2015 Annual Conference

2015 conference logo

Evolving Communities:
Planning for Investment and Impacts in Louisiana

...is the theme for this years Annual Planning Conference. It will include subtopics such as sustainability, environment, mobility, measuring success and more. The venue will be Baton Rouge's historic Heidelberg Hotel - now the Hilton Capitol Center. We would like to thank Mr. Andrew Kepper - a student at LSU's Robert S. Reich School of Landscape Architecture and employee at Baton Rouge's City-Parish Office of the Planning Commission for designing this year's logo.

headshot of logo designer Andrew KepperThe vertical bars on the top and bottom signify a graph over time, representing positive outcomes for positive planning and regulatory approaches. They also measure success, shown through the increase in size over time. The curved background shapes signify great, simple spaces, and their swooshing motions suggest mobility. The bars under the text represent "strong foundations", which will lead to resiliency and sustainability, which would help Louisiana "prepare for impact". The green color was chosen to remind people it is important to keep the environment in mind, and the gold symbolizes investment and success.        -- Andrew Kepper


Sessions & Speakers

Microphone iconWe have an exciting lineup of topical sessions and keynote speakers scheduled for this year's conference. We will cover new approaches to zoning, dealing with brownfields and hazard mitigated properties, public involvement approaches, urban redevelopment success stories, and many others - 16 lecture sessions to choose from! Guest speakers include our new APA Executive Director Jim Drinan and AICP Commissioner Bob Barber who will describe for us the “Ethics Case of the Year”. Also Bill Anderson - President of APA - will give us the national perspective during Thursday's breakfast. Click "View Program" for mobile and printer-friendly versions of the program and schedule.

Fees & Registration

iconThree-day registration is well under $100 per day including lunches. Discounts for APA members, for planning commissioners, and for full time students. Early-bird discounts end January 9th. Mobile workshops, Fellowship Dinner, lodging and parking fees are in addition to conference registration. No refunds after January 9th. We encourage you to first read through the information on this website, then register online through planning.org's event portal. We understand that some will need to use paper registration, but please understand that processing of hard copy registration forms costs the Chapter $25 per registrant.


Mobile Workshops

images iconProgress is being made in Baton Rouge and we have five mobile workshops for you to choose from. (Additional fees apply.) See first hand the infill and redevelopment projects both planned and underway along Government Street; roll around in a big pile of raw sugar at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge; walk the downtown with the DDD for first-hand knowledge of transformative investments; ride a bike through Old South Baton Rouge for close-up views of new murals; or try out your acting skills at Celtic Studios. So many choices, so little time! Click the "Preview" button for full descriptions and photos of what you will likely see on these tours.


Sponsors & Exhibitors

iconPlease consider becoming an organizational, corporate, or individual sponsor of APA Louisiana's 2015 Annual State Planning Conference. Exhibit your services, products, and capabilities; or showcase your work on a table-top display in the hallways on the ground floor of the Hilton Capitol Center positioned between our three meeting rooms guaranteeing you repeated daily exposure to all attendees. Sponsors will have their logo and/or name displayed prominently according to sponsorship level. For more information and to download a sponsorship or exhibitor packet click the "Sponsorship Opportunities" button.


Photo Galleries

Images from the conference have been collected, renamed, and processed to reduce their resolution for web display. You may view them on the photo galleries page.


Fees & Registration

Conference Fees

Category "Early Bird"
by Jan. 9th
Jan. 9th
APA / APA LA Member $225 $275
Non-Member $275 $325
Planning Commissioner
Conference + Training
$175 $225
Planning Commissioner
Training (Friday) Only
$75 $100
Student (full time) $75 $100


Special event and mobile workshop fees are in addition to above. See Mobile Workshops for descriptions of these options, and read through Sessions & Speakers for a description of special events (meals). 

Click to download a printable registration form (PDF).  Please be aware that processing paper registrations costs the Chapter an additional $25 per registrant. We urge you to take advantage of online registration where possible. See link below...


Online Registration

Online Registration is provided via APA's www.planning.org events registration portal. 

Online Registration is a multi-step process which requires your login credentials for planning.org. If you are not a member and do not have a username and password, you may create a non-member account by clicking "My APA". Once logged in, you will proceed through several screens:

  1. First you select your role: APA Member, Planning Commissioner, Friday Only, or Student.
  2. Second you confirm your contact information.
  3. Third you select which additional events such as Mobile Workshops or the Fellowship Dinner you may wish to attend. Extra tickets are available for purchase for spouses. Be sure to cycle through the three tabs at the top of this screen representing the three conference days: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  4. Lastly you review your choices in the shopping cart and make your purchase with your credit card.



Hotel reservations can be made directly with:

Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center
201 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
(800) 955-6962  or  www.hiltoncapitolcenter.com

by midnight Sunday December 21, 2014 for blocked room pricing. Mention group code "APA".

Room Single Double
Traditional King or Double/Double $139 $139



Mobile Workshops

All tours meet for departure in the Hilton hotel lobby.


MW #1 Government St. Revitalization

Date:  Wednesday afternoon, 1/21/15
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm  2.5 hour tour 
Maximum: 20

Tour a historic Baton Rouge artery, scheduled for a road diet in the near future. Visit the former Entergy (a.k.a. Gulf States Utilities) site, soon to be transformed into a mixed-use development by the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, and see the Model Block project, which is turning a blighted block into a shining example of what Government Street should be. Ride a CATS trolley for the tour and end with a drink at Radio Bar.



MW #2 Port of Greater Baton Rouge

Date:  Thursday morning, 1/22/15 
9:30 – 12:00 pm    2.5 hour tour
Maximum: 25

Learn the history of the farthest inland deep-water port on the Mississippi River, and see it in action. Visitors will gain a better understanding of the port's role in the nation's transportation network on a tour guided by Director of Public Affiars Karen St. Cyr. A tour of the Port Allen Locks are also included.   Partially outdoors; comfortable clothing and flat shoes are recommended. Government-issued photo ID is required. 



MW #3 Downtown Walking Tour 

Date:  Thursday morning, 1/22/15 
10:00 am – 12:00 pm    2 hour tour
Maximum: 25
Weather Permitting - In the event of rain, Mr. Rhorer will present a slideshow at the nearby DDD offices. The event will not be canceled.

Hear about the history and future of downtown Baton Rouge on a walk with Davis Rhorer, Executive Director of the Downtown Development District, which has helped galvanize over $1 billion in investment since 1987. Outdoors; comfortable clothing and flat shoes are recommended. 



MW #4 Celtic Media Centre Tour CANCELED

Date:  Thursday afternoon, 1/22/15
1:00 pm – 3:30pm     2.5 hour tour
Maximum: 25

Step aboard a CATS motor coach for a ride to the studio and then walk the production and sound studio on a tour led by Director of Studio Operations Patrick Mulhearn. This studio was developed in 2006 by the Celtic company which  purchased a shell of an abandoned music recording studio located between Airline Hwy and I-10 in Baton Rouge. This area of the Baton Rouge was experiencing economic downturn. The partially-completed building soon evolved into the O’Connor Building, the operational hub of the Media Centre that housed Stages 1 and 2. In 2008, Celtic’s first large sound stage, Stage 8, opened for business. After acquiring neighboring properties, the planned studio grew to more than 23 acres.



MW #5 Bike Tour-Public Art in Old South Baton Rouge CANCELED

Date:  Friday morning, 1/23/15
10:00 am- 12:00 pm     2 hour tour
Maximum:  15
Weather Permitting - We regret that we have canceled this mobile workshop due to predicted poor weather conditions.

Join us for an interactive bicycle tour of community inspired murals throughout Old South Baton Rouge. The Museum of Public Art is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of community inspired murals in the Old South Baton Rouge community. See how artists from all over the globe used imagery, text, and symbolism to transform structures into beacons of hope for a community. Price includes bike rental provided by Front Yard Bikes and a community guide. Please note: Tour is weather permitting. Registrants will be transported to museum site and an abbreviated tour will be walking only if temperature is below 50 degrees F.



Event: Soirée at De La Ronde Hall

6:00 pm     Date:  Thursday, 1/22/15 

All are welcome to register for this event featuring a 3-course dinner at De La Ronde Hall catered by Ruffino's Italian Restaurant. Enjoy a Sensation Salad, followed by your entree choice of Fish Picatta, Chicken Parmesan, or Lasagna; all capped off with a White Chocolate Bread Pudding desert. How can you go wrong?
Maximum number of guests: 75

All are welcome to come and mingle with friends new and old.

$65 before Jan. 9th
$85 after Jan. 9th

Photo Galleries

Below are reduced resolution versions of photos taken by a professional photographer during the conference. If you need the original high resolution versions please contact the Chapter Public Information Officer.

General Conference Images


Venue Photos of the Hilton


Mayor's Roundtable on Blight


Planning Awards Ceremony

Sessions & Speakers

Conference Program

Below is the conference session information as of January 13, 2015.
A PDF file of the hardcopy conference program is available via the link at right.
The [CMs] listed below are those applied for.

DAY 1 - Wednesday, January 21

10:00 AM - On-Site Registration Opens

10:30 - Chapter Business Meeting

Riverview Ballroom "A"

Member attendance is strongly encouraged for this annual meeting of the full membership of APA LA. Chapter President Lydia Z. Jemison will introduce the new Executive Director of the APA, Mr. Jim Drinan, review critical events of 2014 and present possible changes in 2015 for discussion with the membership. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your voice heard!

11:30 - Opening Luncheon - Welcome Addresses

Riverview Ballroom "A"

This official start of the 2015 APA Louisiana Conference will include welcome to Baton Rouge and to the conference. Welcome addresses will be received from APA Louisiana Chapter President Lydia Z. Jemison, AICP, from City of Baton Rouge Council President Pro-Tempore and District 3 Councilmember Chandler Loupe, and from APA Executive Director Jim Drinan.

1:00 PM, Wednesday

Session 1: Place-Based Zoning in New Orleans - Evolving Regulatory Approaches

Governors Room, [1.5 CM]

When the city considered regulatory approaches to implement its adopted Master plan, it recognized varied development patterns in conflict with particular zoning methodologies. New Orleans decided to apply the right approach for each situation, whether conventional (Euclidian), performance based or form based. The community decided to create a hybrid ordinance based on development characteristics of various and unique places – utilizing a “place-based” approach, with districts designated/grouped related to specific community needs. This hybrid code provides regulatory controls responding to established community values, the form and design of each “place,” and unique neighborhood conditions through use and performance standards.

  • Moderator: Leslie T. Alley – Deputy Director, New Orleans City Planning Commission
  • Panelist 1: Robert D. Rivers – Executive Director, New Orleans City Planning Commission
  • Panelist 2: Stephen D. Villavaso, FAICP, JD – Principal, Villavaso & Associates, Lead Local Consultant on the New Orleans Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance project.
  • Panelist 3: Paul Cramer – Planning Administration, New Orleans City Planning Commission

Session 2: Fat City Redevelopment & Revitalization

Capitol Room, [1.5 CM]

A booming entertainment district in the 1970’s, Fat City precipitously declined and was stuck in a seedy stage of inertia for decades despite numerous revitalization attempts. Fat City has a new energy and is now positioned for the goal of lasting revitalization. Adult uses have closed. Five former late-night bars have been redeveloped into new restaurants, an office and wellness center, and the parish has issued over 40 permits for renovations since revitalization efforts began and the new zoning ordinance took effect. New mixed-use zoning, amortization of non-conforming signs and public streetscape investments have fostered private investment.

The panel will discuss the successes and failures of the strategic plan and zoning amendments, public outreach, public outreach, capital improvements, creative financing, and attempts to spur development and attract private investment with limited funding.

  • Moderator: Juliette Cassagne – Assistant Director, Jefferson Parish Planning Department
  • Panelist 1: Terri Wilkinson, PhD, AICP – Director, Jefferson Parish Planning Department 
  • Panelist 2: Michael Lauer, AICP – Principal, Planning Works
  • Panelist 3: Tiffany Peperone Pitre, JD – General Counsel and Policy Analyst, TMG Consulting
  • Panelist 4: Jerry Bologna – Executive Director, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO)

3:00 PM, Wednesday

Session 3: Area-Wide/Multi-Lot Neighborhood Brownfield Surveys

Governors Room, [1.5 CM]

This session will present the concept and application of area-wide/multi-lot neighborhood brownfield surveys and how they can support redevelopment planning. Two such surveys have been completed in the Baton Rouge urban core. Another is under way in the city of Shreveport, with funding from an EPA grant specifically intended for these types of brownfield planning activities. This presentation will feature descriptions of the surveys from the two lead authors of these three projects as well as a discussion of how they can be utilized support neighborhood revitalization. The presentation will be designed to help practitioners decide if a multi-lot brownfield survey could be useful in their communities.

  • Panelist 1: Barrett Chaix – Coordinator, Economic and Environmental Research, Baton Rouge City-Parish Planning Commission
  • Panelist 2: Melanie Hanks – Site Evaluation and Remediation Group Manager, Providence Engineering and Environmental Group, LLC
  • Panelist 3: Jennifer Schatzle – Environmental Scientist, Risk and Remediation Group, CK Associates, LLC

Session 4: Housing Needs Assessments: Best Practices at the State and Local Level

Capitol Room, [1.5 CM]

The panel will examine the role of housing needs assessments in planning for community change.  Housing needs assessments are a powerful tool for determining current demographic, economic and housing conditions and making recommendations for future investment. The panel will explore housing needs assessments at the state (Louisiana) and city level (New Orleans), present best practices from around the country, and discuss innovative data sources, community engagement strategies, and planning for implementation.

  • Panelist 1: Nathan Cataline – Senior Housing Planner, GCR, Inc.
  • Panelist 2: Andreanecia Morris – Vice President of Homeownership and Community Development, Providence Community Housing
  • Panelist 3: Roy Heidelberg – Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University’s Public Administration Institute.

5:00 PM Opening Reception & Social

Heidelberg Ballroom, 10th Floor, Hilton Capitol Center

The storied Heidelberg Hotel (aka Hilton Capitol Center) was once the favorite haunt of legendary politician Huey P. Long, "the Kingfish." Construction on the Heidelberg Hotel began in 1927, with just a sketch on a napkin by architect Edward Nield. Nield's napkin plan lay the foundation for his vision to create a luxury hotel fit for Louisiana's capital city and the dynamic, controversial politicians of the era.

It seemed fitting to open our conference with a reception in the Heidelberg Ballroom, located on the tenth floor of the historic Hilton Capitol Center overlooking the Mississippi River. This grand room provides the perfect atmosphere conducive for attendees to mix and mingle while enjoying the view and light refreshments.

Dinner is on your own following the reception.


DAY 2 - Thursday, January 22

7:30 AM - Breakfast with Bill Anderson

Riverview Ballroom "A"

Talk to the President of APA, Mr. Bill Anderson, on what’s happening in planning on a national level. Breakfast is included in the conference fee.

9:00 AM, Thursday

Session 5: Comprehensive Plans: Successful Implementation

Governors Room, [1.5 CM]

Comprehensive plans have been adopted at a record pace across Louisiana in recent years. But how are those plans being monitored and measured for success? What defines successful implementation? This discussion will highlight methods for identifying relevant indicators, for reporting that information to the public and for utilizing the results in adapting/updating the overall planning documents.

  • Panelist 1: Lael Holton – Manager, Advance Planning and Research, Baton Rouge City-Parish Planning Commission
  • Panelist 2: Mukul Verma – Director of Communications, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Panelist 3: Honorable Murphy McMillin – Mayor, Town of Jena

Session 6: P3 - Leveraging Partnerships to Boost Public-Private Partnership

Riverview Ballroom, [1.5 CM]

Public-private partnerships (P3s) are now widely used by local governments as a method for implementing real estate, urban infrastructure and economic development projects, after a community plan is completed. But what about the benefits of bringing P3s early into the planning process itself?

Involving the private sector (corporate, non-profit, philanthropy, etc.) in carrying out a public outreach and engagement strategy has several advantages. Private sector partners offer access to specialized skills, can increase efficiency and may be able to offset restrictions that prevail in the public sector. Because of this, they often can come up with and carry out creative solutions. And of course, they can generate resources.

Participants in this session will learn how to effectively create and use alliances between local governments and different segments of the private sector to expand public outreach and increase levels of citizen engagement in a planning process. They will learn the “do’s and don’ts” from the diverse perspective of several non-planner panelists involved in the recently completed PlanLafayette effort.

  • Panelist 1: Silvia Vargas, AICP, LEED AP – Senior Associate, Wallace, Roberts, & Todd, LLC
  • Panelist 2: Kevin Blanchard, JD – Director of Public Works, (formerly Chief Development Officer), Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG)
  • Panelist 3: Carlee Alm-Labar – Chief Development Officer, Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG)
  • Panelist 4: Bruce M. Conque – Chair, Lafayette Planning Commission; (Retired) Vice President of Community Development, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
  • Panelist 5: Steven J. Oubre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, Architects Southwest


10:45 AM, Thursday

Session 7: 2015 Mayors’ Roundtable on Fighting Blight in Louisiana

Riverview Ballroom, [1.25 CM]

Ronnie Harris, a former Louisiana mayor and Executive Director of the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA), will moderate a roundtable of Louisiana mayors on their successes and failures at combating blight in their respective communities. The panel will also examine recent efforts by the LMA to shepherd measures through the Louisiana legislature process to address blighted property. Acts 436 and 871 are proposed constitutional amendments on the November 2014 ballot aimed at streamlining procedures for local governments to recover expenses for blighted, abandoned or tax-delinquent property. Addressing the cost of clearing such property could encourage redevelopment and improve the quality of land uses.

  • Moderator: Ronnie Harris – Executive Director, Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Panelist 2: Honorable Belinda Constant – Mayor, City of Gretna
  • Panelist 3: Honorable Hyram Copeland – Mayor, City of Vidalia
  • Panelist 4: Honorable Kenneth Boudreaux – Councilman, Lafayette City-Parish Council

Session 8: St. Tammany Parish Hazard Mitigation Properties: Methodologies for Determining What to Do with Hazard Mitigated Properties

Governors Room, [1.25 CM]

Following several storms – most recently Hurricane Isaac – St. Tammany Parish was left with numerous parcels now taken out of commerce and placed in the public domain as a result of flood hazard mitigation programs. These properties vary widely in size and are distributed across the parish with a concentration along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and along bayous flowing into it. The study identified the properties, and developed a methodology for deciding the best utilization for them going forward, since their return to commerce is not possible. Specifically, the use of these lands to enhance wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge, outdoor recreation and tourism were examined in detail.

  • Panelist 1: Dayton Crites, LEED GA – Designer/Planner, Design Workshop
  • Panelist 2: Conners Ladner – Associate, Design Workshop
  • Panelist 3: Risa Mueller – Vice President, Franklin Associates 



Noon: State Planning Awards Luncheon

Riverview Ballroom "A"

Each year our Chapter recognizes the achievements of agencies, companies, groups and individuals as they strive for excellence in the planning profession. General award categories include Planning Excellence (Plan/Implementation/Process/Education or Advocacy), Planning Achievement (for an individual), Student Project Award and Great Places in Louisiana recognition. A presentation of winning submissions will be shared as well as the official ceremony in which winners will receive a personalized award.  Click for awards winners.

2:00 PM, Thursday

Session 9: Legislative Roundtable

Riverview Ballroom, [1.5 CM]

Please join Jason Jordan, the APA Director of Policy and Communications, for a workshop on how to organize and energize the current APA LA legislative process, overview of national legislation pertinent to planners and national policy initiatives of the APA, the communication of these policy initiatives to elected officials, staff and the media on Capitol Hill, and how the APA LA can translate these actions on the state and local levels.  Dialog and participation with the audience will be strongly encouraged.

  • Moderator: Lydia Z. Jemison, AICP, CFM – President, APA LA and President, Jemison & Partners, Inc.
  • Primary Speaker: Jason Jordan – Director of Policy and Communications, APA
  • Facilitator 1: Ed E. Elam, III, AICP, PTP – Associate Planner, Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc.
  • Facilitator 2: Stephen D. Villavaso, FAICP, JD – Principal, Villavaso & Associates
  • Facilitator 3: Tim Jackson, AICP – Senior Research Associate, UNO Transportation Institute


Session 10: The Envision Rating Systems: Sustainable Rating Systems for Public Improvement Projects

Governors Room, [1.5 CM]

This session provides a review of sustainable rating systems for public improvement projects with a focus on Envision. The Envision system is more than just LEED for public works. It includes assessment of planning, community involvement and livability.  Session participants will learn:

  1. The different rating systems (STARS, Greenroads, INVEST, LEED ND) the merits of each and possible planning applications.
  2. The basics of Envision, with a focus on the following categories: Quality of Life, Leadership (including planning), Climate and Risk.
  3. How to use the Envision tools to enhance planning projects, even when not fully pursuing project certification.
  • Panelist 1: Derek Chisholm, AICP, ENV SP, LEED GA – Senior Planner/Project Manager, URS New Orleans; Envision Sustainable Professional
  • Panelist 2: Malay Ghose Hajra, Ph.D., P.E., ENV SP – Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of New Orleans

3:45 PM, Thursday

Session 11: Shreveport Common: Using Hard Numbers to Validate and Implement the Vision

Governors Room, [1.25 CM]

Shreveport Common, a 9-block art and culture district adjacent to the Central Business District, was conceived after a devastating fire engulfed the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s headquarters in 2009. The panel will describe Shreveport Common’s unique history and the vision for it to evolve to an arts and cultural district.  This vision was reported by the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology as a leader in “creative placemaking.”

The panel will discuss obtaining grant funding for a planning audit and market assessment, the market assessment’s methodology and analysis, the market assessment’s projection of the potential utilization of the Shreveport Common’s housing and commercial uses, the validation of the vision, and how the plan strengthened stakeholder commitment and interest from developers. The panel will describe using the market assessment in its planning implementation and creative placemaking to stay true to its vision as an uncommon cultural community.

  • Panelist 1: Suzanne Perilloux Leckert, AICP – Director of Gaming, Feasibility and Land Use Analysis TMG Consulting
  • Panelist 2: Liz Swaine – Executive Director, Shreveport Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation
  • Panelist 3: Eric Melancon – Associate TMG Consulting
  • Panelist 4: Pam Atchinson – Executive Director Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Session 12: Shreveport Brownfields - Leveraging Financial and Technical Assistance to Implement a Plan: An EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning grant and AICP Community Planning Assistance Team Coordinate to Stimulate Urban Revitalization in Downtown Shreveport

Riverview Ballroom, [1.25 CM]

This presentation should provide insight into how these types of opportunities might be used in other communities to help implement or otherwise stimulate investment in a current comprehensive plan. Moreover, the two coordinated efforts provided resources to address problems that would otherwise undoubtedly remain ignored for the foreseeable future.

Topics and issues addressed in the two efforts include: walkability, urban transportation alternatives and enhancements; environmental assessments and remediation; urban waterfront development; livability principles; historic preservation; sound urban design and environmental justice.

In addition, these efforts are already attracting additional funding and technical assistance opportunities from other federal agencies and their non-profit partners. Insights regarding successful applications for assistance and the successful provision of professional planning services will be shared.

  • Panelist 1: Mart Black, AICP – Lead consultant, Brownfields Area-Wide Plan, Providence Technical Services, LLC
  • Panelist 2: Aron Chang – Waggonner & Ball Architects
  • Panelist 3: Roy Jambor, AICP/PA – Senior Planner, Long Range Planning Metropolitan Planning Commission, City of Shreveport


6:00 PM, Thursday - Soirée Dinner

De La Ronde Hall: 320 3rd Street. ~ a block east of the Hilton; north of Florida Street.

All are welcome to register for this event featuring a 3-course dinner at De La Ronde Hall catered by Ruffino's Italian Restaurant. Enjoy a Sensation Salad, followed by your entree choice of Fish Picatta, Chicken Parmesan, or Lasagna; all capped off with a White Chocolate Bread Pudding desert. How can you go wrong?

Optional event; additional fee applies.


DAY 3 - Friday, January 23

7:30 AM - Continental Breakfast

Riverview Ballroom "A"

8:30 AM, Friday

Session 13: Ethics Case of the Year

Riverview Ballroom, [E 1.5 CM]

“The Ethics Case of the Year” is focused on practicing professionals; helping us all to be aware of situations where extra care is warranted. It fulfills the 1.5 CM Ethics credits required for AICP certification maintenance.

  • Panelist 1: James Drinan, JD – Executive Director, American Planning Association
  • Panelist 2: Robert Barber, FAICP – AICP Commissioner elected from Region III; Founding Partner, Orion Planning Group

Session 14: Topics in Professional Development

Governors Room, [0 CM]

This session is geared toward students and young professionals with key topics including internships, job hunting, professional certification and continuing education, and professional societies and volunteering.

  • Panelist 1: Sean Daly, AICP – Senior Transportation Planner, Iteris. Inc.; Professional Development Officer, American Planning Association, Louisiana Chapter
  • Panelist 2: Frank Duke, FAICP – Director, Baton Rouge City-Parish Planning Commission

10:15 AM, Friday

Session 15: Planning Law

Riverview Ballroom, [L 1.5 CM]

The law session for 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits will review the current status of the major zoning and land use case law in Louisiana, including an update on the Palermo case. Specific topics to be reviewed include local government’s authority in relation to land use matters as applied to “fracking projects”; recent rulings regarding the definition of a “family”; and new definition issues for code writers, such as: “growlers,” “commissary kitchens” and “food trucks.” This presentation is focused on practicing professionals; helping us all to be aware of existing and proposed legislation and issues pertinent to our profession.

  • Panelist 1: Stephen D. Villavaso, J.D., FAICP – Principal, Villavaso & Associates; Adjunct Professor at both the Department of Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans and the School of Law at Loyola University teaching Land Use and Zoning Law.

Session 16: Community Foundation - Hands-on Workshop Demonstration of a Reprogramming and Remodeling Exercise

Governors Room, [1.5 CM]

This presentation and hands-on workshop will demonstrate how a community foundation used the reprogramming and remodeling of an iconic downtown building to revitalize downtown, build community, and incentivize a new economy founded in the values of Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity. While this project took place in central and rural Wisconsin, the robust and authentic engagement can be applied in any community. Over 700 community residents and stakeholders have engaged in this work. The project was collaboratively designed and has proven to be transformational for the community and the region.

Following a presentation, we will engage participants with an activity that illustrates tools and methods for active engagement.

  • Panelist 1: Bobbie Hill – Principal, Concordia, LLC
  • Panelist 2: Philip Denning – Planning Project Manager, Concordia, LLC
  • Panelist 3: Connor McManus – Planner, Concordia, LLC

Noon Friday: Closing Luncheon

Riverview Ballroom "A"

As a wrap up to the conference, we will hear from keynote speaker Kristin Gisleson Palmer - New Orleans City Council, Councilmember District C - speaking to us about transportation issues affecting the Metro area and the state as a whole.


1:15 - 5:15 PM, Friday

Session 17: Planning Commissioner Training

King Room

This session is intended for newly appointed planning commissioners and citizens appointed to similar positions, such as boards of zoning adjustment and historic district commissions.  The session serves as an introduction to the principles of planning and zoning and key court cases for which every commissioner should be familiar. Louisiana Act 859 adopted by the Louisiana Legislature in 2004 requires citizens appointed to such commissions and boards to receive a minimum of 4 hours of training in the "duties, responsibilities, ethics and substance of the position..." This session will fulfill the requirements established in Act 859.

  • Panelist 1: Mart Black, AICP – Senior Planner, Providence Technical Services, LLC
  • Panelist 2: Joanne Poret, AICP  – Director of Planning & Zoning, City of Monroe



Speaker Presentations

Session presentations have been converted to PDF format and posted in the Chapter's Google Drive repository organized by session number. You are especially encouraged to review the sessions you missed as all were very informative. Video and audio from several sessions is still being processed and will be posted as soon as possible. All of these are Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files which will be displayed by Google's document viewer - no download, software install or Google login is necessary.


2015 State Planning Conference Sessions

Wednesday, January 21

Annual Chapter Business Meeting & Opening Luncheon
Session 1 — Place Based Zoning in New Orleans
Session 2 — Fat City Revitalization and Redevelopment
Session 3 — Area-Wide/Multi-Lot Neighborhood Brownfield Surveys
Session 4 — Housing Needs Assessment - New Orleans 10-Year Plan
Opening Reception — Heidelberg Ballroom

Thursday, January 22

Breakfast with Bill Anderson
Session 5 — Comprehensive Plans, Mayor of Jena's Presentation
Session 6 — P3: Public Private Partnerships
Session 7 — Mayors Roundtable (audio only) - pictures
Session 8 — St. Tammany Parish Hazard Mitigation Properties
State Planning Awards Luncheon - pictures
Session 9 — Legislative Roundtable (audio only)
Session 10 —  Envision Rating System
Session 11 — Shreveport Common
Session 12 — Shreveport's Cross Bayou Redevelopment

Friday, January 23

Session 13 — Ethics Case of the Year (not available)
Session 14 — Topics in Professional Development
Session 15 — Planning Law
Session 16 — Community Foundation Hands-On Engagement
Closing Luncheon — Kristin Gisleson Palmer
Session 17 — Planning Commissioner Training

Last Updated 2/19/2015

Sponsorships & Exhibitors (2015)

2015 Sponsorship Opportunities

The Louisiana Chapter of the American Planning Association (LA APA) will hold its 2015 Statewide Planning Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from January 21 – 23, 2015. This year’s theme is “Evolving Communities: Planning for Investment and Impacts in Louisiana.”

This statewide planning conference presents a unique forum for direct contact and interaction between municipal planning departments, private planning consultants, and allied professionals within APA's membership. Conference attendees will attend informative sessions, mobile workshops, networking functions, and social events. Planners will also meet renowned speakers and leaders, especially those whose technologies and approaches are on the cutting edge of the planning profession. Many of our state’s certified planners also use the sessions of the annual state conference as an opportunity to acquire their necessary continuing education credits.

A sponsorship of the 2015 LA APA Planning Conference is an excellent way to showcase your organization. Participation can occur in several ways. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2015 LA APA Planning Conference, please download and complete the sponsorship registration form by December 31, 2014, so that we can assure advertisement in the program and on-site. A member of the Local Host Committee will be contacting you soon afterwards.​

There is always significant interest and participation when the state conference is held in Baton Rouge, and this year's event will be no exception. We appreciate your support and participation and hope to see you at the 2015 LA APA Planning Conference! Should you have any questions or require additional information, feel free to contact Jessica Keasler.

Sponsorship Levels

Being a Sponsor for the Louisiana APA Annual Conference is a valuable means to show support for the planning of our future. By participating as a Sponsor you can help advance the planning profession and, in the process, improve the quality of life for our state. Plus, take advantage of a range of benefits specially designed to promote your company or organization. APA LOUISIANA CHAPTER welcomes our many returning partners and future new sponsors! As partners, we are committed to the future of Louisiana. Please consider one of the sponsorship opportunities listed below and contact Jessica Keasler jrkeasler@terracon.com or (225-239-2628) for more information. Thank you!

DIAMOND SPONSOR: $5,000 or more

  • Hotel room for two nights of the conference
  • Five Complimentary Conference Registrations
  • Full Page Ad in Conference Program
  • Reception sponsor with ability to have table alongside check-in for Reception
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website


PLATINUM SPONSOR: $2,000-$5,000

  • Two Complimentary Conference Registrations
  • Full Page Ad in Conference Program
  • Lunch Sponsor with display signage (shared)
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website


GOLD SPONSOR: $1,000 - $2000

  • One Complimentary Conference Registration
  • Half Page Ad in Conference Program
  • Breakfast Sponsor with display signage (shared)
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website



  • 1/4 Page Ad in Conference Program
  • One Complimentary Awards Luncheon Ticket
  • Break sponsor with display signage (shared)
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website



  • Business Card Sized Ad in Conference Program
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website



  • Listing in Conference Program
  • Acknowledgement at APA Conference and on website


Conference Exhibitor Opportunities

Another opportunity is to join us as an EXHIBITOR at the APA LOUISIANA CHAPTER 2015 Annual Conference and gain maximum exposure for your company or organization with professionals in planning and related fields. This is a great opportunity to market innovative products, educate participants (and the readers of our conference material) about your interests and establish excellent contacts for the future in a high-traffic area during the conference. Space is limited, so early reservations are required to guarantee availability.

A diagram of the conference venue at Baton Rouge's downtown Hilton has been prepared and is posted at the buttons below. The letter-sized sheet is drawn to proportion, but not at a set scale. The tabloid-sized sheet is drafted to 10 scale. Vendor display locations are approximations. Exact location will be determined by hotel staff. All display tables will be within the hallways between lecture rooms and the Riverview ballroom - ensuring repeat pedestrian traffic.



Exhibitor Displays and Tables ($200)

  • Exhibitors will be in a prominent location within the conference area. (Locations depicted on diagram are approximations only.)
  • Tables provided by hotel are 6 feet in length and include a tablecloth.
  • Electrical power is available to many (but not all) positions along the hallway walls.
  • Exhibitors will receive verbal and on-screen acknowledgment at APA Louisiana Conference.

Exhibitors, please note the following:

  1. Exhibitors are not required to register for the APA Louisiana Conference. However, if you wish to attend any professional or social functions, including keynote addresses, break-out sessions, lunches or receptions, conference registration is required.
  2. Exhibitor Tables are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited and sells out quickly. Therefore, cancelation refunds will be given in full provided the space can be sold to another exhibitor.
  3. An exhibitor information sheet will be provided to you and will include information on exhibit hours, setup and teardown, and loading, unloading, and shipping.
  4. An exhibitor registration packet will be provided to you at your exhibit booth or table. It will contain badges for all unregistered exhibitors (if names are provided in advance of the conference). Name tags for registered exhibitors will be provided in conference registration packets.