Making the “Big Idea” into a Viable Project

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Headlines | No Comments

 Many communities brainstorm “big ideas” and then immediately pursue plans, development regulations, incentive tools, etc. to achieve them.  But an all-in approach to development can lead to misplaced resources in projects that lack feasibility.  Planning efforts and due diligence on the front end of “big idea” projects focus resources on recommendations that are more realistic at the outset, avoiding projects that flounder and lose community support.  The workshop will feature a public official, regional planning agency representative, private developer, and planning consultants discussing their past experiences, how things can go wrong in the planning process, and what can be done to avoid missteps and create community inspired, market viable projects.



Dan Gardner, MPA, Principal Associate at Houseal Lavigne Associates, has extensive expertise and experience in planning, development, economic impacts, fiscal impacts, and market analysis in numerous markets throughout the United States and the Midwest in particular.

John P. Zediker, AICP, Partner/Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ruettiger, Tonelli & Associates, Inc., has a wide range of experience including working in municipal planning and development departments, particularly working for a real estate development company directing the development of several large master planned residential communities, commercial developments and industrial properties.

Chris Aiston, Director of Economic Development for City of St. Charles, is involved with creating and implementing all activities associated with existing business retention and expansion, attracting new businesses to the City and overall advocacy for business-friendly city regulations and practices.

Trevor Dick, AICP, LEED AP, Senior Planner at CMAP, has more than 15 years experience working in both the private and public sector completing a variety of planning projects throughout the country.  As a senior planner with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Trevor manages a variety of planning assignments and project teams through the agency’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program.


WHEN:  Thursday, May 23, 2013, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

WHERE:  CMAP, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800 [DuPage Room], Chicago IL

COST:  $15 paid at the door ($5 for students that RSVP by May 21st); checks payable to APA-CMS

RSVP:  To RSVP, please email by May 21st

QUESTIONS:  For program questions, please contact the CMS Board at

CM CREDITS:  Two (2) AICP CM Credits pending

FEEDBACK:     At the end of the program, please help us better shape our programming by providing feedback. Visit to take a quick online survey.

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