Complete Story


A Guide to Planning in Ohio, Second Edition

Chapter Authors

First Name

Last Name



Diane Alecusan AICP Diane Alecusan, AICP is the Housing Strategy Lead for Ohio at CareSource. Prior to joining CareSource, Diane was the Policy Manager for the Office of Multifamily Housing at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency where she was responsible for the development of program guidelines, design standards, and the Qualified Allocation Plan, which guide the development and funding of affordable multifamily rental housing throughout Ohio. Diane has worked in planning and development roles for the Ohio Department of Development, Bird Houk Collaborative (now OHM Advisors) and the City of Dublin. Diane holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the Ohio State University.
Christopher Anderson AICP Christopher Anderson, AICP is the Community Development Director for Forest Park, Ohio, a planned community in Hamilton County. An Ohio native, Chris has been a practicing planner since graduating from Miami University with a BA in 1989, starting his career in Florida and then North Carolina, where he earned an MA degree from UNC-Charlotte. Chris returned home to Ohio in 1996 to serve as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Milford. He has extensive experience in comprehensive planning, including both new and updated comp plans. Chris has been a committed volunteer with APA-Ohio for over 25 years, including leadership of the Cincinnati Section and co-chairing the 2018 OKI Regional Planning Conference. He is a member of the APA-Ohio Board of Trustees and served as APA-Ohio President from 2019-2020.
Thomas Breidenstein Esq. Thomas Breidenstein, Esq. of Breidenstein Legal Services, LLC, is admitted to the bars in the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He practices in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate, with a particular emphasis on zoning and land use matters. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and he is a Certified Planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). In addition to his law practice, Breidenstein chairs the Glendale (Ohio) Planning & Historic Preservation Commission and the Glendale Zoning Board of Appeals, and he sits on the Board of Directors of the Glendale Community Improvement Corporation. Tom served as an At-Large member on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2019-2022.
Karl Brunjes   Karl Brunjes was raised in historic New Paltz in the Mid-Hudson region of New York. He moved to Southern California and while working in the private ambulance sector as an Emergency Medical Technician, he returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton in 2006. Following a lengthy career in Emergency Medical Services, he relocated to Cleveland in 2010 and found a way to merge his hobbies of genealogy, photography, and his interest in historic architecture and began studies at Ursuline College. He earned a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation in 2017. During that time, he interned at the City of Cleveland with the Cleveland Landmarks Commission which led to his current employment.
Kimberly Burton AICP Kimberly Burton, AICP is a professional engineer, certified planner with a transportation planning specialty, and LEED accredited professional in neighborhood development. She has over 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors. Ms. Burton is the President of Burton Planning Services, a planning and environmental firm located in Westerville, Ohio; and she is also an Associate Professor of Practice in City & Regional Planning at The Ohio State University where she teaches courses on transportation, sustainability, resiliency, green building, energy, municipal planning and zoning, and future cities. In Ohio, she serves on the APA Ohio Chapter’s Board of Trustees and as the Professional Development Officer, and nationally, she serves as the Ohio Ambassador for the APA Hazard Mitigation & Disaster Recovery Division.
Sara Byrnes Maier   Sara Byrnes Maier is a Principal Planner at Cleveland Metroparks, where she focuses on trail planning and grants. She led the application team that received a $7.95 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the “Re-Connecting Cleveland” trail project that was completed in 2021 and the $950,000 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant for the Cleveland Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning project. She has prior experience in commercial real estate lending and regional planning, and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, Design and Development from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Tulane University. She served as Treasurer of the Cleveland Section of the American Planning Association from 2008-2018 and has been a member of Bay Village City Council since 2018.
Kelan Craig   Kelan Craig is Vice President of Development at Renewal Housing Associates, LLC. Renewal is a multifamily housing development company based in Portland, Maine. Renewal's primary focus is renovating legacy affordable housing propoerties that require capital improvements and long-term use restrictions. Previously, Kelan worked for over 7 years at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. He served as a community development analyst at the Ohio Development Services Agency, and as the housing preservation coordinator at the Coalition on Homeless and Housing in Ohio. Kelan is currently a board member for the Ohio Housing Council and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. He received his masters in both City and Regional Planning and Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University in 2008.
C. Gregory Dale FAICP Greg Dale, FAICP is a founding Principal with McBride Dale Clarion in Cincinnati. Mr. Dale is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, having been active in the planning profession since 1981. He has managed planning projects throughout the country and has expertise in comprehensive plans, regional plans, growth management plans, land use regulations, citizen outreach programs, planning for historic areas, and expert testimony on planning, zoning and land use development issues. Mr. Dale is a co-author of an update to The Citizen’s Guide to Planning and The Planning Commissioners Guide. He has conducted over 100 training sessions for planning and zoning boards, including a focus on ethics, and has written extensively on ethics in planning.
Kirby Date AICP Kirby Date, AICP is a certified community planner, and principal of KM Date Community Planning, LLC, a community planning and decision support consultancy. Kirby’s areas of expertise include comprehensive planning and community engagement, and decision support technical studies in economic, fiscal, retail and market analysis, housing, and code review. She was the local government outreach planner for Countryside Program in Northeast Ohio from 1996 to 2006, and for the Ohio Balanced Growth Program from 2006 to 2016. From 2006 to 2021, she was a member of the professional staff of the Center for Community Planning and Development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. Kirby holds a BS in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, and an MS in Urban Studies, Community and Neighborhood Development focus, from Cleveland State University. She is the author/editor of Best Local Land Use Practices, a suite of policy tools and resources for Ohio communities.
Pamela Davis AICP Pamela Davis, AICP is a Senior Water Quality Planner with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) where she has worked for 22 years focusing in watershed, stormwater and drinking water issues. Pam has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a focus on Public Administration, from Ohio University and a Masters of Urban Planning Design and Development from Cleveland State University; she is also a graduate of Ohio’s Watershed Academy. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a member of the American Planning Association (APA). Pam is also a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University; where she teaches Environmental Planning, Environmental Policy and Urban Sustainability.
Christine Dersi Davis AICP Christine Dersi Davis, AICP is the Executive Director of the American Planning Association, Ohio Chapter (APA Ohio). She is also Director/Moderator of the Planning Webcast Series, a consortium of APA chapters and divisions providing weekly webinars to planners and allied professionals across the country. Dersi Davis previously held the position of Senior Planner at D.B. Hartt, Planning and Development Consultants. She holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, Design and Development from Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College. She became a certified planner (AICP) in 2015.
Thea Ewing AICP Thea Ewing, AICP is a Project Director on the Digital Infrastructure Solutions Team at HNTB. She drives traditional and innovative transportation planning projects across the country. Prior to joining HNTB, she was the Chief Regional Development Officer at Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in Columbus, Ohio. Thea has 22 years of public service in Ohio and has worked at the county, regional, and state levels of government. Thea has a BA in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University and a Master of Public Administration from Wright State University. She is in the American Institute of Certified Planners, in the Ohio Association of Commodores, and is the current President for Clean Fuels Ohio.
Kathleen Farro Ryan Esq. Kathleen Farro Ryan, Esq. of Wood & Lamping LLP practices in the firm’s State and Local Government Practice Area. Her practice consists primarily in the representation of local governments, private property owners, organizations, and developers. Kathy is the law director for Evendale, Glendale, Arlington Heights, and Lockland, all in Ohio. Kathy was selected for inclusion in the 2020 and 2021 editions of Ohio Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star in land use and zoning.
Sophia Ferries Rowe   Sophia Ferries-Rowe is a Bachelor of Urban Planning student at the University of Cincinnati in the graduating class of 2024. Through the cooperative education program, they have worked as an intern at McBride Dale Clarion in Cincinnati and Rundell Ernstberger Associates in Indianapolis for a combined total of two years of professional experience. Ferries-Rowe has assisted on comprehensive plans in Loveland, Ohio; West Chester Township, Ohio; Springdale, Ohio; Frankfort, Ohio; and St. Joseph County, Indiana. Additionally, they have conducted research and created graphics for zoning codes in Brooklyn, Ohio; West Chester Township, Ohio; and Vanderburgh County, Indiana. Under the mentorship of Greg Dale, FAICP, Ferries-Rowe has assisted on multiple legal cases regarding land use decisions and zoning designations, learning about real-world planning and ethical dilemmas along the way.
Thomas Hilde PhD Tom Hilde, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Cleveland State University’s Levin College. He teaches courses on land use planning, the built environment, GIS, and urban sustainability. He has led several community-engaged class projects as co-instructor of the Capstone Planning Studio. His research centers on fostering sustainable and resilient urban development, with a focus on incorporating natural systems to realize the multifaceted benefits of green infrastructure such as urban forests, parks, and greenways.
Kristen Hopkins FAICP Kristin Hopkins, FAICP is the Manager of Planning Services with CT Consultants, an engineering, architecture and planning firm based in Mentor, Ohio. Prior to joining CT in 2014, she spent 10 years at the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission. Ms. Hopkins earned a Master of Public Administration and Economic Development Certificate from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) with a Bachelor's Degree in Urban Planning. She served in a variety of leadership roles with APA Ohio and the Cleveland Section for over 20 years, and was inducted into the Fellows of the American Planning Association in 2016.
Steven Johns AICP Steve Johns, AICP is the Assistant Director of the Hamilton County Department of Planning + Development where he leads the Community Development, Community Planning and Development Services Divisions. Steve holds degrees in Community and Regional Planning; Civil Engineering; and Economics. Steve also served as the Sustainability Coordinator in the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environmental & Sustainability and as the Executive Director of Citizens for Civic Renewal (CCR) – a non-profit dedicated to empowering citizens and serving as a catalyst for civic action in Greater Cincinnati.
James Kastelic   James Kastelic joined the adjunct faculty at the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University in 1996, and currently serves as Research Fellow at the Center for Community Planning and Development, as well as Instructor, teaching courses in community and regional planning. He formerly held a number of positions, including Deputy Director, at the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, from which he retired in 2002; Senior Park Planner for Cleveland Metroparks from 2002-2013; and Program Director for the Trust for Public Land’s Ohio office from 2013-2016. Mr. Kastelic holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts degree in urban geography from Kent State University. During his 40+ years career in planning, he has served as liaison to and board member of a number of government agencies and non-profit organizations, including the Cuyahoga Valley Communities Regional Council of Governments, the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, the West Creek Conservancy and the Ohio Coastal Resource Advisory Council.
Katherine Keough-Jurs FAICP Katherine Keough-Jurs, FAICP is the Director of the Department of City Planning and Engagement at the City of Cincinnati. Katherine has over 20 years of municipal planning experience and holds a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a BA in Political Science from Miami University. Katherine has been active in the Cincinnati Section of APA Ohio since 2000 and served as Section Director from 2014-2018. She has also served as an At-Large member of the Board of APA Ohio since 2014. She is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati. Katherine became a certified planner (AICP) in 2001 and was inducted to the College of Fellows (FAICP) in 2022.
Todd Kinskey FAICP Todd Kinskey, FAICP is a certified professional planner who joined the City of Dayton in May of 2018 as its Director of Planning & Community Development (PCD). In June of 2021, PCD was merged with the Department of Economic Development to form the new Department of Planning, Neighborhoods & Development. Prior to his appointment in Dayton, he was employed by Hamilton County, Ohio for over 23 years serving as Planning Director for almost 10 years. He has 30+ years of experience as a professional planner with emphasis in long range planning, community development, economic development, site ‎plan review, land use planning and zoning ‎analysis. Todd holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati College of Design Art Architecture and Planning. He has experience serving on numerous boards and commissions including as President of the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association in 2015-16. Todd was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows in April 2020.
Joe MacDonald PhD, AICP Joe MacDonald, AICP, is Director of Strategic and Environmental Planning for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). His current responsibilities include development of Northeast Ohio’s first Regional Climate Action Plan; implementation of eNEO2050: An Equitable Future for Northeast Ohio, NOACA’s Long Range Plan, and implementation of Clean Water 2020, NOACA’s wastewater management and water quality plan. He previously served as NOACA’s Manager of Environmental Planning between October 2013 and March 2020. Prior to NOACA, Dr. MacDonald served as Project Manager of the Environment for the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC). NEOSCC produced the Vibrant NEO 2040 Regional Visioning Framework, recipient of the 2015 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan from the American Planning Association (APA). Dr. MacDonald also served as Senior Research Associate with the APA and consulted on water resource planning projects through APA’s China Program. Dr. MacDonald holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); an M.S.P. in Urban and Regional Planning (Florida State University); and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (University of Michigan).
Holly Mattei AICP Holly Mattei, AICP is the owner of Crossroads Community Planning, a planning firm that serves small to medium sized communities with long range planning and zoning services. Ms. Mattei has 25 years of planning and zoning experience. As Principal of Crossroads, Ms. Mattei has embarked on strategic planning and zoning initiatives for Jersey Township in Licking County and Harlem Township in Delaware County. These planning efforts specifically revolve around the Intel Microchip facility and other development pressures in the northeast corner of the Columbus region. She has also completed several comprehensive zoning code projects in Pickaway County around the Rickenbacker multi-modal facility, including the City of Circleville, Walnut Township and Harrison Township. Her experience also spans across the state with the adoption of an Advanced Manufacturing Zoning District for the City of Oregon and completion of a comprehensive model zoning code for Hamilton County. Ms. Mattei holds a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University and a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.
Wendy Moeller FAICP Wendy Moeller, FAICP, is the principal and owner of Compass Point Planning, a private consulting firm based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. She has worked in planning since graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Urban Planning in 1996. Before starting her own firm in 2010, Wendy worked for 11 years as a project manager for McBride Dale Clarion, also based out of Cincinnati. Wendy is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has a certificate in form-based codes from the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI). In 2018, she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP), the highest distinction given to certified planners in recognition of their significant contributions to communities and the planning profession. Wendy has served on the APA Ohio Board of Trustees, including time as President. At the time of this printing, Wendy is currently serving as the Region IV Director for the American Planning Association.
Rachel Ray AICP Rachel Ray, AICP is Economic Development Director for the City of Westerville, Ohio. Rachel is responsible for administering the City's business retention, expansion and attraction programs and managing economic development and incentive projects. Prior to making the move to Westerville in June 2021, Rachel worked for the City of Dublin, Ohio for fourteen years in Planning and Economic Development roles. Rachel holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University and is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). She has served on the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association Board of Trustees since 2013, including a term as President from 2020-2021. She also serves as Treasurer for the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange (MODE) Board of Trustees.
Suzann Rhodes FAICP Suzann Rhodes, FAICP is a planning consultant with close to 50 years’ experience in public and private-sector government management and leadership roles. Throughout her career she served as the Community Development Block Grant Administrator for the City of Savanah, GA; as the Executive Director of BHJ RPC a two-state Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Local Development District for the Appalachian Regional Commission; and the state planning administrator for the Ohio Department of Transportation. After retiring from Ohio DOT in 2005 she served as Principal and senior project manager with Wilbur Smith/CDM Smith an international water, environmental, and transportation consulting engineering firm. During the last 10 years she has consulted independently as Suzann Rhodes, LLC.
Della Rucker AICP Della Rucker, AICP is the Principal of the Wise Economy Workshop, a platform for Thinking and Doing to help communities of all types become Future-Ready. She is also the COO of Trep House, a virtual superhub for New Majority business owners, and co-founder of Econogy, a groundbreaking company that accelerates innovation in businesses, organizations and communities. Prior to Econogy, Della served as National Lead for Economic Development for Jacobs Engineering Group. Della is the author of several books, including The Local Economy Revolution Has Arrived, Everybody Innovates Here, Crowdsourcing Wisdom. and over a hundred shorter pieces across multiple platforms. Della is one of fewer than 10 persons in the US to hold the industry-standard professional certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD).
Scott Ulrich AICP Scott Ulrich, AICP is a Policy Analyst within the Center for Public Health Innovation at Columbus Public Health. In this role, he oversees efforts to address public health and equity through built environment issues including land use, transportation, housing, and greenspace. Prior to this, he directed the Healthy Places Program at Columbus Public Health and was a Planner at Franklin County Economic Development & Planning. Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Miami University and a Master of City & Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.
Jordan Whisler AICP Jordan Whisler, AICP serves as the Statewide Planning Manager within ODOT’s Office of Statewide Planning & Research. In this capacity, he oversees various statewide and long-range transportation planning initiatives. Prior to joining ODOT in 2018, he held positions with both regional and local transportation agencies, working in transportation systems planning, programming, and operations. Jordan is a professional AICP planner and a graduate of the Ohio State University where he earned advanced degrees in City and Regional Planning and Civil Engineering.
Jonathan Wocher AICP Jonathan Wocher, AICP is a Principal with McBride Dale Clarion in Cincinnati. Mr. Wocher is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has been a professional planner since 1993. Mr. Wocher has a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, with Magna Cum Laude honors. He is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and the Ohio Chapter of APA and frequently speaks at local and regional planning and zoning conferences. In 2010, Mr. Wocher earned his LEED Green Associate (GA) credential from the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The credential demonstrates knowledge and understanding of green building practices and principles needed to support the use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Printer-Friendly Version