PLANNING COMMISSION News
City of Baton Rouge-Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 2009
PLANNING COMMISSION INITIATES DEVELOPMENT OF
PLANNING ADVISOR PHASE III
T he Planning Commission is currently developing the next
phase of the Planning Advisor application. Planning Advisor is
a tool which will allow Planners and other decision makers to
make informed and impartial decisions regarding land use and
land development changes in the City-Parish. The Planning
Advisor uses a scoring system which weighs several variables
together, providing a quantifiable insight into whether a project
or land use change is in keeping with good planning principles.
The first phase of the Planning Advisor project created the
primary scoring application, considering proposed future land
use, zoning, and surrounding land uses. The second phase
incorporated socioeconomic developmental variables and Smart
For the third phase, additional Smart Growth and infrastructure
elements are to be incorporated into the scoring matrix. These Planning Commission and other City-Parish staff are in the process
elements include aspects such as connectivity, land use mixture, of Phase III development of the Planning Advisor application.
affordable housing, proximity to public facilities, traffic carrying
When the Phase III improvements are completed, the Planning
capacity of nearby streets, bus routes, bicycle routes, parking,
Commission will be able to review planning cases in much greater
sewer and drainage, and flood risk.
detail than is currently possible, evaluating each proposed
change based on infrastructure impacts and its ability to promote
Planning Advisor Phase III will also serve to link the application
and advance Smart Growth. The scoring mechanism is a powerful
with the existing Application Tracking System (ATS). The ATS is
tool which evaluates many different variables, based on a
the tracking system for all cases which are brought to the
predetermined scoring system that can provide Planners and
Planning Commission for review and approval.
decision makers with greater insight into the value of land use
The link with the ATS will allow these
changes and new development in the City-Parish.
applications to share datasets and permit
interoperability between them.
(continued on page 3)
Horizon is still happenning . .
THE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT The Planning Commission was also recognized for its efforts
By Herb Gomez in 2008 with several awards and honors for its work. In 2008,
Planning Commission Chairman the CPPC received the Intergraph Corporation Technical
I n 2008, Planning
Commission members and staff
Innovation Award for excellence in the use and application
of GIS software and tools. Specifically, this award is in
recognition of the CPPC’s Planning Advisor tool.
again accomplished an
impressive array of award In January 2009, the CPPC received the Outstanding Public
winning achievements that Information Program Award from the Louisiana Chapter of the
served to further advance American Planning Association. This award recognizes the
good planning practices and public information, education, and outreach elements of the
principles in Baton Rouge. City-Parish Wetlands program. In particular, the creation of a
Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual for the
The Planning Commission was Parish was deemed superlative by LA-APA. In addition, the
invited to present the findings Wetlands Program has also been nominated for a Public
of its ongoing work at various Education Award by the American Society of Landscape
conferences and presentations throughout 2008. Architects.
In May, Planning Director Troy Bunch, Assistant Planning During 2008, the Planning Commission assisted with the final
Director Ellen Miller, and Advance Planning Division staff development of many new developments in the parish. Major
were invited to present a paper on the work of the Baton investments in our community were made by private industry
Rouge Brownfields Program at the Fourth International in 2008. Some of these major developments include the Coca-
Conference on Prevention, Assessment, Rehabilitation, Cola bottling plant, the addition of nearly 1,000 hotel rooms
Restoration, and Development of Brownfield Sites, held on throughout the parish, the construction of a new parish
the island of Kefalonia in Greece. courthouse and office tower downtown, and the approval of
the Rouzan TND development on Perkins Road.
In October, GIS Division staff presented a paper on the
current efforts of the Baton Rouge GIS Program at the Urban Finally, the update to the 20-year Comprehensive Land Use
and Regional Information Systems (URISA) 2008 Annual Plan for the City-Parish was initiated in 2008. The CPPC will
Conference in New Orleans. URISA is a professional oversee the process to select a consultant. Subsequently, the
organization focusing on GIS and technology-related comprehensive planning process will commence and
interests in the public and private sectors. continue through 2009 and 2010.
In January 2009, José Villalobos-Enciso, GIS Manager, was These are just a few examples of how the Planning
invited to present at the International Conference on Water, Commission continues to excel in its endeavors to bring
Environment, Energy, and Society, held in New Delhi, India. quality planning and land development to Baton Rouge.
Planning News is published four times a year by the City-Parish Planning Commission
Planning Commission to provide information and assist residents in Herb Gomez, Chairman; Kathleen Callaghan, Vice Chairman; Ervie
better understanding the planning process. Comments should be Ellender; Audrey Nabors Jackson; Laurie Marien; Frank Muscarello;
addressed to: Roxson Welch; Tara Wicker; and W.T. Winfield.
City-Parish Planning Commission Planning Commission Staff
1755 Florida Street, Third Floor Troy L. Bunch, Director; Ellen A. Miller, Assistant Director; Ryan
P.O. Box 1471 Holcomb, Planning Project Coordinator; Lael Holton, Manager, Advance
Baton Rouge, LA 70821 Planning and Research Division; Walter Reeves, Manager, Current
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Planning Division; Jose Villalobos-Enciso, Manager, Geographic
website: www.brgov.com/dept/planning/ Information System Division; Barrett Chaix, Glenn Hanna, Rachael
Ivie, Blair LeBlanc, Tiffany Johnson, Lenise Lyons, Regina Melson,
Newsletter Editor Gilles Morin, Jennifer Severson, and Emanuel Zanders, Jr., Planners;
Justin Priola Warren Kron, Jr., Indah Kusuma, Justin Priola, and Quang Tran, GIS
Analysts; Jan Kirby, Administrative Assistant; Donna Bennett,
Administrative Specialist; Stephanie Brooks, Sharan Thomas, and
Jane Wooldridge, Senior Clerical Specialists; Jacob Alleman, John
Gilmer, Erica Mulmore, and Cara Rutledge, Interns.
PLANNING ADVISOR PHASE III
(continued from page 1)
Notes from the Director
Despite the automation that the Planning Advisor permits, it can
never serve as a substitute for the careful review of staff PLANNING DIRECTOR’S
Planners. The Planning Advisor and its scoring methodology is AWARD
a scientific tool which is designed to supplement and
complement the trained and informed decisions of the CPPC By Troy L. Bunch,
staff planners who review cases and forward land use Planning Director
determinations and recommendations to the Planning
Commission. ach year, the Planning Director
recognizes one exceptional
The development of the Planning Advisor is yet another pursuit Planning Commission staff member
in which Baton Rouge City-Parish Government continues to for outstanding performance, loyal and dedicated employee
pursue planning excellence. The Planning Advisor is the product service, and providing a major contribution to the department,
of many hours of work from amongst the entire Planning community, and Parish with skills that promote harmonious
Commission staff and stakeholders from other City-Parish development and growth. This individual is chosen for their
departments. Working together, the Planning Advisor is another outstanding efforts which have most contributed toward the
program which is intended to move Baton Rouge forward. success of the City-Parish planning program.
For more information about the Planning Advisor and its José Villalobos-Enciso, Geographic Information System
continued development, please contact the Planning Commission Division Manager, is the recipient of the 2008 Planning
at (225) 389-3144 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Director’s award. The award was presented to José at the
Planning Commission meeting on January 26.
José is originally from Tuxtla Guiterrez, Chiapas, Mexico,
and began work with the Planning Commission in August
2007 as GIS Division Manager. In that time, he has
commenced many GIS-related initiatives. These projects
include a Wetlands and Watersheds analysis and a Land
Suitability Analysis which is tasked with identification of
environmental contamination sites in the parish.
José has presented the results of his initiatives at several
conferences on behalf of the Planning Commission. In
Troy L. Bunch, Planning Director, presents José Villalobos-
October 2008, he made a presentation on the Baton Rouge
Enciso, GIS Division Manager, with the 2008 Planning
GIS Program at the Urban and Regional Information
Systems Annual Conference in New Orleans. In January
2009, José submitted and presented a paper on GIS
PLANNING IN THE NEWS watershed analysis research at the International Conference
on Water, Environment, Energy, and Society, held in New
“Rouzan’s groundwork to begin early next year”
PLANNING IN THE NEWS
Baton Rouge Advocate During José’s tenure as GIS Manager, the CPPC received
November 14, 2008 the Intergraph Corporation’s Technical Innovation
Award in recognition of the development of the
“Powerful allies” Planning Advisor tool.
Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
December 29, 2008 José is one of the many dedicated individuals at the
Planning Commission who make planning happen
“Biking, walking trails urged” everyday in Baton Rouge. This award recognizes his
Baton Rouge Advocate
January 27, 2009
PLANNING AHEAD Field Notes
February 16 Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting Troy Bunch, Planning Director; Ellen Miller, Assistant Planning
5:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348 Director; Ryan Holcomb, Planning Project Coordinator; Lael
Holton, Advance Planning and Research Manager; and Barrett
February 18 Metropolitan Council Zoning Meeting Chaix, Economic and Environmental Research Coordinator,
4:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348 attended the annual conference of the Louisiana Chapter of the
American Planning Association (LA-APA) held from January 14-
March 16 Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting 17 in Lafayette, LA. This year, the Planning Commission received
5:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348 the Outstanding Public Information Program Award from LA-
APA. This award is in recognition for the public information and
March 18 Metropolitan Council Zoning Meeting outreach element of the City-Parish Wetlands program.
4:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348
José Villalobos-Enciso, Geographic Information System Division
April 15 Metropolitan Council Zoning Meeting Manager, presented a paper on GIS-based watershed analysis at
4:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348 the International Conference on Water, Environment, Energy, and
Society, held in New Delhi, India, from January 12-16. The W.E.E.S.
April 20 Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting conference is an international venue for the science of water
5:00 p.m., Governmental Building, Room 348 management, use, and control.
Armedia Hamilton, Administrative Specialist, Current
Planning Division, was “Employee of the Month” for
Visit the Planning Commission December 2008.
on the internet at José Villalobos-Enciso, GIS Division Manager, was “Em-
www.brgov.com/dept/planning. ployee of the Month” for January 2009.
Blair LeBlanc, Resource Center Coordinator, was “Employee
of the Month” for February 2009.
City-Parish Planning Commission
1755 Florida Street, 3rd Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802