The Small Town Planning Handbook

Third Edition

By Thomas Daniels, John Keller, FAICP, Mark Lapping, Katherine Daniels, James Segedy, FAICP

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Originally published in 2007 — e-book version released in 2013.

This is the go-to guide for planners in small towns.

For decades, The Small Town Planning Handbook has helped small towns and rural communities plan for change. It is a step-by-step guide to drafting and implementing a comprehensive plan through zoning or...

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Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2013
APA Planners Press

About the Authors

Thomas Daniels
Tom Daniels is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches courses on Environmental Planning, Land Use Planning, Land Preservation, and Growth Management. From 1989-1998, Tom served as the Director of the Lancaster County, PA farmland preservation program. He often serves as a consultant to local governments on growth management issues. He is the co-author of The Small Town Planning Handbook (3rd edition, APA, 2007), and The Planners Guide to CommunityViz (APA, 2011). He is the sole author of The Environmental Planning Handbook, 2nd edition (APA, 2014) and When City and Country Collide (Island Press, 1998) 2nd edition, APA, 2014). Tom has made many presentations at the APA National Conference and for APA's PTS program.

John Keller

Mark Lapping
Mark B. Lapping is Emeritus Distinguished University Professor in the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine in Portland. He has served the University twice as its Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to joining USM, Lapping was the founding Dean of the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers. he has also served as Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University and founding Director of the School of Rural Planning & Development at Ontario's University of Guelph. He is the author or co-author of nine books, over 150 articles, monographs and reviews. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Rural Studies, Agriculture and Human Values, and the Journal of Planning Education and Research. He has been a planner and consult across the United States and Canada and has also worked in Scandinavia, Finland and Estonia. Most recently he was the founder and PI for the Maine Food Strategy, a multi year project to enhance local food production and processing.

Katherine Daniels

James Segedy

Table of Contents


List of Figures | List of Tables | List of Acronyms

Planning in Small Towns: An Overview

Part I: Creating a Town Plan
1. Why Plan?
2. The Town Plan: Planning Process and Procedures
3. The Planning Commission
4. Determining Community Goals and Objectives
5. Information Resources for the Town Plan
6. Community Profile, Geography, and History
7. Population Characteristics and Projections
8. Economic Data for the Small Community
9. The Natural Environment and Cultural Resources
10. Housing
11. Community Resources and Public Facilities
12. Transportation and Circulation
13. Current and Future Land Use
14. Printing and Publishing the Town Plan

Part II: Putting the Town Plan into Action
15. The Zoning Ordinance
16. Subdivision and Land Development Regulations
17. The Capital Improvements Program
18. Other Local Land-Use Regulations

Part III: Sustainable Small Towns
19. The Design and Appearance of Small Towns
20. Making Economic Development Happen in Small Towns
21. The Town Plan in Action and Strategic Planning

Appendix A: Contacts and Resources for Small Towns

Glossary | Bibliography | Index