APA California - Making Great Communities Happen...


Making Great Communities Happen

The American Planning Association, California Chapter, Central Coast Section, serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, and aims to provide planning professionals, elected officials, and community members with services, support, and information to advance planning in the Central Coast and beyond.


Why belong to APA? Below is a list of many of the benefits available to APA Members.


When you join National APA, you also join the California Chapter and the local Central Coast Section. Chapter and Section membership involves you in APA close to home, sharing experiences with colleagues, expanding your network, and broadening your perspective beyond your office, commission, or campus. Newsletters keep you current on local issues and "people news." You'll want to attend your chapter's regular meetings, as well as special workshops and conferences.


Planning Magazine
APA member dues include a subscription to Planning, the award-winning monthly magazine that reports on cutting-edge debates and developments and binds our diverse membership together. Planning will keep you up to date on planning that works — successful programs, techniques, and strategies from across the nation.

Subscriptions to the quarterly Journal of the American Planning Association are discounted for APA members. More than an academic journal, JAPA links research to application in articles and special sections written with the planning practitioner in mind. It reviews close to 100 books each year and lists scores of new planning titles in each issue.

Zoning Practice
Zoning Practice helps guide you as you write and administer smart development codes. Its articles explore real-world issues and update you on code amendments, development projects, regulatory systems, and design standards. The "Zoning Reports" section reviews innovative, hard-to-find agency reports and books.

Planning & Environmental Law
Planning & Environmental Law helps you make sense of the shifting legal landscape and manage information overload. It regularly abstracts crucial federal and state appellate court decisions, summarizes important new state legislation, and analyzes the topics that interest you most. PEL presents just the information you need in an understandable and accessible format.


Participate with colleagues who share a special interest by joining one of APA's 19 divisions. Each division publishes a newsletter, organizes conference sessions, and works on other projects. Divisions are an important source of technical help to APA's public policy program, suggesting guidelines for government programs and policies, and offering expert testimony before legislative committees. APA members pay nominal additional dues set by each division.

American Institute of Certified Planners

In the planning field, AICP certification is the accepted credential for professional competence and ethical practice. To become certified, a candidate must belong to APA, fulfill rigorous education and experience requirements, pass the AICP examination, and pay additional dues. Over 10,000 APA members have made this extra commitment and joined APA's professional institute. AICP's Continuing Professional Development Program (CPDP) recognizes certified planners' efforts to keep abreast of current issues in the profession.


Full-time students interested in planning are eligible to join APA at a reduced cost. It's the best way to establish a solid professional foundation at the very beginning of your career. The New Planner, an online newsletter written by and for planning students, discusses what your peers are doing around the country. Chapter meetings and other functions foster networking and learning about planning in the real world. Learn more about it here >>

Planning Commissioners, and Appointed and Elected Officials

Planning officials join APA at a special reduced rate and receive enhanced services. All planning official members receive The Commissioner, a quarterly newsletter, as well as notices of customized training programs. Through APA-sponsored audio conferences, publications, and chapter meetings, you'll learn about planning and meet fellow commissioners and planning practitioners. At APA's annual national conference, plan to attend sessions and special events tailored to the needs of new and experienced planning officials. Learn more about here >>

National Planning Conference

As an APA member, you receive a substantial discount on the registration fee to the annual National Planning Conference. Meet planners from across the country, renew friendships, exchange information, and explore the hottest planning issues, problems, and solutions. Participate in mobile workshops that examine local planning activities and explore the entire host city as a planning laboratory. Learn more about it here >>

Planners Book Service

APA members receive discounts on many titles offered by APA's Planners Book Service. No matter what your area of interest, look to Planners Book Service for relevant and helpful publications. Planners Book Service offers almost 900 books, monographs, video and audio tapes, and software titles published by APA Planners Press and more than 100 other publishers. Many items aren't available anywhere else. Our booklist is so extensive that libraries use our catalog as their standard acquisitions guide.

Job Services

Find the right job or the right person for the job. Jobs Online is an database of planning jobs and a resume bank that help employers and job seekers find one another. Employers: Post your open positions and search the resume bank for qualified candidates. Job Seekers: Search the database, which is updated daily, by location, title, or salary and respond to ads using the resume you've posted in the resume bank.


A comprehensive insurance program for APA members only! APA is pleased to offer a fully endorsed insurance program, custom-designed for APA members. APA members deserve the peace of mind that comes from having a solid, stable insurance program, one that will be there when it's needed. APA's program provides plans underwritten by industry leaders, administered by the professionals at CBCA Administrators.
In partnership with CBCA and our underwriters, APA makes available to members and their families the following coverages:

  • Group Term Life Insurance , with optional spouse and dependent coverage
  • Disability Protection , providing coverage for your most important asset: your income

Find out today what these outstanding APA plans can do for you and your family. For information on any or all plans, call CBCA toll-free at 1-800-233-3938, fax 1-817-731-5735, or e-mail agency@cbca.com. Outstanding customer service is part of the APA Insurance Program. Note: Not all programs are available in all states.


Public Policy

APA's Public Information Office educates media and the public about the importance of planning and the role of planners in shaping our nation's communities. It also recognizes successful planning initiatives and efforts through the annual National Planning Awards.
APA is your voice on Capitol Hill and before executive agencies. We work hard to secure the funds for programs that support good planning. And we advocate for legislation that incorporates sound planning ideas. APA also works with chapters to make sure your legislature is aware of the benefits of good planning.

Public Information

The public information program helps to educate people about what planners do — and why good planning is important. For newspapers, television, and radio reports, APA is the primary source of information about planning.

Planning Advisory Service (PAS)

For 50 years PAS has provided planners with a one stop source for all types of planning information. As a PAS subscriber, you too will gain access to one of the most extensive planning collections in the world. Zoning ordinances and subdivision codes, specialized periodicals, local comprehensive plans, planning agency reports, and customized Internet searches. Plus, eight reports on important planning topics per year, and the monthly newsletter PAS Memo. In short, information you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

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