given to sessions which provide significant audience participation, hands-on and skill-building workshops. SNEAPA provides opportunities for presenters and attendees to earn CM credits for AICP certified planners.

Visit www.sneapa.org for further information.

Start with Planning

CCAPA is pleased to announce the release of Start with Planning, our chapter’s policy platform for 2018 and a signature building block for good planning through technical assistance, public awareness and collaboration.  Our values not only “help planners plan” but also lend critical insights as Connecticut navigates through the year in the midst of a slow overall economic recovery and ongoing fiscal issues at many levels of government.  These challenges have understandably dominated statewide conversation, often leaving little room to emphasize the incredibly powerful stories of ingenuity and innovation happening across Connecticut.  We learned about these stories as part of the outreach for Start with Planning, which included small- and large-group conversations over the past six months.

This work is best summarized in our Winter 2018 special edition of CT Planning, our flagship publication, which features an overall summary of work accomplished to date and summary sections from a series of Policy Papers on key topics in planning.  A project Presentation Deck with a Summary of Member Comments from our conversation at SNEAPA in Providence is also posted on our website.

The Start with Planning message is focused on our collective sense of place, focusing on the authenticity of Connecticut as a core value and also recognizing the need to accelerate our pace in order to stay current with socio-economic trends moving at a far more rapid speed; and to continue to build up “Team Connecticut”, the broad coalition of technical professionals who can carry out the work in the years to come.  One immediate next step is the launch of CCAPA’s new Community Planning Assistance Team program.  Modeled after APA’s national program, CCAPA members are volunteering their time to assist you with a planning- or land use-related challenge in your community.

Pulling this initiative together required extraordinary efforts on the part of our members.  Special thanks to our chapter’s Executive Board, Government Relations Committee and Start with Planning research groups.  Guidance documents coming out of the University of Connecticut’s CIRCA program, the Connecticut Main Street Center and the Partnership for Strong Communities are particularly noteworthy.  The Regional Plan Association’s Fourth Regional Plan provided important guidance and emphasized the crisis in equity stating that, “in 2017, the region ranked as one of the least affordable and most highly segregated regions in the country by both race/ethnicity and income.”  Without a renewed commitment to social equity, there is simply nowhere to start on a path forward.

Our Government Relations Committee, co-chairs Amanda Kennedy and John Guszkowski, merit special recognition for the tireless efforts above and beyond their already-demanding responsibilities on the legislative side.  Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Connecticut’s planners!

I welcome your feedback on Start with Planning and encourage you to get involved.  We will continue the dialogue at an upcoming program or event, including Hot Topics this June and the Southern New England Planning Conference to be held October 18-19, 2018 in Harford.

If you would like more information on the many ways CCAPA can assist you in professional practice, please do not hesitate to call me at (203) 946-2867 or send me an email.

Kick off the New Year with Planning

Hello fellow planners – I hope you are staying warm and energized for 2018!

We are welcoming a new year full of promise in spite of the ongoing budget uncertainty and economic headwinds here in Connecticut.  Optimism starts with planning, both for our professional work plan and for our organization.  Along those lines, I am pleased to report that the Chapter’s “Start with Planning Initiative” launches this quarter along with our work plan for Chapter programs and the legislative agenda.  Here are some of the many highlights for the first quarter:

Awards Luncheon.  The 2017 Chapter Awards will be announced at the Inn at Middletown this Friday, January 12, 2018.  Even if you are not attending the luncheon in person, be sure to read and acknowledge the recipients through CCAPA’s social media and website platforms.

Start with Planning Initiative.  As discussed at SNEAPA, CCAPA is finalizing its 2018 policy framework.  Special topic areas include economic development, conservation, housing, coastal resiliency and transportation.  CCAPA will advocate for Connecticut’s core value and a team approach to problem-solving and program delivery.  For those specifically interested in housing policy, be sure to also register for the first 2018 iForum at the Lyceum on January 29, 2018.  CCAPA is co-sponsoring this important event on housing success, tools, techniques and leadership.

Chapter Planning Assistance Team (CPAT).  Thank you to all of our volunteers willing to participate in the chapter assistance program.  With this new program, CCAPA will organize teams with the specific expertise needed to address your planning needs, goals or concerns. The teams will assist in the process by directly engaging with the community and various stakeholders, providing technical assistance, and developing specific findings, strategies and recommendations. CPATs are time-testing ways to assist communities with specific issues and is used throughout the country under APA’s guidance.  If you are interested in bringing the CPAT team to your community, please email me at the address below.

Lunch and Learn Series.  Interested in sharpening your professional skills?  CCAPA has arranged for three expert professionals to join us for roundtable-style lunch and learn seminars.  A separate announcement will come out this week with the details.  For now, please “save the date” and join us in Hartford for one or all three seminars.

  • February 2nd – Sharpen Your Communication Skills
  • March 2nd – Apply Project Management Techniques to Planning Initiatives
  • April 6th – Build Relationships through Mediation and Facilitation

Thank you as always for your support of CCAPA and good planning in Connecticut!

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven



Towns and Cities Urged to Participate in Census Process

Governor Malloy has urged CT’s cities and towns to participate in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program in order to improve the accuracy of Census counts. The deadline to register your community is December 15th. Learn more about LUCA, the importance of getting accurate Census counts, and how to register your community here.

Help Shape CCAPA’s 2018 Policy Platform: Start with Planning

Thank you to all of our members who participated in National Community Planning Month Activities!

The Pace of Change, joint program with the CT Bar Association, Land Use Division, October 19, 2017

CCAPA celebrated National Community Planning Month with a number of important technical programs, including Meriden Rising with the Connecticut Main Street Center and the City of Meriden, the Pace of Change Workshop with the Connecticut Bar Association’s Land Use Division and, of course, the well-attended Southern New England Planning Conference with our peers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island chapters.  Special thanks to our program facilitators, volunteers, working group members and attendees at these important events.

On October 27, 2017, our chapter meeting was held at SNEAPA in Providence.  In addition to our report of chapter activities, we also introduced the 2018 policy platform initiative, Start with Planning, and the initial efforts by chapter members who are volunteering time and participating on working groups to develop the platform.

Amanda Kennedy speaking about Start with Planning at CCAPA Chapter meeting

Start with Planning relates to an emerging statewide conversation about a way forward for Connecticut that not only acknowledges our progress to date but also sets forth the next level of effort that will be required to meet Connecticut’s demographic, environmental and socio-economic challenges.  We have identified three prevailing themes, starting with Core Values that celebrate and support our fundamental sense of place; a Pace of Work to accelerate decision-making in order to stay current with global trends; and a role on Team Connecticut for collaboration with other value-based and forward-thinking professionals.  With special attention to the interrelatedness of decisions, social equity and the long-range consequences of our current actions, CCAPA members are well-positioned to facilitate these important local and statewide conversations.

During the chapter meeting, we discussed policy papers and insights developed in the areas of economic development, transportation, resiliency, housing and conservation.  We also discussed issues related to the quality of life in Connecticut, social equity, planning regulation/governance and infrastructure.  These insights will inform policy position papers and our overall Start with Planning message in 2018.

To learn more about Start with Planning, please read our presentation the Chapter members and watch our presentation to the Association of Councils of Government at their meeting of October 24, 2017.

Please take some time to participate in the process.  Email your insights, comments and other suggestions to the working group chair(s), as listed below.  Also, we welcome you to join a working group to help finalize the document.

Responses are due no later than November 15, 2017 so that we can maintain project schedule.

Working Group Leads and Contact Email:

Housing:                             Glenn Chalder & Amanda Kennedy

Economy:                            Erin Wilson

Transportation:               Ken Livingston & Kate Rattan

Conservation:                   John Guszkowski

Resiliency:                         Emmeline Harrigan & Christine Nelson

Governance:                      Chris Smith

Thank you and continue the exceptional good work in your community!

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven

Celebrate Labor Day … and Let’s Commit to an Important Journey this Fall

As we close out summer vacations and move into our Fall work plan, CCAPA wishes all of our members a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

I am pleased to report our progress on a number of important planning initiatives, including collaborations with the Regional Plan Association on the 4th Regional Plan; with CEDAS on our end-of-summer social at Dunkin Donuts Park; and our forthcoming workshop with the Connecticut Bar Association’s Land Use Division.

APA / RPA Roundtable Discussion, July 31, 2017

This important work, however, is clearly overshadowed by the events of the day from Charlottesville last month to the still-unfolding situation with Hurricane Harvey in eastern Texas.  Here at home, the budget situation is truly affecting our ability to carry-out important work and the local and regional level.

All of this suggests a role for the Connecticut planning community.  Our social compass, technical skill and ability to bring people together is needed here and elsewhere.  I encourage your attendance and participation at the Fall Chapter Meeting on October 27 in Providence.  This will be important opportunity to come together and work through a coordinated, planning-driven journey for 2018 and beyond.

In the meantime, here is what we can do together:

Support the Texas Chapter of APA.  Once the situation is stabilized for the people in the affected communities, we know that a sustainable and resilient reconstruction will need to happen.  Let’s support the Texas planning community by making a donation and learning more about their planning and relief efforts.  See https://www.txplanning.org/apa-texas-hurricane-harvey-recovery-efforts/ for details.

Advocate at the Federal Level.  Support APA’s legislative policy agenda by reaching out to your federal delegation in September.  As Congress takes up legislation which may impact housing, transportation and community development, lend your perspective as a practicing planner who understands the value of place-based programs.  APA’s Planners’ Day on Capitol Hill will be held on September 26, 2017.  CCAPA members are going and we need you to join us in Washington.  To learn more, please visit, https://www.planning.org/policy/conference/plannersday/.

Participate in Community Planning Month.  October is Community Planning Month.  CCAPA will use this opportunity to feature important work happening around Connecticut.  APA has made available a toolbox of resources to assist us.  Emily Hultquist will be following up with details about the toolbox and ways to share an idea for a social media post and/or event.  Please reach out to Emily at (ehultquist@crcog.org) to coordinate an October activity.

Share Ideas on the 2018 Policy Platform.  As discussed at Hot Topics in June, CCAPA continues work on its 2018 policy platform.  This will be discussed in some detail at SNEAPA.  To share research, insights and ideas for the platform, please reach out to our Government Relations co-chairs, Amanda Kennedy (akennedy@seccog.org) and John Guszkowski (jguszkowski@cmeengineering.com).

Thank you and have a great holiday weekend,

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven


SNEAPA 2017 Registration Now Open!

On-line registration for SNEAPA 2017 to be held in Providence, RI October 26 – 27, 2017 is now officially open! On-line registration will be available until October 17, 2017.

Also, SNEAPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriot – Downtown Providence under “Southern New England Planning” for a rate of $135/night. Further information can be found on the SNEAPA website here.



2017 CCAPA Awards Nominations Open!

Each year, the Chapter invites nominations for its annual Planning Awards to showcase outstanding projects, people and places.

New this year is a simplified nominating process.

All you have to do is e-mail the Committee a paragraph about your nomination with contact information by October 6th. Check out the Call for Nominations for further details.


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