2016 Annual Conference

2016 conference logo

Planning on the Edge

...is the theme for this years Annual Planning Conference. The venue will be the Courtyard Mariott Hotel in Houma, Louisiana. We would like to thank our friend Mr. Jim Parker of Lafayette Consolidated Government for designing this year's logo.


Sessions & Speakers

Microphone iconWe have an exciting lineup for this year's conference. Nineteen topical sessions are offered, plus Planning Commissioner Training and AICP test prep. Guest speakers include Jeff Carney, Director of LSU's Coastal Sustainability Studio; Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove; and Congressman Garrett Graves serving on the House Transportation Committee.

Registration & Fees

iconThree-day registration is again well under $100 per day including lunches. Discounts are offered for APA members, for planning commissioners, and for full time students. Early-bird discounts end February 11th. Mobile workshops, Bayou Bash, lodging and Thursday evening dinner are in addition to conference registration. No refunds after February 18th. We encourage you to first read through the information on this website and print the downloadable form for a worksheet, then register online through planning.org's event portal.


Mobile Workshops

images iconAn in-depth GIS training and three mobile workshops are offered during the 2016 State Planning Conference. The GIS workshop on Monday-Tuesday precedes our conference. Wednesday offers highlights of implementation of the Terrebonne Parish Comprehensive Plan. Thursday afternoon you must choose to go "Up da Bayou" or "Down da Bayou" (Bayou Terrebonne) to see developments, industry, and physical changes of great impact to Terrebonne Parish. Click "Mobile Workshops" for details.


Sponsors & Exhibitors

iconPlease consider becoming an organizational, corporate, or individual sponsor of APA Louisiana's 2016 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 Courtyard Mariott in Houma, 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 are being collected, categorized, and optimized for web display. Click below to view this year's conference photos in a Google gallery.

2016 Conference Host Committee

  • Christopher Pulaski, PLA
  • Carlotta Askew-Brown
  • Mart Black, AICP
  • Jane Brooks, FAICP
  • Martha Cazaubon
  • Arianna Choudhuri
  • Alan Clarke
  • Whitney Cooper, AICP, LEED AP
  • Sean Daly, AICP
  • Ed Elam III, AICP, PTP
  • Deborah Fagan, AICP
  • Linda Henderson
  • Timothy Jackson, AICP
  • Taylor Marcantel, AICP
  • Jim Parker
  • Joanne Poret, AICP
  • Bruce Richards, AICP
  • Cheri Soileau
  • Jennifer Stenhouse, AICP
  • James Taylor, ACIP
  • Bridget Tydor
  • Stephen Villavaso, JD, FAICP

Mobile Workshops

Coastal Inundation GIS Mapping Workshop (2/29-3/1)

Louisiana Geographic Information Center (LAGIC) - Offered by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, this two-day instructor-led course offers a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises to give students a better understanding of coastal inundation issues and mapping methods using a geographic information system (GIS).


This two-day instructor-led course offers a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises to give students a better understanding of coastal inundation issues and mapping methods using a geographic information system (GIS). The course is designed for certified floodplain managers and county, state, and municipal officials, including planners, emergency managers, and coastal resource managers. Lecture topics include the different types of coastal inundation, the applications and limitations of various types of inundation products, elevation data sets and datums, and the spatial methods used to map flood areas in coastal environments. In hands-on GIS exercises, students connect to Web map services, access elevation data, convert between vertical datums, create and manage digital elevation models, map inundation model output, develop inundation zones, and map sea level rise using modeled tidal surfaces.

This training also offers 16 hours of continuing education credits for the GIS Professional (GISP), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) professional certifications.

What You Will Learn

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the different types of coastal inundation
  • Learn about mapping products and terminology
  • Access topographic and bathymetric data
  • Perform datum conversions
  • Understand interpolation methods and create digital elevation models
  • Explore water level data
  • Map coastal inundation using a GIS

Participant Requirements

  • Basic GIS skills (minimum six months to one year)


Around da Bayou Tour: Terrebonne Parish Comprehensive Plan Vision 2030 Implementation Highlights (March 2)

Overview of Terrebonne Parish Comprehensive Plan & Terrebonne Parish-Implementation For The Future | Join Chris Pulaski, Terrebonne Parish Planning and Zoning Director, and other officials for a tour of the Houma-Terrebonne region highlighting the implementation of the Vision 2030 Comprehensive Master Plan, recipient of the 2015 APA LA Award for Excellence in a Plan. See and hear about the Parish’s strategies, successes and works in progress. 2.25 CMs


Up da Bayou Tour (March 3)

No need to paddle up the bayou!  Join us for a mobile tour from Houma up the bayou to Thibodaux and back to the conference hotel along some of the major growth corridors in both Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. As residents and business look for higher ground in which to invest and build, many former agricultural and rural uses make way for increased development. US Hwy 90 has been designated as the future I-49 corridor which also serves to attract big business and transportation opportunities. See how communities like Houma and Thibodaux have addressed these concerns and anticipated future growth. 2.75 CMs

Stops along the tour will include:

  • Bayou Country Club: lush green golf courses and areas for family fun events are located within miles of downtown Houma.
  • Acadia Plantation: dense residential neighborhoods of this new subdivision make new again the forgotten principles of land use and urban design – smaller lots, narrower streets and amenities to build a walkable community.
  • Shriever Railroad Crossing: a former AMTRAK station that has been reduced to a flag stop – see and hear how local officials and Amtrak and BNSF executives have been discussing means to improve the frequency and facilities. Suggested improvements include incorporating multi-modal opportunities such as regional public transit and Greyhound bus service.


Down da Bayou Tour (March 3)

We goin down da bayou!  This mobile workshop will take attendees from the conference hotel, through downtown Houma, past Chauvin along LA Highway 56, across the inland marsh near Cocodrie and back thru Dulac along LA Hwy 57.  Communities along these highways indeed do live on the edge – the water’s edge, among the numerous bayous and small inlets of the Gulf of Mexico.  Balancing economic development and survival with issues of flooding and salt water intrusion has been a way of life for these communities for generations.  Along Hwy 56, the sights and stops relate to structural stormwater protection and coastal restoration, while along Hwy 57, the attention is concentrated on non-structural protection projects.  Inter-twined with all this is the need for improved infrastructure and continued economic growth.2.75 CMs

Stops along the tour will include:

  • Boudreaux Canal Floodgate: be one of the few people who get the opportunity to stand on the lock structure itself as the Levee District opens and closes the lock system!
  • LUMCON facility: take a short tour of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and learn about LUMCON’s efforts in the education and research of Louisiana’s coastal restoration efforts.
  • Cecil Lapeyrouse Grocery: need a fishing license? Or a quick snack? You can get both at this quaint and historic grocery store, not only the one of its kind in the area, but the ONLY grocery store for the community.


Registration & Fees

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 select your role: APA Member, Planning Commissioner, Friday Only, or Student.
  2. Second, confirm your contact information.
  3. Third, select which additional events such as Mobile Workshops or the Bayou Bash 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.


A printer-friendly PDF version of the conference program is being finalized. Please be aware that processing paper registrations creates additional work for our volunteers. We urge you to take advantage of online registration where possible.


Conference Fees

Category "Early Bird"
by Feb. 11th
Feb. 11th
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). 



Hotel reservations can be made directly with:

Courtyard by Marriott in Houma - typical queen room photoCourtyard by Marriott - Houma
142 Library Boulevard, Houma, Louisiana 70360
(985) 223-8996  or  www.marriott.com

by midnight Thursday, February 23, 206 for blocked room pricing. Mention group code "APAN".

Room Rate
Standard Room $119/night (plus tax)
Executive Suite $119/night (plus tax)


Sessions & Speakers

2016 State Planning Conference logo
NEW!  A printer-friendly conference program is available.
cover image of the 2016 conference program document

Monday, February 29 and Tuesday, March 1, 2016



All day

Coastal Inundation Mapping GIS Workshop offered by NOAA

details on Mobile Workshops page  16 CM


Wednesday, March 2, 2016





11:00- 12:00

Chapter Business Meeting



        Lydia Jemison, Conference Welcome

        Jeff Carney “Battle of the Boot”




Mobile Workshop


"Around da Bayou" - Overview of Vision 2030 Terrebonne Parish Comprehensive Plan 2.25 CM





A     Communicating Environmental Change 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Jeff Carney, Panelists: Traci Birch, Melissa Daigle, Brant Mitchell)

B     Planning For Health in the Diabetes Belt 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Frank M. Duke FAICP, Panelists: Lael Holton AICP, Basak Alkan AICP LEED AP BD+C, John Spain, Risa Mueller)


A     Port Planning: Managing the Water’s Edge 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Meredith Soniat, Panelists: Amelia Pellegrin AICP LEED AP, Joni Tuck, Karen Parsons AICP, Clair Hebert Marceaux PCED)

B     Managing Stormwater in New Orleans 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Brooke Perry, Panelists: Danica Adams, Bridget Tydor, Tyler Antrup)


Bayou Bash

Ticketed Event (Dinner)

Networking and meet-up


Thursday, March 3, 2016








Breakfast with Gordy

Gordon Dove, Terrebonne Parish President

General Announcements


A     Who Are You Calling Arbitrary? [1.5 CM law]
(Moderator: Neil Erwin J.D., Panelists: Susannah O. Stinson J.D., Caroline E. Mladenka MPA, Carlotta Askew-Brown MURP)


A     Damned If We Hadn’t 1.25 CM
(Jeff Leuenberger AICP, Panelists: Windell Curole, Joni Tuck, Amanda Voisin)

B     Edging Ahead in Suburbia: Jefferson Parish Bicycle Master Plan 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Karen Parsons AICP, Panelists: Terri Wilkinson, Matthew Rufo AICP, Mark Drewes)


A     South Central Multi-Modal Extravaganza 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Leo Marretta, Panelists: Adam Tatar, Jeff Leuenberger AICP, TBD)

B     Do The Best Laid Recovery Plans Often Go Astray? 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Jane S. Brooks FAICP, Panelists: Steve Villavaso FAICP, Clair Hebert Marceaux PCED, Tim Jackson AICP)

C     Street Smart Neighborhoods 1.25 CM
(Panelists: Lauren Marschall, AICP, Ryan Benton)


Awards Luncheon


Mobile Workshops   2.75 CMs each

A     Down da Bayou: Travel through downtown Houma, past Chauvin along LA Highway 56, across the inland marsh near Cocodrie and back thru Dulac along LA Hwy 57.

B     Up da Bayou: Travel to Thibodaux and back along some of the major growth corridors in both Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes.




A     Blurring the Curb Lines 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Matthew Rufo AICP, Ramiro Diaz LEED AP, Melissa Lee, Kurt Weigle)

B     Planning on the Edge of Professions 1.25 CM
(Panelists: Dana Nunez Brown ASLA AICP LEED AP, Jessica L. Watts PE CFM D. WRE, Jennifer C. Roberts)


A     Edge of the Road: Moving Walking and Biking off the Margins 1.25 CM
(Moderator: TBD, Panelists: Ellen Soll AICP, Tara Tolford, Adam Tatar, Stosh Kozlowski)

B     Redirecting Markets to Realize Community Visions 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Alexandra Miller, Panelists: Jonathan Leit, Zakcq Lockrem, Seth Knudsen)


Conference Reception


Dinner on Your Own


Friday, March 4, 2016






Continental Breakfast




A     Ethics on the Edge [1.5 CM ethics]
(Sean Daly, AICP)


A     Strategies-Funding Infrastructure Reconstruction 1.25 CM
(Presenter: Kate Gillespie AICP)

B     MMLOS: How Many Bike Lanes Are Enough? 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Derek Chisholm AICP LEED GA, ENV SP, Panelists: New Orleans RPC, New Orleans Public Works, TBD)


A     Interstates and Fault Lines: I-49 (south through Lafayette) 1.25 CM
(Moderator: David Mann, Panelists: Stephen Wallace, Carlee Alm-LaBar, Harry Weiss)

B     Vacant Land: Empowering Stakeholders, Creating Opportunities 1.25 CM
(Moderator: Alexandra Miller, Panelists: Bryan C. Lee Jr, Colleen McHugh, Liana Elliott, Zakcq Lockrem)





Congressman Garrett Graves, House Transportation Committee

Closing Conference Remarks

Intro of 2017 Conference


A     Planning Commissioner Training
(Mart Black, AICP)

B     AICP Test Prep
(Sean Daly, AICP)


Sponsorships & Exhibitors (2016)

APA Louisiana’s Mission

Our mission is to promote the practice of community and regional planning in Louisiana by enhancing the effectiveness of planners in impacting public policy.

Who does APA Louisiana serve?

Planners Local Governments
Engineers Regional Governments and Agencies
Transportation Planners/Engineers Water Management Agencies
Environmental Planners/Engineers Land Development Attorneys
Architects/Landscape Architects Many other regulatory agencies statewide

2016 Conference Information

Courtyard by Marriott – Houma, LA
March 2-4, 2016
2016 Conference Theme: Planning on the Edge