The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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August 25, 2013

City to offer Planning & Zoning Workshop scheduled for Aug. 30

Registration deadline is Wednesday

PALESTINE — Prior planning prevents poor performance — which is why the city of Palestine has partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington’s Institute of Urban Studies to present presentations to the public on planning, platting and zoning municipalities.

Training sessions are open to all and will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m., Friday Aug. 30, at the Ben E. Keith community room, 2019 West Oak St. Tickets cost $25 per person. Deadline to register for training is Wednesday, Aug. 28. Register online at Due the structure of the workshop, there will be no onsite registration.

“Planning and zoning affect every person’s everyday life and is important for the success of a city,” said Palestine Development Services Director Jeffrey Lyons. “Our hope with this training is to offer a toolkit of knowledge to our boards and commissions, and the people of Palestine, that will assist our progress. It will be an informative session, and I am looking forward to it.”

Focusing on planning and zoning in Texas, the training will offer an in-depth workshop on planning, platting and zoning and how Palestine can plan for the future.

The training is being called a “Workshop Toolkit” and is an inaugural program by UT-Arlington’s Institute of Urban Studies (IUS). The program hopes to provide training to boards, cities and the public on how important consistent and forward-thinking zoning and regulation will be on economic development and quality of life.

The IUS serves Texas communities statewide and provides training and research opportunities for the next generation of planners, administrators and academics with an interest in urban issues.

The workshop will be facilitated by Brian Guenzel, the director of the Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) at the University of Texas at Arlington in the School of Urban and Public Affairs; Doctoral program student Rhonda Fields; and Master’s Program students Nabila Nur and Melissa Delacruz.  

Guenzel is the current director of the IUS and was previously the planning official for the city of Burleson and was responsible for directing the city’s planning efforts. He has an MCRP from the University of Texas at Arlington in City & Regional Planning.

Nabila Nur, is a second year Masters student of the City and Regional Planning Program at University of Texas at Arlington. She has a bachelors in City and Regional Planning and hands-on planning experience through a research project for Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. She worked as a planner on the Rangpur Master Plan in Bangladesh. She is currently working with the Institute of Urban Studies at UT Arlington on several projects.

Rhonda Fields is a PhD student in the School of Urban Planning and Administration. She holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture, and worked 12 years work experience in strategic management and organizational development with a fortune 500, multi-national company. Her studies are focused on economics and urban design.

Melissa Delacruz earned her Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas State University in 2011. While pursuing her degree she worked with Austin Independent School District as a boundary specialist and is currently pursuing a dual Master’s degree program in public administration and city and regional planning with a focus on economics.

Contact Jeffrey Lyons at 903-731-8480 if you have trouble registering online.

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