Parish President Natalie Robottom Speaks at the National Planning Conference
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
St. John the Baptist Parish - St. John the Baptist Parish (SJBP) President, Natalie Robottom and John Lane, St. Bernard's Executive Director for Coastal Operations, spoke to a national planning audience on Sunday evening at the 2018 National Planning Conference held in New Orleans.
The panel session, titled “Leadership along a Disappearing Coast,” was facilitated by SJBP Planning & Zoning Director Alex Gelpi Carter AICP and Coastal Zone Administrator Evelyn Campo, who organized the panel discussion around future development and the natural environment issues, with a specific focus on the political and physical challenges of flooding and coastal land loss. As a former president of Louisiana Parishes Against Coastal Erosion (La PACE), Robottom provided first-hand knowledge of the negative impacts of an eroding coast and the regional approach required to prevent future land loss.
President Robottom discussed St. John’s participation and support for Louisiana’s 2017 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, inter-agency collaboration with state and federal partners and regulatory entities, and the strategy for addressing flooding throughout the parish and region. She and Lane also highlighted La PACE’s approach to uniting leadership across the region in providing a statewide response to emergencies and coastal land loss.
“This session was a great opportunity to convey to planners from across the globe who are concerned with rising sea levels and increased flood risks our demonstrated capacity in Louisiana to combat flood risks and emphasize the results of our hard fought efforts,” said Parish President Robottom. “Building a better St. John Parish, River Region and ultimately State of Louisiana requires communication, cooperation and collaboration across parishes and governmental entities - and I was pleased to lead the conversation.”
In another aspect of the conference, representatives of the SJBP Planning & Zoning Department previously referenced, with the addition of Rene Pastorek, Planning & Zoning Manager, unveiled a poster in the Exhibit Hall titled, “Promoting Inclusiveness in Preservation Planning.” The poster detailed the timeline for establishing a Historic Preservation Committee, developing a work plan and revitalization strategy, approval of four Historic Districts and designation of SJBP as a Certified Local Government.
The National Planning Conference brings together thousands of planners, planning commissioners, appointed and elected officials, and students from around the world to discuss fresh ideas and innovative planning strategies and trends that motivate builders to plan smarter. The conference is held in various cities around the country each year.