Wednesday Session Descriptions
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Wednesday, May 25
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - KEYNOTE: Traditional Ecological Knowledges (TEKs) & Indigenuity: Antidotes to Destruction in an Age of Global Climate Change
- Daniel R. Wildcat, PhD
- Traditional ecological knowledges (TEKs) represent deep spatial experiential knowledges embedded in language, stories, songs, ceremonies, and everyday customs and habits emergent from the symbiotic relationship of Peoples and places. This brief reflection on TEKs and their application in exercises of Indigenous ingenuity or Indigenuity suggests that planners might benefit from an understanding of both, as they increasingly must face the challenges of planning in the face of climate change and the uncertainty it produces.
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Enabling Better Places: Using the Wisconsin Code Reform Guide
- Ivy Vann, AICP, CNU-A - Town Planning and Urban Design
- Joshua Clements, AICP - Planning Director, City of Sun Prairie
- This session will unpack both the findings in the WI Enabling Better Places: A User's Guide to Neighborhood Affordability and the techniques recommended in the guide for making positive change in Wisconsin jurisdictions. We'll talk about the background of how the Guide was created and then walk the audience through doing a character assessment in preparation of how to recommend zoning code changes, as well as discussing the public engagement and Accessory Dwelling unit recommendations.
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - Learning Through Efforts to Revitalize a Green Bay Neighborhood
- Erin Rovinksi - Design Specialist, City of Green Bay
- Matthew Buchanan, AICP - Economic Development Specialist, City of Green Bay
- Sarah McDonald, PLA, CLARB, ALSA - Senior Landscape Architect, Stantec
Worried that a large brownfield redevelopment in a low-income neighborhood might gentrify it, forcing long-term neighbors out of their neighborhood? It is a common story, especially in industrial cities. The Shipyard, a new riverfront project, is under development in Green Bay’s near downtown. While it boasts community-friendly amenities such as walking paths, dog park, kayak launch, and playground, there was concern from city staff that this would put the wrong kind of development pressure on one of our oldest neighborhoods, with their property values being depressed at 65% lower than the overall city. Green Bay’s Planning and Projects Team got to work. While working on the Shipyard project, they also created an investment strategy for the neighborhood, concentrating on stabilizing properties, keeping owners in their homes, and incentivizing renters to purchase. This was done through City programs, as well as enlisting a local housing non-profit. Hear about the Shipyard project, the experience of implementing the investment strategy, and the impact seen over the past four years
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - FlexRide Milwaukee: On-Demand Transportation to Connect Workers and Jobs
- Fulfills 1 CM Equity Credit (option 1 of 2)
- Kevin Muhs, AICP, PE - Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
- Eric Lynde - Chief Special Projects Planner, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
The world is changing in significant ways, and transportation is no exception. This session will focus on FlexRide Milwaukee (www.flexridemke.com), a new on-demand transportation service launched in February 2022 through a partnership led by UW-Milwaukee and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The service is being piloted through a $1 million National Science Foundation grant and includes a substantial research element. FlexRide is a technology-driven approach to closing the last-mile transportation gap—between where bus service stops and one’s ultimate destination—and getting Milwaukee residents to jobs at some of Menomonee Falls’ and Butler’s largest employers. It is being supported by numerous partners and has received widespread media coverage and support from government, business, nonprofit, and other leaders interested in developing creative solutions to solve some of our most challenging transportation problems. A primary challenge that the FlexRide partnership will need to address is how to sustainably fund and operate a new service like this after the pilot period ends.
Advances in technology have allowed transportation problems to be tackled in new and different ways, and that includes applying more flexible solutions to getting people to jobs in areas difficult to serve with a typical 40-foot bus. With a sophisticated ridesharing algorithm, the app-based FlexRide service is modern, convenient, and extends the reach of local, fixed-route transit systems for the roughly 1 in 5 Milwaukee residents without access to a personal vehicle. As the vast majority of these individuals are people of color and/or from low-income households, this project has a chance to increase access to opportunities and improved equity outcomes for those most in need. Lessons learned from this project will influence the future of flexible, on-demand transportation services, not only in Southeastern Wisconsin, but across the country.
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - Brownfields: An Integrated Approach
- Keely Campbell, PG - Funding Specialist/Geologist, Ayres
- Amanda Arnold, AICP - Urban Planner, Ayres
- USEPA’s Brownfield Assessment Grants are often viewed as only providing Environmental Site Assessment reports to their recipients. And communities know that while environmental due diligence plays an important role in the site and community revitalization process, it doesn’t move the needle on its own. However, when the full breadth of eligible activities (visioning, engagement, planning, AND environmental assessment) are utilized together, the program’s potential to recover and build communities is staggering. When utilized well, these grants can stimulate economic opportunity, enhance climate resilience, and spur redevelopment to transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places. In this session, a planner and an environmental scientist will discuss an integrated approach to implementing Brownfield Assessment Grants to maximize this significant pool of funding (hint: it starts with planning!), with case studies from around the country.
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - LUNCH PLENARY: From Playbook to Super Bowl: Titletown Design
- Aaron Popkey - Director of Public Affairs, Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Schuette - Community Development Director, Village of Ashwaubenon
- In the hypercompetitive National Football League teams
are constantly looking for advantages on and off the field. The
Green Bay Packers saw a need to start to develop outside sources of revenues,
including the development of the Titletown District. Attend the
plenary session to hear how Titletown was started as a concept and through the
Packers’ partnership with the Village of Ashwaubenon, became a mixed-use
residential, commercial, recreation, and entertainment centerpiece for
Northeastern Wisconsin and a model for other NFL teams.
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Lean Comprehensive Plans: A Planning Oxymoron, Debunked! - A1
- Jason Valerius, AICP - Senior Planner, MSA Professional Services
- Lauren Dietz, AICP - Planning Consultant, MSA Professional Services
“Comprehensive Plan”: The title itself implies a big document, a plan that tries to account for all the topics, all the data, all the ideas. But it’s time to rethink the Comprehensive Plan. This session will explore the idea of the Lean Comp Plan – what it looks like and how to get there. We'll start with the challenge of information overload, and the distinction between interesting and useful in the data collection process. Then we'll make the case for brevity and simplicity, and offer a tour of several comp plans that do this well. We'll consider the effort involved in the Lean Comp Plan, and discuss how this approach applies to communities big and small. Finally, we'll introduce the Lean Comp Plan Tool created by the Project for Lean Urbanism, explaining both the planning strategies and the policy perspectives of that tool.
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Reinvesting in the City of Waupaca: Planning Adaptions to Strengthen Community Resiliency A2
- Andrew Dane, AICP - City of Waupaca Economic Development
- Aaron Jenson - City Administrator, City of Waupaca
- Jared Rachu - Community Development Director, City of Waupca
- This presentation will share case study examples from Waupaca, WI (pop. 6,000), highlighting recent planning adaptations aimed at strengthening community resiliency. Like many smaller communities, Waupaca and its residents face a broad range of challenges including population stagnation, housing affordability, and uncertainty over its economic future. Over the past five years the City's Community Development Department has spearheaded a number of key reforms aimed at addressing these issues including an updated Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan, Downtown Plan, Community Wayfinding and Branding Plan, and Arts and Culture Plan. This presentation will reflect on lessons learned as these plans have been implemented, including innovative steps to support downtown businesses, stimulate new housing development and support stronger corridors and districts through planning and zoning modifications.
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Bringing the Wisconsin Idea to Your Community: The UniverCity Year program at UW-Madison - A3
- Abigail Becker - Communications & Outreach Specialist, UniverCity Alliance
- Todd Schmidt - Village Administrator, Village of Waunakee
- Kara Homan, AICP - Development & Land Services Director, Outagamie County
- Andy Lynch - Transportation Planner, Marathon County MPO
Localities are continuously looking for ways to improve their own equity, sustainability, livability, economic opportunity, health, and government performance, but often lack the time or expertise to succeed. Many projects they want to work on are "stuck" for a variety of other reasons (fatigue, elected official turnover, staff capacity, prioritization, political divisions, etc.) or have been delayed because of COVID-19. These localities also have a lot of wisdom to share based on their experiences in connecting with residents and confronting challenges in their communities. Universities have faculty, staff and students with time and expertise to help, but outside of Extension and service-learning programs, its community outreach efforts are generally episodic and small scale. We will introduce a program at UW-Madison called UniverCity Year which connects local government-identified needs with UW-Madison courses and other opportunities. The model is flexible – it works with all types of communities – large, small, urban, rural – and can accommodate different primary partners, including city and county government as well as quasi-governmental bodies like economic development authorities. During this session, you will hear university staff, a village administrator, a planning director and a transportation planner offer their perspectives about the existing partnerships and how they have benefitted from this program by offering examples of projects that have happened and are currently underway (advancing sustainability in cities, racial equity, affordable housing siting, flood mitigation, GIS management, downtown placemaking and land use, ground and surface water quality, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and economic development). We will have a planning session with participants about how universities and communities can work to leverage these partnerships to bounce back from COVID-19 together. Lasting community impacts of these projects will be shared.
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - To Grow or Not to Grow - That is the Question - Managing a Changing Demographic and Budgetary Constraints - A4
- Amy Barrows - Senior Planner, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
- Tom Hafner, P.E., ICMA-CM - City of Delafield Administrator
- Dan Botich - Associate & Senior Economic Development Professional, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
The residents of the City of Delafield recently passed a referendum that allows the city to increase the tax levy for a limited 5-year period in order to balance the city’s budget. The city was under pressure to come up with a solution before the 5-year period ends in 2025. In 2021, the City of Delafield embarked on an Economic Development – Land Use Focus project that prioritized citizen input and several focus group meetings to identify areas that could be targeted for responsible economic growth to help balance the budget long-term and ensure that the city remains an attractive place to live, work, play, and visit. This presentation is intended to share past and present perceptions related to new land use growth in the city and how budgetary constraints have changed those perceptions. We will explain how staff were able to pursue the Economic Development – Land Use Focus project, including methods used for public engagement, results of a Cost of Community Services Study intended to help define the costs of new development to the city, and efforts of a diverse focus group. We will further dive into the process of presenting the focus group recommendations to city officials for formal enactment. The city was innovative in their approach to balancing the city’s budget, and we are excited to share the benefits and shortfalls in an effort to benefit other communities facing similar challenges.
1:15 - 3:15 p.m. - Lambeau West: Titletown District TOUR
Charlie Millerwise - Director of Development & Hospitality, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Schuette - Community Development Director, Village of Ashwaubenon
Take a guided tour of the Green Bay Packers’ Titletown District redevelopment of a former suburban highway commercial strip into a walkable, urban destination. Titletown is an emerging mixed-use residential, commercial, recreation, and entertainment hub for Northeastern Wisconsin, located immediately west of historic Lambeau Field. Bring comfy shoes as the tour will walk the district and then visit Titletown Tech, a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft to foster technological growth in the region. Following Titletown Tech, have your camera app ready, as we will climb Ariens Hill for fantastic views of the District and Lambeau Field. Afterwards, kick a field goal on the full-size football field, run (or jog!) the timed 40-yard dash, enjoy a craft beer from Hinterland Brewery on their outdoor patio, take a swing and have a drink at the virtual golf simulators at The Turn – a Top Golf Swing Suite, play shuffleboard or other outdoor games, or just hang-out and enjoy the scene!
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Resilient Communities are for the Birds - A2
- Alex Halverson, MBA - Resilience Planner, GRAEF
- Eric Phillips - Resilience Planner, GRAEF
Discourse on climate change often frames its impacts on our natural world. Hotter temperatures are shifting species’ natural ranges; coral reefs are dying off due to air and water pollution; polar bears are losing foraging access because of melting ice. When we hear about those impacts, we often associate them with environments that are removed from society, separate from where we live, somewhere else. The presenters will explain that the divide between nature and our communities isn’t necessarily physical, but rather spiritual and psychological. Conservation of natural resources, plants, animals, and materials is extremely important, but it’s equally as important to realize that it can occur in our built environments as well as the natural environment. We need to think of conservation as a both/and proposition. When we do that, our urban areas reduce the inputs to and adapt to the changes brought by climate change, improve the health of its citizens, and provide vital habitat for many species, especially birds. The threats to biodiversity that come from our built forms are well-documented, but less emphasized is the value that biodiversity brings to our built environments. As climate change continues to encroach, designs for built forms must continue to include and benefit nature, lest these built and natural forms both fail to be resilient. The emphasis on designing with nature to improve biodiversity doesn’t result in smaller built environments, but rather transitions to forms that support and help nature rather than harming it. Biodiversity is an important metric of environmental health. This presentation will demonstrate ways that we can make our built forms more friendly to birds, including legislation, architectural design, vegetation features, and more. Along the way we’ll note the symbiotic relationship this approach has with other efforts to adapt to a changing world.
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Municipal Impact Fees in the State of Wisconsin - The Do's and Don'ts - A3
- Dan Botich - Senior Economic Development Professional, SEH
- Brian Depies - Client Services Manager, SEH
- Impact fees are a primary factor for builders/developers when considering a community in Wisconsin. There are always questions as to how they are done, why are they done, and really no understanding of how professionals got to the impact fee number. Wisconsin State Statute 66.0617, Impact Fees, refers to a one-time fee to fund capital improvements necessitated by capacity requirements above and beyond the effective capacity of current infrastructure because of new development. Some of the common uses of an impact fee include:
- Community service facilities (municipal offices, community centers, etc.)
- Fire, law enforcement and land for athletic fields
- Parks, playgrounds and land for athletic fields
- Highways, transportation facilities and traffic control devices
- Sewage and water treatment facilities
- Water pumping, storage and distribution systems
- Solid waste and recycling facilities
- Dan will give an overview of what goes into an impact fee analysis, how it is calculated and ultimately some takeaways on how to optimize impact fees in Wisconsin communities.
3:45 - 4:45 p.m. - Community Visioning in East Central Wisconsin - A1
- Kevin Englebert - Deputy Director, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
- Amanda Arnold, AICP - Urban Planner with Ayres Associates
- David Porter - Village Administrator for Winneconne, Wisconsin
In March of 2021, the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC), with funding from the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, sought out a consultant to help create and jointly implement a Technical Assistance Program intended to address economic and organizational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and communities. The intention was to connect small businesses and/or communities to resources to help them increase their operational strength and resiliency. A competitive program was developed, and twenty-six applications were submitted. Ultimately, eight communities received assistance through the technical assistance program. Community needs varied, but assistance was provided primarily in the form of downtown focused community visioning workshops.
Come learn about the program creation process, options offered to communities, and the results that will hopefully garner further local support for eight unique planning needs. Kevin Englebert from ECWRPC will provide an overview of the funding and discuss the background of the creative use of the funds. Amanda Arnold from Ayres will talk about the creation and implementation of the technical assistance program, and David Porter, Village of Winneconne Administrator, will discuss how the assistance helped his community.
3:45 - 4:45 p.m. - Proactive Public-Sector Led Steps to Generating New Diverse Housing in Small Wisconsin Communities - A2
- Ben Rohr, ACIP - Planner, Vendewalle & Associates
- Rebecca LaMire - City Manager, City of Fort Atkinson
- Andy Selle, PE - City Engineer, City of Fort Atkinson
- Chris Scherer - City Council President, City of Fort Atkinson
- Brian Munson - Principal Planner, Vandewalle & Associates
Like many communities, Fort Atkinson (current population 12,500) experienced consistent population and housing growth for several decades leading up to 2008-09 and very little since that time. Leveraging many different tools and resources, the City is now poised to generate new diverse housing opportunities in the community. These proactive steps included acquiring land, setting ambitious community goals, analyzing the market potential, proactive zoning changes, developing neighborhood plans, and developer recruitment. Now teed up for implementation, several private developer interests have reached out to the City, and the project looks poised to move forward in 2023. These proactive steps can be replicated as a model for other small communities around the state that are in desperate need of creating new diverse housing starts and overcoming the challenges faced post-Great Recession in waiting for the private sector to lead new housing growth in the community.
3:45 - 5:15 p.m. - Recent Legislation and Law Changes Affecting Land Use - A3
- Fulfills 1.5 CM Law Requirement
- Curt Witynski, J.D. - Deputy Director,, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
- Toni Herkert - Government Affairs Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Curt and Toni are the chief lobbyists for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, which advocates for city and village government before the Wisconsin State Legislature. This session will review changes to state law made in the last seven years impacting zoning and land use policy at the local level, including: elimination of the protest petition process for zoning changes, changes to the conditional use permitting process, and preemption of municipal regulation of short-term rentals. We will also review recent legislation, AB 608, which originally would have required all municipalities to allow multi-family housing of at least 16 units in at least one zoning district. We will finish up by forecasting what workforce housing and other land use issues the Legislature may tackle next session, and how you can most effectively get involved in the legislative process.
3:45 - 5:15 p.m. - Riverfront Redevelopment & Historic Broadway District Walking TOUR - CANCELLED
- Stephanie Hummel, AICP - Planner II, City of Green Bay
- David Buck, AICP - Principal Planner, Green Bay Community & Economic Development
- Brian Johnson - Executive Director, On Broadway, Inc.
- Jeff Mirkes - Executive Director, Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and Olde Main Street, Inc.
Like many other Wisconsin communities, Green Bay turned their backs to the industrial, working river going through their downtown, the Fox River. Within the past 15 years, there has been a dedicated effort with investment and programming to bring citizens back to the downtown and this river. The Fox River is still a working river, with active industry operating today and a major port on the north side of the City. Enjoy a leisurely 1.2 mile walk around the City’s downtown with Green Bay Planners, Business Improvement District Directors, and developers telling the story of reinvestment and pride in the Fox River and our downtown. Following the tour, join us for some fun and shopping in the Broadway District at the weekly Farmers’ Market, one of Wisconsin’s largest markets!