Website Rectangular LogoThe NW Ohio Section of APA Ohio is proud and excited to be the host section for the Statewide Planning Conference in 2015. There are very exciting transformations occurring in the urban core of Toledo as well in the neighboring major City of Detroit, Michigan to the north.

The urban areas that have for so many years been focused on commuting to and from via motorized transportation are undergoing generational changes and becoming more people focused as planners and community leaders are “Reclaiming Spaces – For People’s Sake”, which is the theme for our 2015 Conference.

The conference sessions, mobile workshops, and professional development opportunities will focus on this key theme. The conference will provide a venue where the latest strategies and proven successes can be shared with others around the State of Ohio, as well with attendees that will likely come from SE Michigan and NE Indiana as the City of Toledo is situated such that the conference location is only 20 minutes to the Michigan State Line and 1 hour 20 minutes to the Indiana State Line.

The NW Ohio Section and the APA Ohio Chapter look forward to having you at the conference this coming September.

Yours Truly,
Patrick Etchie, AICP
Director, NW Ohio Section of APA Ohio

2015 State Conference Photo Recap!



Conference Information

About the Workshop.  The annual David J. Allor Planning & Zoning Workshop, sponsored by APA Cincinnati, will be held on Friday, January 30th at the Anderson Center in Anderson Township. As always, the workshop will offer information on the basics of planning and zoning and cover current topics of interest.


Location and Agenda. Registration and continental breakfast begins at 7:30 AM. The workshop runs from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. An after hours reception will be held from 4:30 - 6:30 PM. View the preliminary brochure for the full agenda.  

Anderson Center
7850 Five Mile Rd
Cincinnati OH 45230

- See more at:


Venue + Hotel
Program Highlights
Current Sponsors
All About Toledo!
Mobile Friendly Session List

Venue + Hotel.

All conference sessions Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will take place at the Grand Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, located in the heart of downtown Toledo. Special event and mobile workshop locations will be noted in the conference brochure.


Conveniently, the Grand Plaza Hotel & Convention Center also serves as the conference hotel. A special conference rate of $119.00 per night (plus tax) is available for conference attendees. Please book early, as the conference rate is available for a limited block of rooms only until September 11, 2015.


Book your room by calling 419.241.1411 and be sure to ask for the Ohio Planning Conference group rate.  **The hotel is otherwise full.  If you attempt a booking online, the website will say no rooms are available**



Registration is Now Closed. 
On Site Registration will be available.

*Note to Speakers: If you are a speaker only planning to attend your session and no other portion of the conference, you do not need to register.  Please email and let us know you only plan to attend your session.

Registration Dates

 Registration Rates

Program Highlights.

Preliminary Conference Brochure

To view the preliminary conference schedule, click here. 

To request booklets of the preliminary brochure, email

Professional Development Workshop

Wednesday, September 23

The day before the APA Ohio Statewide Planning Conference traditionally involves holding a preconference Professional Development Workshop (PDW). This year, the PDW will be in the form of a mini-lecture on the morning of Wednesday September 23 at the Grand Plaza Hotel & Convention Center. The afternoon will involve a mobile tour of downtown Toledo and Detroit of Urban Redevelopment Projects that are in place as well as current planning and redevelopment projects/initiatives that are taking place.

For more information on the PDW schedule, click here.


Conference Keynote Speakers

Opening Plenary | Thursday, September 24 @ 8:15 AM

James M. Drinan, Executive Director, American Planning Association

James M. Drinan, J.D., has a 25-year career in association management, most recently as the Executive Director of the American Association of Endodontists and its Foundation for 12 years. Prior to the AAE, Drinan was the Associate Executive Director of the American Association of Orthodontists, served as the Director of Health Care and Government Relations for the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and began his career as a federal attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago.

Drinan's career has focused on association leadership, governance, and strategic planning. He has had executive responsibility for a family of organizations, including associations, foundations, international federations, for-profit subsidiaries, and political action committees. He has served as general counsel, lobbyist, and spokesperson for associations at the state and federal levels.

A native of Boston, he received a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law. He has written and lectured on association management, government relations, and legal issues. Drinan has served on, and chaired, boards and committees in numerous legal and association management organizations, as well as his college alumni association and condominium association. His interests include travel, golf, and helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

Keynote Speaker + Awards Luncheon | Friday, September 25 @ 11:15 AM
Tom Murphy, ULI Senior Resident Fellow

Tom Murphy, ULI Canizaro/Klingbeil Families Chair for Urban Development, has been a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute since 2006.  A former mayor of Pittsburgh, his extensive experience in urban revitalization—what drives investment, what ensures long-lasting commitment—has been a key addition to the senior resident fellows’ areas of expertise. Murphy also serves on the Advisory Board of ULI’s Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use.

In 2011 he wrote Building on Innovation, a ULI report discussing the economic impact universities and hospitals have on local economies and providing detailed strategies to shape a successful 21st-century city based on a private/public/university partnership.

Before joining ULI, Murphy served three terms as mayor of Pittsburgh, from January 1994 through December 2005. During that time, he initiated a public/private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in the city. Murphy led efforts to secure and oversee $1 billion in funding for the development of two professional sports facilities, and a new convention center that is the largest certified green building in the United States. He developed strategic partnerships to transform more than 1,000 acres of blighted, abandoned industrial properties into new commercial, residential, retail, and public uses, and he oversaw the development of more than 25 miles of new riverfront trails and parks.

From 1979 through 1993, Murphy served eight terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay from 1970 to 1972. He is a 1993 graduate of the New Mayors Program offered by Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He holds a Master of Science degree in urban studies from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from John Carroll University.

He is an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects; a board member of Harmony Development Inc. of New Orleans; president of the board of the Wild Waterways Conservancy of Pennsylvania; and a board member of Mountain Lake Inc. of Virginia.

Check out a short interview in the Washington Post about Tom Murphy.

The 2015 Ohio Planning Awards will also be presented at the luncheon. These awards recognize outstanding planning projects and people in a number of categories.

You may purchase additional tickets for this event to bring guests not registered for the conference.

Mobile Workshops

There will be one mobile workshop each day of the conference, which includes a walking tour on Thursday September 24 and a boat tour on Friday September 25. Descriptions of each can be found by clicking here.  Workshops are $25.00 each. 

Township/Rural Community Zoning + Code Enforcement Track

Given input from our township and rural communities, this year’s Statewide Planning Conference will have a special session track on Thursday, September 24 that will focus on the current issues, challenges, and trends relative to townships and rural small town communities.  For more information, click here.

Conference Receptions

Welcome Reception
Wednesday, 5:30pm @ Tony Packo's Cafe, 7 South Superior Street

Kick off the conference with colleagues at a casual gathering at the world famous Tony Packo's Cafe. You may purchase additional tickets for this event to bring guests not registered for the conference.

Conference Reception
Thursday, 5:30pm @ Fifth Third Field, 406 Washington Street
Celebrate planning with friends and colleagues new and old at the conference reception Thursday evening. APA Ohio has booked the entire Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Stadium! You may purchase additional tickets for this event to bring guests not registered for the conference.

All About Toledo!


Downtown Toledo in recent years has undergone major changes and is transforming itself into a more vibrant urban center with successes being:

  • New hockey arena for the Toledo Walleye

  • New baseball stadium for the Toledo Mud Hens (made popular by hometown M.A.S.H. television star Jamie Farr)

  • Owens Corning World Headquarters along the waterfront

  • Recent announcement of ProMedica moving its headquarters to Downtown Toledo as they plan to re‑use an old Toledo Edison Steam Plant historic building

  • The residential occupancy rate in downtown Toledo is over 95%, which is attracting new businesses and restaurants (including the World famous Tony Packo’s restaurant next to the Toledo Mud Hens stadium)

The local host committee in Toledo has put together a sample of tourist, restaurant, and other fun activities you and your family can do before, during and after the 2015 APA Ohio Statewide Planning Conference! For more information, click here.




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Workshop Information