October 2020 is National Community Planning Month

Release date: 10/01/2020
Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation

National Planning Month logo“Planning Is Essential for Recovery” is the theme for National Community Planning Month, celebrated every October by the American Planning Association (APA).

Washington County Land Use & Transportation (LUT) staff is asking the Board of Commissioners to proclaim October as National Planning Month during its Oct. 20 regular meeting.

This year’s theme highlights how planners can lead communities to equitable, resilient and long-lasting recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The response to COVID-19 had immediate impacts on everyone’s daily lives,” said Erin Wardell, Principal Planner, LUT Transportation Planning. “We don’t yet know how the pandemic will affect our communities long term, but it’s clear our transportation behavior has changed. Understanding these changes will help us prepare for future crises.”

Planning does not stop at a geographic border. Washington County’s planning work encompasses regional and statewide perspectives. LUT staff works with professionals in public health, recreation, engineering and business to make communities safer, stronger and healthier.

During COVID-19, the County instituted Inside Out, a temporary land use policy allowing some restaurants, bars and in-person services to conduct business in nearby parking lots. 

“We’re pleased to provide business owners this temporary opportunity to continue to operate and stay active in our community,” said Stephen Shane, Principal Planner, LUT Current Planning. “We hope the policy will create a bridge to businesses until our working and personal lives return to normal.” 

LUT planners work directly with community members, organization, cities, county and state agencies to address land use and transportation issues. The planning process provides all community members an opportunity to participate in the future of Washington County. 

“Our goal is to create thriving communities,” said Theresa Cherniak, Principal Planner, LUT Community Planning. “We work with community members to understand their priorities and challenges. We want everyone to be a part of the planning process.”

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Public Affairs and Communications Manager