January 19, 2012

Story County, Iowa, Receives Report from Volunteer Planning Team

CHICAGO — A four-member volunteer team of planning experts, part of the American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance program, spent nearly a week working with Story County residents, business leaders, and officials, to identify how the county can plan for greater economic development and a stronger future. The team's analysis and recommendations following their visit have been published in a final report.

The team identified four key strategic areas that require the county's attention:

  • Develop a coordinated long range plan that incorporates all key subject areas to eliminate conflicting or competing goals.  
  • Expand strategic partnerships and investments, coordinated investments between multiple entities, and advocate for increased vitality of the county.
  • Enhance quality of life through trails and recreation improvements, which have a direct impact on economic development.
  • Reorganize county planning functions to support its new economic development role, coordinate with local municipalities, and provide technical assistance as needed.

The team's final report will be discussed at the next Story County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 10 a.m. in the Public Meeting Room of the Story County Administration Building (900 6th St., Nevada, Iowa).

Read the final report of the Story County Planning Assistance Team

The American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance program helps communities with limited planning resources. Through the program, teams of professional planners are matched with communities requesting assistance on a variety of planning topics such as economic development, sustainability, transportation, and housing. The team works with the community and provides recommendations on how to enhance planning and envision a better future.

The Story County Community Planning Assistance Team was led by Wayne Feiden, FAICP, 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 included:

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

Read more about the Story County team

The community planning assistance team program was established in 1995 by the American Planning Association's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. Previous teams have worked in Crestdale, North Carolina; Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.; Slidell, Louisiana; and Henderson Point, Mississippi, among other locations.

Learn more about the Community Assistance program


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org

Charles Dissell, Story County, Iowa; 515-382-7246; cdissell@storycounty.com