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 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,

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 ( 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 ( and John Guszkowski (

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.


Updated APA Membership Welcomes the Next Generation of Planners

by Monica Groh, APA’s Director of Emerging Professionals

Big changes are coming to the American Planning Association!  Beginning on July 11, APA student membership will be free to any full- or part-time student actively matriculated in any university or college degree program. APA also will offer two years of reduced dues to help bridge the gap between university and professional life.  First-time members will enjoy discounted introductory rates as well.

Student Membership

Under the new student membership program1, any student can be a member of APA, a local chapter, and up to five divisions at no cost. This applies to all students, regardless of current or previous APA membership, seeking a degree at any level (undergraduate, masters, PhD), who are actively matriculated in a college or university degree program.2 Students do not have to be in a planning program and we welcome individuals in allied programs like geography and urban studies who are interested in planning. After completing their studies, students can transition into a two-year membership program that offers discounted introductory dues.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Great! This will make it easier for more students to join APA and strengthen the student community!” You also might be asking, “What will keep them once they join?”

We think our expanded set of benefits will persuade them. Students have told us that they need tools and resources to network, explore career paths and opportunities, and build real-world skills. They also want opportunities to showcase their work and creativity. Finally, they seek a community that shares their passion for making vibrant communities and a better future.

Here are some of the ways APA’s new student membership programs responds to their needs:

  • Free digital access to the latest industry research and trends as reported in Planning magazine, the Journal of the American Planning Association, Zoning Practice, a new E-book Collection and Research KnowledgeBase, e-newsletters, as well as by APA’s renowned Planning Advisory Service.
  • Career services and support through mentoring, Career Reality Webinars, and skills training.
  • Awards, scholarships, and competitions recognizing student excellence.
  • Financial support for conference attendance and student organization activities.
  • Leadership and volunteer opportunities at the national, chapter, division, and university levels.
  • Free membership in up to five APA divisions – communities of planning specialties, populations, and interest areas.
  • Out-of-classroom learning at the National Planning Conference and other in-person and online sessions, webinars, and events.

There is more! Later this year, APA will launch the AICP Candidate Pilot Program, including a dedicated mentoring component, aimed at helping qualified participants become certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ambitious students who attain certification while seeking a degree will benefit from free AICP membership until they complete their studies.

Two-Year Introductory Rates

New members3 will benefit from an introductory rate of $95/year ($75 APA/$20 chapter) for two consecutive years, before entering APA’s salary based dues structure. In addition to all benefits of APA membership, this introductory period includes discounts on AICP and division memberships, and savings on Zoning Practice and JAPA.

We look forward to working with the entire APA community — including leaders, chapters, divisions, and student groups — as well as key partners like the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Planning Accreditation Board, and individual colleges and universities, to continue exploring ways to make APA a stronger and more inclusive community for the next generation. Please encourage students, recent graduates, and other colleagues you know to join, renew, and participate in APA, and let us know how we can support your efforts.

Visit for more information.

Please also refer to the Fact Sheet about APA’s Student and New Member Program available here.


1These changes replace APA’s 5-Year Early Career Membership Program. Did you join the ECMP as a student member on October 1, 2012 or later?  APA will help you transition into the new structure. Email if you have questions.

 2Active degree status is defined by each university or college. 

3This offer applies to first-time individual members and students transitioning out of student status. It excludes international and group membership programs.


2017 CCAPA Member Survey Results Available

The Member Services Committee has issued final results of CCAPA’s survey of “professional” members, conducted in February. Thanks to Alan Weiner, Demian Sorrentino and Jonathan Reiner for developing the survey, to John Guszkowski for his assistance with the distribution of the survey, and to all Chapter members who took the time to complete the survey. Questions or comments can be directed to Alan Weiner.

CCAPA Call for Nominations and Chapter Business Activities

As we move into the summer months, June is a great time to catch up with CCAPA on planning activities across Connecticut.  We recently posted on a recap of Chapter activities at the National Planning Conference, held last month in New York and we are now looking forward to another great Southern New England Planning Conference to be held in Providence, RI October 26 – 27, 2017.  In the meantime, CCAPA will be working with you on Chapter business and strategic initiatives over the course of the summer.

Chapter Officer Call for Nominations:  An e-mail was sent to members that serves as the Call for Nominations for Chapter elections.  The Nominating and Elections Committee shall recommend a slate of candidates for election of a new President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer.  Candidates for Officer positions must be regular members in good standing and candidates for President-elect shall also have served a minimum of one two-year term as a member of the Executive Board.  To submit a nomination, please email Emily Hultquist, Committee Chair by June 27, 2017.  The certified list of nominations will then be provided to all Chapter members on June 30, 2017, together with a call for any petition candidates.  The Chapter vote will be held August 15 – September 15, 2017.

Chapter Elections and Vote Process:  We have posted the complete schedule for the Call for Nominations and election cycle.  Please note that we are about one month behind the schedule laid out in the Chapter bylaws.  The Executive Committee voted to adjust the timetable to account for the delay and still provide a sufficient amount of time to identify candidates and have the month-long voting period.  As part of the Chapter vote, members will be asked to adopt APA’s “annual” election cycle so that chapter-level leaders take office January 1, 2018 as opposed to October 1, 2017.  APA is making efforts to train new leaders in a coordinated fashion and the bylaw amendment would make our election cycle consistent with the APA’s Chapter Performance Criteria.

June 16, 2017 – “Hot Topics” and Chapter Meeting:  On June 16, CCAPA will host the annual Hot Topics in Land Use, featuring a summary of recent legal cases and an update on the Connecticut Plan of Conservation and Development.  In addition, we will be presenting the Bruce Hoben Distinguished Service Award to Glenn Chalder, AICP in recognition of Glenn’s many years of exceptional service to the planning community in Connecticut.  CCAPA’s semi-annual Chapter meeting will also be held on the 16th, featuring the findings of the Member Survey and a status report on our legislative initiatives in Hartford.  The event will take place again at the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the registration information will be posted shortly.

Strategic Planning:  CCAPA members continue to be active in strategic planning activities, including the Long Island Sound Blue Plan and the Regional Plan Association’s 4th Regional Plan.  In addition, CCAPA is working on an update to our Chapter’s own strategic plan.  Given the unique and significant role of planning in these important efforts, not to mention the Connecticut’s ongoing budgetary and economic headwinds, we continue to welcome ideas for how planners can help move Connecticut forward.  Please contact me at the email address below or let’s talk at Hot Topics about new ways to get involved as we explore the role of planning in Connecticut’s future.

Thank you and all the best,

Michael Piscitelli, AICP

City of New Haven

Resilient Rural CT Forum

PDF of registration flyer: 2017 CTRCD Annual Meeting and Planning Forum

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