Debra Nicholson
Debra Nicholson

The Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association (OAPA) will honor Lincoln City Senior Planner Debra Nicholson with the “Distinguished Leadership Professional Planner Award” as the state’s planner of the year on Oct. 18 at the chapter’s annual conference in Bend.

“Public participation is one of Debra’s passions,” Lincoln City Planning Director Richard Townsend said. “And, she works doggedly to reach out and get the involvement of groups and individuals who often are absent from the city planning process.”

The Distinguished Leadership Professional Planner Award recognizes a professional planner in Oregon who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of planning and to his or her community.

The award criteria specify that the planner’s work must stand out and demonstrate exceptional practice, must amount to a significant contribution to the community, region, or state, and must have been effective in formulating and implementing plans and ideas is support of good planning.

Townsend cited Nicholson’s work on the city’s Transportation System Plan, Walking and Biking Plan, Parks and Recreation System Plan, Nelscott Gap Neighborhood Plan, as well as her involvement with the city’s ongoing planning efforts relating to the Imagine Lincoln City vision plan, the master plan for the Villages at Cascade Head property, and the city’s comprehensive plan.

“We are so proud that she got this recognition,” Townsend said. “She so richly deserves it. Lincoln City is a better place because of her planning efforts.”

OAPA is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

The American Planning Association is the professional association for the nation’s professional urban and regional planners. The American Planning Association provides leadership in community development by advocating excellence in planning, and promoting education and citizen empowerment.


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