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APAUT Spring Conference Follow-up and Pictures

March 29, 2022 by admin

Thank you to everyone who attended or presented at the Utah APA Spring Conference in beautiful Kanab, Utah. It was wonderful to see so many of you in person. I believe we can all agree that the Kanab Center was a lovely setting with perfect weather. The night sky party, golf, and mobile tours were also a big hit.

The conference brought together professional and citizen planners from across the state to learn and attend sessions on housing, economic development, public lands, tourism, water, natural resources, energy challenges, land use, law, historic preservation, sustainable planning, and how we may begin to balance the pandemic’s outcomes. One idea that reverberated throughout was the strong sense of collaboration needed to make state-mandated updates to our general plans and ordinance. Also, the importance of telling a community’s story in building its identity and going forward.

The Vernal downtown placemaking, plan, and implementation strategy highlighted the importance of community outreach in articulating their vision and developing guiding principles. A remarkable description of sixteen funding sources utilized to improve a thirteen-block area was a short course in municipal financing for planners.   

Bruce Parker, the chapter’s professional development officer, provided a timely and thorough review of the recently updated AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, sections of which are now applicable to all who are involved in the planning practice. Wilf Sommerkorn provided details and commentary on the 2022 legislative session. With so many bills and topics, additional legislative update sessions are scheduled to get into the devilish details. Craig Call, JD had a busy conference providing multiple sessions of land use regulation training for our citizen planners. This training was highly educational for our emerging and seasoned professional planning practitioners as well. Utah annexation laws and sensitive lands were topics at Friday’s citizen planner training.

“Where’s the Market Going and How we Adapt” presented by Benj Becker of Piper Sandler, was an engaging and fact-filled keynote. His analysis of five items hindering smart growth and responsible development is worth reviewing. Mr. Becker’s slides, as well as many other conference presentations, will be posted to the chapter website,, shortly.

A special thank you to Judi Pickell, Executive Manager, and Nicole Masson, Executive Assistant, for organizing the event, food, vendors, and swag. We also want to again thank our sponsors and all who attended the 2022 Spring Conference. As an executive committee, we sincerely thank you for supporting the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association. We hope to see you this fall (September 8th and 9th) in Draper!

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