2022 APA California Northern Section State-Eligible Awards

Categories, Criteria, and Policies 

The purpose of the APA California Northern Awards Program is to encourage quality in planning and increase the  public’s awareness of the planning profession through recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field.  Each year, APA California Northern awards dozens of Planning Awards to honor the most outstanding efforts in  planning in the Section. The program honors innovative plans and projects, distinguished APA members, and lay  contributors to planning and achievements of the APA California Northern Section. 

This document is an important companion to the nomination form. Applications are due March 21, 2022. Below, we  summarize the following: 

  • Award Categories 
  • Criteria for Award Categories (critical for nomination forms) 
  • APA California Northern Awards Policies 

AWARD CATEGORIES 

1. Opportunity and Empowerment Award 

For a plan, program, or project that improved quality of life for low‐and moderate‐income community  residents. Emphasis is placed on how creative housing, economic development, and private investments  have been used in or with a comprehensive community development plan to empower a community. This  award also emphasizes tangible results and recognizes the planning discipline and its contribution as a  community strategy. The strategy should have been in effect for a minimum of three years.  Examples: Regulatory reform; workforce development; affordable housing preservation; growth  management; public‐private partnerships; relevant transportation project; community participation; diverse  housing planning; and sustainable, economic development. 

2. Comprehensive Plan

To a comprehensive plan of unusually high merit completed within the past 3 years for, by or within a  jurisdiction. There are no limits on the size of jurisdiction. 

a. Large Jurisdiction: To a comprehensive plan of unusually high merit completed within the past 3  years for, by or within a jurisdiction with a population of 100,000 or more according to the most  recent available US Census data. 

b. Small Jurisdiction: To a comprehensive plan of unusually high merit completed within the past 3  years for, by, or within a jurisdiction with a population of less than 100,000 according to the most  recent available US Census data. 

NOTE: To be eligible for this category at the State level, a project must have a first place win at the Northern  Section level (no ties) in the same year. 

3. Implementation ‐Large and Small Jurisdictions Recognizing an effort that demonstrates a significant  achievement for an area—a single community or a region—in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning. This award emphasizes long‐term, measurable results. Nominated efforts should have been  in continuous effect for a minimum of three (3) years, not including the time for plan preparation and  approval. 

Examples: Plans for smart growth, signage, farmland preservation, urban design, wetland mitigation,  resource conservation, capital improvements, citizen participation, neighborhood improvements,  transportation management, or sustained economic development. 

NOTE: To be eligible for this category at the State level, a project must have a first place win at the Northern  Section level (no ties) in the same year. 

a. Implementation ‐‐Large Jurisdiction: For an effort that demonstrates a significant achievement for  a jurisdiction with a population of 100,000 or more, according to the most recent available US  Census data, in accomplishing positive change as a result of planning. 

This award is for long‐term, measurable results to demonstrate that sustained implementation  makes a difference. Nominated efforts should have been in continuous effect for a minimum of five  years. Nominations can include, but not limited to, plans for smart growth, signage, farmland  preservation, urban design, wetland mitigation, resource conservation, capital improvements,  citizen participation, neighborhood improvement, transportation management, and sustained  economic development.

b. Implementation ‐‐Small Jurisdiction: For an effort that demonstrates a significant achievement for  a jurisdiction with a population of less than 100,000, according to the most recent available US  Census data, in accomplishing positive change as a result of planning. This award is for long‐term,  measurable results to demonstrate that sustained implementation makes a difference. Nominated  efforts should have been in continuous effect for a minimum of five years. Nominations can include,  but not limited to, plans for smart growth, signage, farmland preservation, urban design, wetland  mitigation, resource conservation, capital improvements, citizen participation, neighborhood  improvement, transportation management, and sustained economic development.

4. Innovation in Green Community Planning 

This award honors efforts to create greener communities that reduce the impact of development on the  natural environment and improve environmental quality. 

Examples: Climate action plans, sustainability plans, green infrastructure plans; resource conservation  efforts; alternative energy programs; efforts to reduce carbon emissions; public health initiatives.  NOTE: To be eligible for this category at the State level, a project must have a first place win at the Northern Section  level (no ties) in the same year. 

5. Economic Planning and Development 

This award honors efforts to transform economies and stimulate economic development in communities of  all sizes.

Examples: Economic plans, economic recovery initiatives, urban and regional economic analyses,  commercial district revitalization, corridor revitalization, downtown specific plans, town center  developments, and strategic plans for economic development. 

6. Transportation Planning 

This award honors efforts to increase transportation choices for all populations, reducing dependence on  private automobiles and helping to ease congestion and reducing climate change impacts.  Examples: Transportation studies; complete streets plans or projects, plans for pedestrian, streets, highways, aviation, parking, maritime, transit or rail; development and expansion of transportation  systems; development and expansion of trail systems. 

7. Best Practices 

This award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process. This category emphasizes  results and demonstrates how innovative and state‐of‐the‐art planning methods and practices help to  create communities of lasting value. 

Examples: Regulations and codes, tax policies or initiatives, growth management or design guidelines,  transferable development rights programs, land acquisition efforts, public‐private partnerships, applications  of technology, handbooks, or efforts that foster greater participation in community planningNOTE: To be eligible for this category at the State level, a project must have a first place win at the Northern  Section level (no ties) in the same year. 

8. Grassroots Initiative Award 

Honoring an initiative that illustrates how a neighborhood, community group or other local non  governmental entity utilized the planning process to address a specific need or issue within the community.  Emphasis is placed on the success of planning in new or different settings, with total project budget  (including staff, consultant, and direct expenses) not exceeding $25,000. 

Examples: Community policing or drug prevention, neighborhood outreach initiatives, programs designed  for special populations, public art or cultural efforts, community festivals, environmental or conservation  initiatives, summer recreational initiatives for children, vacant lot management, transportation innovations,  or focused tourism ventures.

NOTE: To be eligible for this category at the State level, a project must have a first place win at the Northern  Section level (no ties) in the same year. 

9. Public Outreach Award

This award honors an individual, project, or program that uses information and education about the value  of planning to create greater awareness among citizens or specific segments of the public. The award  celebrates how planning improves a community’s quality of life.

Examples: Broad community efforts showing how planning can make a difference, curricula designed to  teach children about planning, neighborhood empowerment programs, use of technology to expand public  participation in planning. 

10. Urban Design Award

This award honors efforts to create a sense of place, whether a street, public space, neighborhood, or  campus effort.

Examples: Streetscape plans; design guidelines; downtown and neighborhood districts; public space plans;  hospital, college or other campus plan.  

11. Communications Initiative 

This award honors efforts to “tell the planning story” and increase awareness and understanding about the  planning profession. 

Examples: Newspaper articles; series of blog posts or a planning‐focused blog; publications (books or  magazines); websites; podcasts; films. 

12. Hard‐Won Victories 

For a planning initiative or other planning effort undertaken by a community, neighborhood, citizens group, or jurisdiction in the face of difficult or trying circumstances. This award recognizes the positive effect  of hard‐won victories by professional planners, citizen planners, or both working together under difficult,  challenging, or adverse conditions because of natural disasters, local circumstances, financial or  organization constraints, social factors, or other causes.  

13. Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff 

This award honors an individual, project, group, or organization that promotes diversity and demonstrates a  sustained commitment to advocacy by addressing the concerns of women and minorities through specific  actions or contributions within the planning profession or through planning practice. The award honors the  late APA member, Paul Davidoff, for his contributions to the planning profession. 

Examples: A general or comprehensive plan that improves the living conditions of those in an  underrepresented neighborhood, an individual working to improve the lives of others, a policy that  addresses a need not currently met through other efforts. 

14. Planning Landmark and Planning Pioneer Awards 

Nominations for Planning Landmark Awards may only be submitted for those projects, initiatives, or  endeavors located in the Section, and nominations for Pioneer Awards may only be submitted for those  individuals that are current, retired, or deceased Section members. Special criteria have been established  for these two award categories. 

a. Planning Landmark Award: The Planning Landmark Award is for a planning project, initiative, or  endeavor that are at least 25 years old that are historically significant, initiated a new direction in  planning or impacted American planning, cities or regions over a broad range of time or space. 

b. Planning Pioneer Award: Presented to pioneers of the profession who have made personal and  direct innovations in American planning that have significantly and positively redirected planning  practices, education or theory with long‐term results. 

15. Planning Advocate 

This award honors an individual or appointed or elected official who has advanced or promoted the cause  of planning in the public arena. 

Examples: Engaged citizens demonstrating outstanding leadership in a community, region, or state;  members of planning commissions, board of appeals, economic development boards, environmental or  historic preservation boards, commissions or committees, or other appointed officials; elected officials  holding office at the local, regional, or state level; citizen activists or neighborhood leaders. 

16. Planning Firm 

Honors a planning firm that has produced distinguished work that continues to influence the professional  practice of planning.

17. Planning Agency 

This award honors the work of a public sector planning agency that has continually produced a program of  exceptional work that has elevated awareness about planning.

Examples: Metropolitan planning organizations, regional planning associations, planning department,  planning board, zoning board. 

18. Emerging Planning and Design Firm 

This award honors a young planning and design firm that has helped elevate the planning profession and  build public support for planning, and through its current work demonstrates the potential of having a continual influence on the planning profession for years to come. 

19. Academic Award 

To faculty and/or students to recognize outstanding work done in planning schools on an individual or  collective basis. 

CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING AWARD ENTRIES 

Entries shall be judged according to the following criteria: 

1. Opportunity and Empowerment Award 

a. Results. How was the need for increased and sustained employment opportunities, quality  education, and access to affordable housing or housing choice and mobility among low‐and  moderate‐income residents addressed and documented? How were these efforts cost effective?  Include the beginning and end date, detailed cost and funding data, and information about when  the results were implemented. Information must be included describing how the nominated effort  has exceeded any minimum requirements imposed by the source or sources of grants, loans, or  other funding, whether government or private, obtained and used by the program, project, or  effort. 

b. Transferability. Is your entry replicable in other neighborhood or community contexts? How does  the entry serve as an example for other localities working to address challenges inherent in the  neighborhood or community? How does the program provide useful prescriptive measures for  other communities similarly situated? How does the submission explicitly demonstrate that the  project overcame these challenges to implement a successful program? 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

c. Planning. What was the role of planners and the planning process in achieving results? How did the  submission relate to existing plans? What role did planners play in achieving the results? How was  the planning process important to subsequent implementation? How involved in the plan were  specific groups and individuals from private, nonprofit, and public perspectives, particularly those  who may have been left out of similar efforts in the past? Was there a collaborative effort between  public and private entities?

d. Innovation. What innovative, forward‐looking approaches were used to address various  communitywide needs? 

2. Comprehensive Plan

a. Originality and innovation. How does the entry present a visionary approach or innovative concept  to address needs? How did the planning process in this context broaden accepted planning  principles within the context of the situation? 

b. Implementation. What steps have been taken to build momentum and public support for following  and implementing the plan? 

c. Effectiveness. How does the entry address the need or problem that prompted its initiation? How  have the results made a difference in the lives of the people affected? An entry should convey the  level of effectiveness it can have over time.

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Engagement. How various public interests involved and what were was the extent of that  involvement? Competitive entries demonstrate a strong effort to solicit input from those who  historically have been left out of the planning process. How was public and private support  obtained? Role of planners. What was the role, significance and participation of planners? What is the connection between the effort’s success and increased awareness in the community of planners  and planning? 

3. Implementation Award (Large and Small Jurisdictions): 

a. Originality and innovation. How does the entry present a visionary approach or innovative concept  to address needs? How did the planning process in this context broaden accepted planning  principles within the context of the situation?

b. Overcoming challenges. What steps have been taken to build momentum and public support?  What were the funding challenges or support for this effort? What were the political changes, if  any, that affected, for better or worse, the effort’s long‐term funding? 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

c. Effectiveness. What is the level of consistency of this implementation effort since its start? How  was the need or problem addressed that prompted its initiation? How have the results made a  difference in the lives of the people affected? What is the level of effectiveness the entry can have  over time? 

d. Participation. How were various public interests involved and the extent of that involvement? How  was public and private support obtained? What was the role, significance, and participation of  planners? 

4. Innovation in Green Community Planning 

a. Originality and innovation. What critical green planning elements are addressed by the nominated  effort in terms of lessening and mitigating adverse impacts from development and everyday living?  In what ways does the plan or planning effort seek to create a community that is truly sustainable &  compatible with the natural resources and environmental system upon which its existence  depends? 

b. Implementation. What steps have been taken to build momentum & public support? How does the  entry apply to others? How useful are the components & methodology to further the cause of good  planning? 

c. Effectiveness and results. How does the entry address the need or problem that prompted its  initiation? How have the results made a difference in the lives of the people affected? What level of  effectiveness can the entry have over time?

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Integration. How is the green community planning integrated into a corresponding comprehensive  plan, zoning ordinance, capital improvement program, or other related initiative? In what ways  does the green planning support the broader needs of the community and surrounding region or  address community‐wide objectives? 

e. Engagement. What was done to ensure the widest variety of resident and stakeholder participation  in the plan and planning process? 

5. Economic Planning and Development 

a. Originality and innovation. Does the entry presents a visionary approach or innovative concept to  address specific needs? How were the planning principles observed, especially in consideration of  the effects on other public objectives?

b. Implementation. What steps have been taken to build momentum and public support? How does  the entry have potential application for others and how will use of the components and  methodology further the cause of good planning?

c. Effectiveness and results. How does the entry address the need or problem that prompted its  initiation? How have the results made a difference in the lives of the people affected? What level of  effectiveness can the entry have over time?

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Integration. How was the entry integrated into other planning efforts such as a corresponding  comprehensive or master plan or other related initiatives? How will the entry help further the  cause of good planning and support the broader needs of the community and surrounding region? 

e. Engagement. How were various public interests involved and the extent of that involvement? How  was public and private support obtained? What was the role, significance, and participation of  planners and any outcomes in terms of helping gain public support of planning? 

6. Transportation Planning 

a. Planning and innovation. What are the critical transportation elements which lessen or mitigate  adverse impacts from development and everyday living? What was the role of planning or planners  involved in the development process? 

b. Effectiveness and results. How does the entry address the need or problem that prompted its  initiation? How have the results made a difference in the lives of the people affected? What level of  effectiveness can the entry have over time? 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

c. Compatibility. How does transportation planning integrate into community planning? How does the  entry connect to both environment and the economy? 

d. Engagement. What was the public education and participation process? How was support  generated?

7. Best Practices 

a. Originality and innovation. Does the entry presents a visionary approach or innovative concept to  address specific needs? How were the planning principles observed, especially in consideration of  the effects on other public objectives? 

b. Implementation and Transferability. What steps were taken to build momentum and public  support for your entry? How does the entry have potential application for others and how will use  of the components and methodology further the cause of good planning? 

c. Effectiveness and results. How does the entry address the need or problem that prompted its  initiation? How have the results made a difference in the lives of the people affected? What level of  effectiveness can the entry have over time? 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Participation. How were various public interests involved and the extent of that involvement,  including those who historically have been left out of the planning process? How was public and  private support obtained? What was the role, significance, and participation of planners? What is  the connection between the effort’s success and increased awareness in the community of planners  and planning. 

8. Grassroots Initiative 

a. Effectiveness and results. State how your entry addressed the need or problem in a visionary or  innovative manner that prompted its initiation, within a budget not exceeding $25,000. Be explicit  about how the results have made a difference in the lives of the people affected. Convey the level  of effectiveness your entry can have over time. 

b. Collaboration. Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.  Explain how those affected were brought into the planning process for this initiative. 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are only optional for chapter level awards. 

c. Education. Establish that your entry has encouraged community leaders to revise their opinions  about varied uses and broad applications of the planning process. State the influence your entry  has had on public awareness beyond those immediately affected. 

9. Public Outreach 

a. Originality and transferability. How does the program use new ideas or combines tools to address  a demonstrated need for planning information or education within the community? How does the  entry have potential application for others and how use of the components and methodology  would further the cause of good planning. 

b. Effectiveness and results. State how your entry addressed the need or problem that prompted its  initiation. Be explicit about how the results make a difference in the lives of the people affected  now and in the future. Show how your entry has increased the understanding of planning principles  and the planning process. Provide measurable results if possible or as appropriate. 

c. Participation. Explain how various public interests were involved and how your entry obtained  public and private support. Competitive entries demonstrate a strong effort to solicit input from  those who historically have been left out of the planning process. Clarify the role, significance, and  participation of planners. Demonstrate the connection between the effort’s success and increased  awareness in the community of planners and planning. 

10. Urban Design 

a. Originality and innovation. Document how your entry presents a visionary approach or innovative  concept to address needs. Explain how the use of the planning process in this context broadened  accepted planning principles within the context of the situation. 

b. Compatibility. Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall planning goals of  the neighborhood or community. 

c. Effectiveness and results. Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people  affected. Convey the level of effectiveness your entry can have over time. 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Engagement. Explain how various public interests were involved and the extent of that  involvement. Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.  Explain how those affected were brought into the planning process for this initiative.

11. Communications Initiative 

a. Support of planning and planners. Describe how your entry has built support for planning and  increased understanding of the planning process. Describe why this effort was undertaken and the  desired outcomes. 

b. Originality and innovation. Describe how your entry engaged audiences in planning using  innovative or unique communication approaches. 

c. Effectiveness and results. State how your entry achieved its desired outcomes. Convey the level of  effectiveness your entry can have over time. 

12. Hard‐Won Victories 

a. Challenges or barriers. What obstacles, whether physical, natural, social, or a combination thereof,  was faced and addressed by the nominated effort? What is the extent of these challenges or other  adversarial conditions, and what steps were undertaken to meet the difficult circumstances? 

b. Available resources. What resources were available and how were these resources (financial,  personnel, consultants, etc.) managed, leveraged, and deployed? 

c. Progress and positive effects. What are the lasting effects the effort has had (or is likely to have) on  planning in the community? Has the effort removed or mitigated the barriers and obstacles? How  has or will the effort shape the future in the community or locale? What influence has the  nominated effort had on community leaders and their views about the value and effectiveness of planning? 

13. Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff 

a. Social and Economic. Describe how the nominee addresses the needs of at‐risk individuals or  populations that society typically overlooks. How have the nominee’s efforts advanced or sustained  sound, ethical, and inclusionary planning within the planning field, within a specific community, or  in society at large? 

b. Effectiveness & Results. Specify how your nominee has had a positive impact on the lives of those  he/she/it was intended to help. Indicate how these efforts have touched a wider audience, helped  increase diversity and inclusiveness within the planning field, or in helping support diverse  populations. 

14. Planning Landmark and Planning Pioneer

a. Historical Significance: What is the nomination’s historical significance in terms of at least one of  the following: being a pioneering work or a documented first; being historically significant, unique,  and outstanding; having initiated a new direction in planning that had a lasting effect or other  impact; or having impact on American planning, cities, or regions during a broad range of time,  space, or both time and space? Nominated landmarks must be at least 25 years old as of the  submittal deadline. 

b. National significance: What effect or impact did the nominated landmark have on planning in the  United States as a whole? What is the nominated landmark’s national importance and influence in  helping create communities or other places of lasting value throughout the country?

c. Persons involved: Who were the significant planners or others who were involved and responsible  for the accomplishments of the nominated landmark? 

15. Planning Advocate

a. Support of planning and planners. Illustrate how the nominee’s work has increased the  understanding of the planning process. Indicate how the nominee has shown a clear understanding  of, and support for, the role of planners in public life. 

b. Effectiveness and results. Describe the extent that the nominee has been effective in formulating  and implementing plans and ideas in support of good planning. Identify the level of influence and  effectiveness achieved by the nominee within different segments of the community.  16. Planning Firm 

a. Quality. Demonstrate consistent quality of the firm’s work and its recognition by the general public  or those who practice or sponsor planning, teach planning, or develop communities. Elements of  quality include graphic design, content, evidence of implementation by clients.

b. Influence. Detail the firm’s positive influence on the direction and professional advancement of  planning, for example promoting new technologies, collaboration among other design disciplines,  innovations in practice, and advances in the art and science of planning. Identify the number of  planners on staff. 

c. Outreach and Engagement. Demonstrate the firm’s efforts and skills in engaging stakeholders and  resolving community conflicts with positive outcomes. Demonstrate responsiveness to the client  and the various elements of the community in the planning process and willingness to incorporate  ideas and suggestions from the community. 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Ethical Practice. Explain how the firm consistently upholds and champions the highest standards of  ethics in terms of the public trust and guiding and educating its staff on the importance of ethics.

17. Planning Agency 

a. Quality. Demonstrate consistent quality of the agency’s work. Describe how the agency’s program  of work has elevated awareness about planning and built community support for planning. Describe  the number of staff, their various roles, and if any members have specific certifications.

b. Outreach and Engagement. Demonstrate the agency’s efforts and skills in engaging community  members, business leaders and other stakeholders, and in resolving community conflicts with  positive outcomes. Describe efforts undertaken to engage community members, especially those  often overlooked, in planning processes. 

c. Innovation. Describe how the agency has addressed concerns or issues within the community in a  visionary or innovative manner. Specify how planning principles have been observed, especially in  consideration of the agency’s effects on other public objectives. 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Implementation. Describe the program of work that has resulted in identified and meaningful  outcomes that raise the quality of life for all citizens. Demonstrate the connection between  planning and implementation with tools such as capital budgets. 

18. Emerging Planning and Design Firm 

a. Quality. Demonstrate consistent quality of the firm’s work and its recognition by the general public  or those who practice or sponsor planning, teach planning, or develop communities. Elements of  quality include graphic design, content, evidence of implementation by clients. 

b. Influence. Detail the firm’s positive influence on the direction and professional advancement of  planning, for example promoting new technologies, collaboration among other design disciplines,  innovations in practice, and advances in the art and science of planning. Identify the number of  planners on staff and if any members hold specific certifications.

c. Outreach and Engagement. Demonstrate the firm’s efforts and skills in engaging stakeholders and  resolving community conflicts with positive outcomes. Demonstrate responsiveness to the client  and the various elements of the community in the planning process and willingness to incorporate  ideas and suggestions from the community. 

Optional Criteria. Please note these criteria are mandatory for State Level Application. They are  only optional for chapter level awards. 

d. Ethical Practice. Explain how the firm consistently upholds and champions the highest standards of  ethics in terms of the public trust and guiding and educating its staff on the importance of ethics. 

19. Academic Award 

a. Purpose: What was the purpose of the project? What was learned or accomplished by the  students? Research and Resources: Please detail what and how research was completed to prepare  for producing the final product? What resources were available to the students to prepare the  paper or document? 

b. Challenges: Please describe the challenges the student(s) face during the project.  c. Results: What was the basis for the paper or the project? What was the final outcome? How was  the final product used?

APA CA Chapter – Northern Section Page 10

APA CALIFORNIA AWARDS PROCESS RULES 

1) APA California Northern Jury Composition 

A jury shall be appointed by the Section Board to judge the entries. Jurors are chosen to represent different  areas of expertise, geographic locations, and professional experiences in the private/public sector, to achieve  an overall balance of the jury. The diversity in jurors will also be considered. The decision of the jury majority  shall be final. 

2) Discretion of Jury 

Normally, nominations will be evaluated for the award category in which they were submitted. However, the  APA California Northern jury may, upon majority vote, move a nomination to a different category as the jury  deems appropriate. 

3) Awards Process 

Only one (1) first‐place award may be granted per category each year. When exceptional circumstances  warrant, one (1) Award of Merit may also be given per category. If the jury finds that none of the nominations  in a particular category meets the desirable standards of excellence, they may grant only an Award of Merit  or grant no award in that category. Because only first‐place winners of Section Awards Programs are eligible  for nomination for the Chapter’s Outstanding Planning Awards, the Section Awards Programs are vital to the  success of the Chapter’s Awards Program. Nominations for Outstanding Planning Awards must be submitted  to the Section where the project, plan or work occurred prior to being submitted to the Chapter (State) for  consideration. All Sections are strongly encouraged by the Chapter to support and promote their local Awards  Programs. 

4) Awards Ceremony 

Award recipients will be honored at the annual APA California Northern Awards Ceremony event, typically a  luncheon or dinner.  

5) Other Section Awards Policies 

The APA California Northern Section may establish Awards Policies different from those of the Chapter at  their own discretion. In order to participate in the Chapter’s Awards Program, the APA California Northern  Board shall appoint an Awards Chairperson(s) or Awards Director(s) to serve as contact with the Chapter’s  Vice President for Administration or Awards Coordinator, concerning Awards Program matters and to  coordinate awards activities for the Section.