On April 10, 2011, at the County Planning Division's Business Meeting conducted at the APA National Conference in Boston, the County Planning Division in conjunction with the National Association of County Planners presented their 2011 Project Awards. This year three awards were presented, one Award of Excellence and two Awards of Merit.
The Award of Excellence was presented to Charlotte — Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in the Small Area/Special Area Planning category for their Area Plan Implementation Program. The Area Plan Implementation Program is a system created to inventory, analyze, track, and implement capital projects as well as other recommendations originating from adopted Area Plans. It began from the need to follow-through on the community's planning vision that was developed during a lengthy and in-depth planning process. The program established annual bond funding for area plan capital project implementation, enhanced information sharing amongst public service providers, and has resulted in the construction of a number of projects.
The Awards of Merit were presented to Henrico County, Virginia, in the Grass Roots Initiative category for their Homeowner's Enhancement Guide and to Riley County, Kansas, in the Best Practices category for their Vision 2025 — A Comprehensive Plan for Riley County, Kansas. The Homeowner's Enhancement Guide is intended as a means of maintaining the stability and desirability of mature neighborhoods. The Homeowner's Enhancement Guide is a how-to handbook intended for homeowners and prospective purchasers of older homes, which may be in need of modernization and enhancement. The Guide is a tool for homeowners and prospective purchasers of mature homes that assist in the processes of adding character, modernizing, and improving livability through improvements at various ranges of cost. The Vision 2025 — A Comprehensive Plan for Riley County, Kansas provides the guidance to ensure the continued viability of the agricultural sector within the county while allowing compatible residential growth in appropriate areas. Developed over a 20-month time span by a representative steering committee with the guidance of facilitators and staff, the plan includes unique features such as a statement of property rights principles, an exclusive agricultural district, a uniquely tailored Land Evaluation Site Assessment System and an innovative Surrounding Agricultural Land Easement to protect agricultural operators.