Chapter History

Chapter Historian

Jane Brooks, FAICP photoJane Brooks, FAICP serves as our Chapter Historian. Jane is faculty emeritus of planning and urban studies at UNO's PLUS department where she previously served as Department Chair and professor. She is a Jean Brainard Boebel Chair in Historic Preservation, and past Program Coordinator for UNO's Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program. Ms. Brooks holds a BLA from LSU and an MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Jane prepared a "Louisiana Planning History" presentation which is available as images or a PDF file below.




History of the Louisiana Chapter of APA

The Louisiana Chapter was formed in the 1975 when the Louisiana Chapter split from the Texas Chapter. Prior to 1978 the organization was called the American Institute of Planners (AIP). Francis "Frank" Keevers became the first President of the Louisiana Chapter.

Please see our timeline of events, actions, and activities. Items are categorized as "Louisiana Chapter", "National APA", "UNO", "legislation", "plan adoption", "incident" or miscellaneous for those not readily fitting into one of the categories. (This is a work in progress and is by no means comprehensive. If you would like to suggest an edit or addition please submit it to


Planning in Louisiana

The following sources document several key milestones for the practice of planning in Louisiana:

  1. Jefferson B. Fordham, Legal Aspects of Local Planning and Zoning in Louisiana, 6 La. L. Rev. (1946). Available at:
  2. Lynn H. Andrews, Administrative Aspects of Planning and Zoning at the Local Level in Louisiana, 7 La. L. Rev. (1947). Available at:
  3. Louisiana Revised Statute §§33: 101-130.54. Available at:
  4. U.S. Department of Commerce. A Standard State Zoning Enabling Act. Washington: Govt. Printing Office, 1926. Available at:
  5. U.S. Department of Commerce. A Standard City Planning Enabling Act. Washington: Govt. Printing Office, 1928. Available at:
  6. Model Comprehensive Planning Legislation for Louisiana (2003, Loyola Law Review)

Chapter Presidents

Here is a chronology of Louisiana planners who have served as Chapter President.

Tenure Name
'78-'79 Francis Keevers
'80-'81 Stephen Villavaso
'82-'83 Cathy Webre
'84-'85 Donna Mayeux Irvin
'86-'87 Cathy Webre
'88-'89 Robert "Bob" Becker
'90-'91 Robert "Bob" Becker
'92-'93 Roger Hedrick
'94-'95 Roger Hedrick
'96-'97 Karen Fernandez
'98-'99 Martin Bruno
'00-'01 Tim Jackson
'02-'03 Mart Black
'04-'10 Stephen Villavaso
'11-'13 Edwin "Ed" Elam
'14-'16 Lydia Jemison
'17-'19 Derek Chisholm


National Conferences in Louisiana

The Louisiana Chapter has hosted the APA National Planning Conference in New Orleans four times. We are very excited to be selected to again host the national planning conference in New Orleans during May of 2018.


1978 Conference1978 Conference
American Institute of Planners

This first national planning conference held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans occurred before the AIP's name change to APA. The theme was "Making Planning Work."

Planning Magazine January 19911991 Conference
American Planning Association

Themes from this conference included riverfront development, flood protection and drainage, and more. Click the thumbnail to read relevant excerpts from Planning magazine.

Planning Magazine, February 20012001 Conference
American Planning Association

Themes from this conference included coastal marsh reclamation, comprehensive planning, new urbanism, smart growth, social equity, and more. Click the thumbnail to read relevant excerpts from Planning magazine.

2010 Conference2010 Conference
American Planning Association

Taking place five years after Katrina, much of this conference focused on lessons learned from the storm recovery efforts in New Orleans. Click the thumbnail to read relevant excerpts from Planning magazine.

Future 2018 conference2018 Conference
American Planning Association

 Louisiana is very much looking forward to hosting the 2018 National Planning Conference to be held April 21 - 24 in New Orleans!