October 14, 2011

Story County, Iowa, To Receive Assistance from Volunteer Planning Team

CHICAGO — A four-member volunteer planning team is traveling to Story County, Iowa, to help residents envision a future for the county that will best serve residents' needs while balancing its agricultural heritage. The team will work with civic organizations, community leaders, and concerned citizens October 23-27.

The team is part of the American Planning Association's professional institute's Community Planning Assistance Program, which helps communities with limited planning resources and also brings a fresh perspective to local communities. Through the program, teams of professional planners are matched with communities requesting assistance on a variety of planning topics such as sustainability, economic development, transportation, and housing.

The team will help Story County find a balance between development pressures while protecting agricultural lands and natural resources. One of the goals of the team's visit is to help achieve community consensus around one plan for the future.

"As we continue to construct the role of Story County in local economic development issues and opportunities, I am excited that the APA awarded us this chance to get a professional, comprehensive look at our current practices and to recommend possible changes or enhancements that will benefit the people of Story County," said Story County Supervisor Rick Sanders.

The Story County Community Planning Assistance Team will be led by Wayne Feiden, FAICP. Feiden is the director of Planning and Development for the City of Northampton, Massachusetts, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts and Westfield University. Team members include:

  • Deborah Meinhoff, ACIP, principal and owner of Communitas, a redevelopment, planning and public participation agency in Portland, Oregon. 
  • Cathie Pagano, AICP, a planner for Gunnison County, Colorado.
  • Russell Soyring, ACIP, the Planning Director of Traverse City, Michigan.

Read more about the Story County team

Over the course of the week, the team will tour the county and conduct interviews with a variety of leaders and residents. A town hall public meeting will be held on Monday, October 24 at 5:15-6:45 p.m. at the Public Meeting Room of the Story County Administration Building. The team's preliminary assessment will be presented on Wednesday, October 26, 5:30-7:00 p.m., in the City of Ames Council Chambers. The final report of the team's assessment will be available in November.

The community planning assistance team program was established in 1995. Previous teams have recently worked in Crestdale, North Carolina; Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.; Slidell, Louisiana; and Henderson Point, Mississippi, among other locations.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org
Charles Dissell, Story County, Iowa, 515-382-7246, cdissell@storycounty.com