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April 2017
President's Message
By: Andrea Pietras, AICP, SCAPA President

I am pleased to welcome Wayne Shuler, the Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of West Columbia, as our new President-Elect.  Wayne was officially installed in his new position at the SCAPA Spring 2017 conference.  He has served on the Executive Committee for many years, and in addition to serving as President-Elect, Wayne will continue to serve as the SCAPA Representative to SC Planning Education Advisory Committee.  Congratulations to Wayne!
 
In other news, the Spring 2017 conference at Main Street Junction in Union, SC was a resounding success thanks to the efforts of Ernie Boughman, our Past President, and Robby Moody, the CPAT Committee Chair.  Main Street Junction was a perfect venue for our conference.  It is a historic storefront that was recently redeveloped by the City of Union into a beautiful multifunctional venue for events ranging from reunions to weddings to corporate retreats. A new half-acre park and outdoor patio were also constructed as part of this $1.5 million public investment. Over 100 people attended the conference and learned about the redevelopment of Main Street Junction; CPAT’s first project in Chesnee, SC; two United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites in Nova Scotia; and the economic impacts of pedestrian and bicycle friendly environments in SC communities. 
 
Be sure to save the date of July 21, 2017, for SCAPA’s Summer 2017 conference, which will be held at the  Harris E. & Louise H. DeLoach Center451 East Carolina Avenue, Hartsville, SC.  Rodney Tucker, SCAPA Director-At-Large, has been hard at work planning this conference, which is sure to be a great one!  We are also working to identify the Fall 2017 conference date and location and are seeking session proposals for that conference.  Please contact Wayne Shuler at  wshuler@westcolumbiasc.gov if you would like to submit a session proposal.  Stay tuned for more information!
 
Finally, the SCAPA Executive Committee has already accomplished several of the goals adopted as part of the 2017 Strategic Plan.  We have incorporated and insured SCAPA; we are in the process of revamping our Young/Emerging Planners Program thanks to the efforts of Natalia Rosario; we are putting together an application to nominate one of our members for the Fellow AICP (FAICP) honor, which Kevin Keenan is heading up; we are reviewing applications for our next CPAT project thanks to the efforts of Robby Moody; and we are a sponsor for the April 27-28 Men of Color National Summit in Greenville, SC, the  mission of which is to close the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic males, from cradle to career.  All of this great work by our Executive Committee members, including planning the Spring and Summer conferences and running the election for President-Elect, has taken a lot of time over the past few months.  Because of this, we don’t have sufficient time to plan for the annual awards program we had wanted to start this year.  Therefore, the Executive Committee recently voted to amend the Strategic Plan to move the annual awards program to begin in 2018.
 
If you have suggestions for ways SCAPA can improve its services, or have other ideas you would like to see SCAPA take on, please contact me at apietras@charlestoncounty.org or 843.202.7219.  I look forward to continuing to serve you and working with our leadership team as we continue to improve and strengthen our organization!

Andrea

SCAPA President

Clemson MCRP Student Chapter Update: Early Career Experiences

Making your way into any career can be a challenge, especially for those with little to no experience within their field. Luckily, Clemson’s MCRP students have the opportunity every summer to work at a multitude of different agencies across South Carolina, the United States, and beyond as part of their summer internship requirement. These internships provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain early career experience in planning and related fields, as well as network with potential future employers. This year’s MCRP students worked in a variety of locations all the way from Birmingham, Alabama, to Atlanta, Georgia, to Rochester, New York. There was even one student who worked in Beijing, China. Click here to read about how these experiences benefitted the students as they prepare for a career in planning.

Fall 2016 was an exciting time for the Urban Studies program at the College of Charleston!  Click here to read about the Fall 2016 Convocation, community involvement initiatives, curricular issues, and much more!
SAVE THE DATE:
SUMMER SCAPA CONFERENCE


Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Main Street Junction in Union, SC

More details to come soon!

Keep an Eye on your Inbox for
LEGISLATIVE BRIEFINGS

By: Alec Brebner, Legislative Liaison

I am excited to provide this briefing, the first coverage of activity in the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly affecting planners in our state.  The first regular session convened in Columbia January 10, 2017.  Lawmakers have taken up debate of several changes to law with potential to impact our professional practice.  This briefing seeks to bring your attention to some of these changes so that you might adjust to new legislation and further, guide your community through transition. 
This document by no means substitutes for the wonderful work of the Municipal Association of South Carolina and the South Carolina Association of Counties.  These organizations represent the interests of public planning programs in that they lobby lawmakers on behalf of municipalities and counties, respectively.  Readers may choose to subscribe to the weekly legislative briefings of either organization by visiting www.masc.sc or www.sccounties.org
Your professional membership organization seeks to raise your awareness of changes to law contemplated in Columbia and occasionally in Washington, DC.  That written, your contributions to this briefing are welcomed! You may submit information for consideration of inclusion to me, Alec Brebner, at awbrebner@yahoo.com.  Better yet, please accept my invitation to join SCAPA’s Legislative Committee!  I am a policy wonk, and it would be my pleasure to talk through these legislative issues with you over the phone or in person over a cup of coffee.
Legislation under debate in Columbia…
S 346: South Carolina Inclusionary Zoning Act
In response to the major affordable housing shortage South Carolina is facing today, state enabling legislation for Inclusionary Zoning (Bill #S346) was introduced in the Senate on February 1, 2017 that would allow municipalities and counties within South Carolina the ability to enact their own inclusionary zoning strategy, if they choose to. 
 
Planning departments are encouraged to share this legislation with housing departments and local leaders.  Letters of support from local elected officials and/or resolutions of support from City Council can be sent directly to Geona Shaw Johnson at JOHNSONG@charleston-sc.gov, who is also happy to answer any questions.  
 
Fact Sheet: for more information…
 
H 3653: Nuisance Suits Related to Manufacturing and Industrial Uses of Real Property
                A Chapter 24 would be added to Title 31 of South Carolina Code to address challenges, pre-emptions, and limitations of nuisances arising from manufacturing and industrial uses.  These protections of private enterprises’ use, expansion, and reestablishment extend to transportation and warehousing uses as well, including tow yards.  If enacted, the change in law would seem to make invalid local zoning ordinances aimed to limit these uses.  These uses could expand even where non-conforming.  They furthermore would be provided an indefinite grandfather clause after decommissioning or abandonment.  The law does not specifically reference, and would therefore not seem to limit, local requirements to mitigate nuisances arising from such uses, including setbacks and buffers.  The language is also mute to subsequently enacted noise limits, but the intent of the law may be to preclude their application. (See also S323).
S 105: RE: Contested Cases in Administrative Law Court
                §1-23-600 would be amended so as to eliminate indefinite stays of State-issued permits in the event of court challenge.  Apparently, 30 days would instead be the maximum time frame of the stay.  Local governments should be aware that issuance of local permits tied to State-issued permits, such as coastal zone consistency and stormwater, would be affected.  Moreover, challengers to permit issuance may refocus their attention from State agencies’ environmental permitting to local land development review.
S 99: RE – FOIA response time   
                This bill seeks to change the turnaround time for supplying requested public information from 15 to 10 days.
H 3405: RE – Zoning Regulations
                The legislation proposes to “clarify” that only landowners (and duly authorized representatives) and city/county councils (and duly authorized planning commissions) may initiate changes to official zoning maps.  Perhaps most importantly to membership, a Planning Commission’s authority initiates changes to the official zoning map for new or revised zoning districts is preserved.
H 3086: Public parking lot surcharge
                A variety of bills have been filed that seek to raise revenue for transportation, including but not limited H3102, H3111, H3516, H3315, and S210.  H3086 may cause local governments to take a second look at how they plan off-street parking.  The legislation proposes a surcharge of 50 cents per stall per user, which the operator (municipality, county, or aviation authority) would have to collect and remit to the State Highway Fund.  The revenue would be restricted “exclusively for road and bridge repair and improvement, and for mass transit projects.”
H 3238: Municipal Approval of STIP entries
                Several bills seek to change how SC DOT conducts business.  This legislation would require that any transportation improvement proposed for entry in the State Transportation Improvements Program would need prior municipal approval.  Processes arising from federal regulations provide that STIP entries should appear first in the MTIP, where the transportation improvement occurs in a metropolitan area.  A municipality is represented in the metropolitan planning organization. 
S 343: RE – Highway System Construction
                The displacement of utility lines from road rights-of-way has had a profound impact on urban design. Power poles and manholes typically dot streets and sidewalks in historic districts.  For many years now, utilities have borne the cost of relocating their lines to make way for the reconstruction.  For this reason and others, utilities relocate to easements alongside the road.  The spatial result is a wide berth between the sidewalk and buildings, corridors that can be occupied by little more than off-street parking.  Legislation proposed this session would require SC DOT to bear the cost of utility relocation, up to 7.5% of total road construction costs. 
                Also on the topic of urban design, H3615: Dylan Paul Mitchell Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act would influence how designers think about crosswalks and other active transportation features.

Professional Development Updates

By: Amy Southerland, AICP, SCAPA Professional Development Officer
  • APA/SCAPA AICP Exam Fee Scholarship: If you are an aspiring AICP candidate, and you are experiencing a financial hardship (including hardships caused by budgetary cutbacks), you may qualify for a 2017 AICP Exam Fee Scholarship!  Click here for more details.  Deadline to apply is February 17, 2017.
  • Curious about the AICP exam changes?  Check out this APA blog post that provides information and resource links.
Have more questions about professional development opportunities or looking for CM credit opportunities?  Contact Amy Southerland, AICP, SCAPA Professional Development Officer at southerlanda@charleston-sc.gov.

Reminder: SCAPA Dues Structure is Changing

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, SCAPA is changing the dues structure for APA memberships.  For information on the change, click here.
APA/AICP Updates
Planning Advisory Service
A revised Planning Advisory Service (PAS) that extends the PAS product line, previously available by subscription only, to all members, beginning January 1. The existing PAS subscription model for institutions will change, as will the Inquiry Answer Service.
 
Related to the new PAS benefit, APA members will have access to a new PAS research database, which will preview in summer 2017. This members-only resource will be made up of curated collections of research resources to be released over the next 18 months.


APA’s Membership Structure Is Changing
APA is making entry into the association easier and more affordable for students and new planners. Effective in July 2017:

APA student membership will be free for any individual who is enrolled as a full- or part-time, degree seeking student in any college or university program for the duration of his or her studies. “Free” includes national, chapter, and AICP membership, as well as membership in up to five APA Divisions.

APA will offer reduced dues for up to two consecutive years to any individual who joins APA for the first time as a regular member OR is an APA student member who recently ended college or university studies.
 
The APA/AICP Student and New Planner Task Force developed these policies, with input from APA /AICP leaders and partners. The changes are in response to member feedback about broadening participation in the association and making membership more accessible and affordable to a diverse population with both planning and non-planning backgrounds. 
 
APA’s current membership structure and prices will be in effect through June 2017. APA will communicate with individuals who currently are in the Early Career Membership Program (i.e. joined as a student member within the last five years) to ensure a smooth transition into the new framework. Contact APA staff at customerservice@planning.org or call 312-431-9100 if you have questions.  

Two-year Introductory Dues Rate for First-time Members
Beginning July 1, 2017, APA will offer reduced dues to individuals who join the association for the first time as regular members (US only). Qualifying members will pay reduced dues for two consecutive years as follows: 
  • APA National - $75/year
  • AICP - $70/year (for members who are certified or become certified during the introductory period)
  • Chapter - $20/year
  • Division (optional) - $10/division/year
Anyone who joins APA before July 1, 2017, will not be eligible for introductory dues rates. Additional details on how to participate will be shared in spring 2017.
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