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ZONED IN: Supporting Zoning Reform @ VAGHC 2023

November 15 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm

2023 Virginia Governor's Housing Conference: Virginia is for Housing

This year, HousingForward Virginia has been piloting a zoning education initiative in Hampton Roads called ZONED IN. At this 2-hour pre-conference session, we’ll have discussions with experts about what zoning reform can do, how it can be accomplished, and what progress HousingForward has made with ZONED IN.

Guest Speakers

Yonah Freemark

Yonah Freemark is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. He is the research director of the Land Use Lab at Urban. His research focuses on the intersection of land use, affordable housing, transportation, and governance. He has published peer-reviewed scholarship in numerous journals, including Urban Affairs ReviewPolitics & SocietyHousing Policy Debate, and the Journal of the American Planning Association.

Previously, Freemark worked for Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and has written for the New York TimesNext City, and CityLab, among other publications. He holds master’s degrees in city planning and in transportation, as well as a PhD in urban studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives along the U Street Corridor in Washington, DC, and is an appointed member of the ANC 2B Land Use Committee.

Lian Plass

Lian Plass is a Senior Manager for the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Resilience program, which aims to equip members, communities, and the public across the United States with the necessary information to enhance the resilience of buildings, development, and cities in the face of climate change and other environmental threats.

In addition to her role at ULI, Lian also serves as Vice Chair of the American Planning Association’s Technology Division and teaches Geographic Information Systems at Georgetown University. She brings with her a wealth of experience from her previous work as a Senior Planner in the private sector and Sustainability Administrator for the City of North Miami.

Lian is passionate about applying technology to resolve difficult planning problems equitably, expeditiously, and cost-effectively. This includes leveraging new massive caches of publicly available data to learn more about communities, alongside finding creative ways to convey critical information about development projects and generate engagement in the planning process. Lian holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida, and a Bachelors of Arts in Sustainable Development from Columbia University.

Kellie Brown

Kellie Brown is a Comprehensive Planning supervisor in the Arlington County Planning Division. She has over 15 years of experience as a planner in both the public and private sectors. Her current work focuses on long-range planning studies, small area plans, and zoning reform initiatives including the recent completion of the Arlington County’s Missing Middle Housing Study in March 2022. Kellie’s career has included positions with Arlington’s Comprehensive Planning Team, the County’s Neighborhoods Section, and consulting work for real estate and economic development clients. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University, and a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Maryland.

Alyson Craig

Alyson Craig currently serves as the Planning Director for the City of Charlotte, overseeing department initiatives that includes Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance implementation, regional transportation Planning, long range planning, land development permitting, tree canopy plans and policies, historic districts, urban design, annexations and the rezoning process.  She also provides oversight to the City’s One Stop Shop initiative that created a multi-department collaborative approach to land development permitting that opened in 2020 as the CLT Development Center. Alyson previously served as the City’s Deputy Planning Director.

Prior to joining the City of Charlotte, Alyson worked at UNC Charlotte as the Co-Director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and the Director of the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program.  She taught classes in the MSRE program that included Site Planning and Real Estate Development and took students abroad each summer to study land use planning in countries across the world.  Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Charlotte, Alyson worked for Grubb Properties’ Investment team managing office, multi-family, and mixed-use development and acquisition projects.  Before moving to Charlotte in 2011, she was Vice President of a planning and engineering firm in Florida working with clients on development agreements, entitlements, rezonings, and annexations for large multi-use land development projects. 

Alyson has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Science in Real Estate from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference is the Commonwealth’s largest housing industry event.

The Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference has a broad range of attendees from many professional sectors including nonprofit organizations, foundations and other philanthropic donors, affordable housing developers, economic developers, local government elected officials, design professionals, financial institutions, government agencies, private developers, real estate professionals, educational institutions, trade organizations, community-based and faith-based organizations, and public housing providers. The conference consistently attracts more than 900 affordable housing advocates, providers and policy makers to discuss a host of important issues affecting all Virginians.

Register for VAGHC to attend this pre-conference session and many more presentations.

$449 VAGHC Registration

Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference


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Hampton Roads Convention Center

1610 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, 23666
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