The County Planning Division of APA seeks to strengthen relationships among county planners, county elected officials, and other county personnel by facilitating the sharing of technical information, encouraging continuing professional development of its members, researching county planning issues, and building strong ties with other organizations and disciplines with related interests. The division strives to elevate appreciation of county planning as a unique niche within the planning profession.
Counties, including parishes and boroughs, are diverse in many ways — geography, population, statutory authority, and development philosophies. In some locations, county planning is similar to small town planning and in others it encompasses aspects of metropolitan or regional level planning. In some states, counties have zoning and subdivision authority outside of municipalities and in other states they don’t. In many areas, counties manage community development grant funds as the federal entitlement communities and counties, compared to municipalities, often have relatively sophisticated GIS capabilities stemming from their land records management functions.
Despite or because of all of these nuances, are places where the planning variety is great, the challenges are daunting, and the potential is fantastic.
The County Planning Division encourages participation by all county planners and others with an interest in county planning. The division offers members a variety of ways to network, connect, and learn from other county planners, including the annual membership meetings, conference sessions, awards program, newsletters, and this website.