2017 GPA Spring Conference in Review

Date :: April 19, 2017
Location :: City Center, 8534 Main Street, Woodstock, GA (map it)

The GPA Spring Conference took place on Wednesday, April 19th at City Center (8534 Main Street) in Downtown Woodstock. The early registration discounted rate of $100 is available through Sunday, April 9th. After that, the rate will increase to $150. GPA is offering a discounted registration rate of $50 for planning officials (including planning commissioners, members of design review or zoning boards, etc.) You may register on-site at the conference.  Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to experience Downtown Woodstock, earn CM credits, and network with your fellow colleagues!

GPA is pleased to welcome Jonathan Sangster, General Manager of Economic Development with Georgia Power, as our opening keynote speaker. His talk, “Inclusive Economic Development,” will explore the role of public/private partnerships around our state and highlight how Georgia companies are actively supporting economic growth. The conference will feature a wide range of sessions covering transportation, community engagement, environmental planning/sustainability, and comprehensive planning/quality growth, as well as a walking tour of the newly revitalized Downtown Woodstock.

Certified planners will also be able to earn APA-required law and ethics credits. The law session will take an in-depth look at the City of Atlanta’s zoning code and discuss the legal implications of zoning. The ethics session will present the AICP 2017 Ethics Case of the Year and lead attendees in a facilitated discussion that directly engages the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. 

On-site registration on April 19th will open at 7:00 AM, and the Welcome and Keynote Speaker will begin at 7:45 AM.  If you have any questions, please email Lauren Blaszyk, VP/Programs, or Beth Ann Trombetta, GPA Conference Planner.

Young Planners Group (YPG) Social at the Spring Planning Conference

YPG invites you to a social immediately following the Spring Conference. Join us at 4:30pm at Ipp’s Pastaria (8496 Main Street), just a one-minute walk from City Center. Appetizers will be provided, and a cash bar will be available.

Mobile Workshop

The Mobile Workshop will feature a walking tour of historic Downtown Woodstock. See firsthand how new mixed-use development has been integrated into the historical landscape to create new economic development opportunities for the city. Sign-up for the mobile workshop during conference registration.


If you need overnight accommodations during the conference, the Hampton Inn in Woodstock is located just two miles from City Center.

Hampton Inn
450 Parkway 575
Woodstock, GA 30188

Woodstock, Georgia has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with its population growing by nearly 70% between 2000 and 2016. What was originally a railroad town in the late 1800s, became a bedroom community of Atlanta and then a destination within its own right, attracting nearly 25,000 residents today.

During the height of the City’s growth, Woodstock took careful steps to revive and restore one of the City’s most treasured assets, the historic Downtown. In 2002, the City received funds from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to complete its first Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Plan, and received subsequent funding to enhance Main Street in the downtown area. Today, brick-paved sidewalks offer a beautiful setting for residents and visitors to stroll among the Downtown’s shopping and dining options. Surrounding Downtown is a higher-density residential area with more than 1,000 housing units located within a five-minute walk of over 40 shops and 20 restaurants.

Woodstock continues to enjoy new growth with the recently opened Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, featuring 90 well-known designer outlets to attract visitors from metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia. The City continues to be a regional leader in advancing smart growth and development patterns. On the horizon are numerous mixed-use developments that offer shopping and dining opportunities in close proximity to residential areas. To continue the enhanced quality of life enjoyed by residents, Woodstock is also investing in parks and recreational facilities. In 2011, the ARC’s Green Communities Program recognized the City of Woodstock with Silver certification for its Greenprints Project Master Plan, a comprehensive park, trail and open space initiative that established a framework for creating a citywide green infrastructure system.