The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association has named City of Lowell Associate Planner Aaron Clausenas the 2011 recipient of the Young Planner Award. This award is given annually to a junior or mid-level young practicing planner who has excelled in leadership, and increased the impact of planning in public and private decision making.
Mr. Clausen has worked for the Department of Planning and Development since 2007. However, since the reorganization that created the Division of Development Services, he has assumed a new level of responsibility and demonstrated exceptional work on behalf of the City and its residents.
Mr. Clausen was assigned the responsibility of coordinating all of the City’s four major land-use boards to streamline permitting, improve consistency of project review, implement planning best practices, ensure that the City’s Master Plan was followed in the project review process, and enhance customer service for both applicants and abutters. In addition, he was given supervisory responsibility for three staff.
In a very short time, he has made the most of this new responsibility, improving public participation and access to information in board processes, updating the by-laws and regulations for all of the boards, and creating new procedures for the use of third-party technical reviewers for complicated projects.
In addition, he spearheaded the effort to get the City of Lowell designated as one of the Commonwealth’s first Green Communities and has played a leading role in the extensive public opinion research and data collection processes to inform a comprehensive update to the City’s Master Plan (a 2005 Mass-APA award winning document) which is expected to be issued and adopted in 2012.
Mr. Clausen also recently passed a test, which was the final requirement for him to obtain certification as a planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is the fourth DPD employee to be certified by AICP joining AssistantCity Managerand DPD DirectorAdam Baacke, and former DPD staff George Proakis and Colin McNiece.