Community Request for Assistance Form

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) program of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. The program is designed to bring planning resources and opportunities to communities with a demonstrated need for assistance, and to strengthen the ability of local residents and other community stakeholders to influence or make decisions that affect their quality of life. The CPAT is a pro bono program, meaning that the program provides the time of senior-level planning experts to a community without compensation. However, the community is expected to raise funds to cover travel expenses, meals, and accommodations.

When preparing your submission, please keep in mind that your project should be as focused as possible in scope. The scope of CPAT projects is limited due to the constraints of time and resources provided by the volunteer experts. While experts spend time preparing for a project before they arrive in the community and additional time completing project elements after they leave, actual time spent in the community is generally only one to three days. While thorough preparation of briefing materials before a Team’s site visit is a tremendous help, your project must be achievable within a limited amount of time.

Applicants seeking CPAT support for a project must complete this online community request for assistance form or submit it to the address below. We strongly prefer all application materials in digital form.

APA California
ATTN: Community Planning Assistance Team
PO Box 1733
Elk Grove, CA 95759

Your application is used by to determine whether the project is an appropriate fit for the CPAT program. Please include as much relevant information and background as possible. Our ability to commission a team of experts to successfully address the issues and needs of your community may be limited by the care and thoroughness of the submission. Proposals are reviewed as they are received. If your proposal is selected, project scheduling is determined based upon current demand and capacity.

Questions and requests for further information should be addressed to Hanson Hom, AICP, CPAT Coordinator for APA California, at

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* 1. Title of Project

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* 2. Project Description and Its Importance to the Community:

Describe the project/issue and why it is important to the community.  The project must be distinct, clearly defined, and able to be successfully addressed through a short, intensive planning process.

The following guidelines and questions should be followed when writing your statement:
  1. If the project involves a specific geographic area, draw the boundaries of the study area on a map. Send a copy of the map and any other supporting material to the APA California address shown above. (Most projects focus on the scale of a neighborhood or project site.)
  2. Describe the issues affecting your community that influence or have led to the need for the project. Include the degree to which the problem is recognized by leadership and the community, and the obstacles (social, political, economic, physical, etc.) to successfully addressing the problem.
  3. Describe how this project will build on past efforts or advance current work within the community.
  4. What types of expertise are you most interested in receiving? (For example, urban design work, site planning, economic development planning, transportation planning, implementation assistance, capacity building, visioning and consensus building.).

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* 3. Why CPAT Support is Required:

Indicate why the community cannot undertake the project without CPAT support.  Demonstrate (specific budget and staffing information) that the requested services cannot be provided in-house or through a contract with a planning consultant.

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* 4. Desired Outcomes and Expected Product:

Discuss what your community expects to achieve from receiving CPAT support. What plans do you have to maximize the opportunity and follow through with the project and the Team’s work? How do you intend to publicize the planning process in advance and to gain public attention for the product when the process is completed?

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* 5. Description of Major Stakeholders:

List the major stakeholders in your community such as government agencies, major property owners, private sector participants and relevant community groups. What is their role in this project? In what ways will they work with the Community Planning Assistance Team? What kinds of resources will they provide? Will they have representatives who meet with the Team during their visit? How will they follow-up after the project? Please include any relevant websites and contact information.

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* 6. Primary Contact Person:
The primary contact person will be the main community resource for the Community Planning Assistance Team. This person will be responsible for connecting the Team to stakeholders and building community involvement. The primary contact person will help organize local logistics for the Team’s visit and collect and organize requested materials for the planning process.