What is APA South Carolina?

For over four decades, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA South Carolina) has been a leader in planning activities and an active resource for planners, communities, citizens, elected and appointed officials and allied professionals throughout the state. APA South Carolina has an active and growing membership of about 550 members. It serves a diverse group of planning professionals embracing a variety of disciplines. The membership includes professional planners (public, private, and academic), planning commissioners, board of zoning appeals members, building officials, neighborhood group leaders, urban designers, economists and students of planning and community development.

APA South Carolina serves as a resource to our membership available to provide professional and/or technical information regarding a variety of legislative matters. Basic legislative issues of the organization include:

  • APA South Carolina supports the concept of Home Rule.
  • APA South Carolina supports sustainable development practices and is interested in the development of “Smart Growth” legislation that is appropriate for South Carolina.
  • APA South Carolina supports the concepts of community comprehensive planning established in the Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act of 1994.

More on APA South Carolina

Through three conferences each year, APA South Carolina brings in national, regional and statewide experts to address topics that affect its membership. Topics of past sessions include: comprehensive planning, open space preservation, transportation, property rights, waterfront development, watershed protection, community visioning, new urbanism, infrastructure plans, economic development, migration, tourism, coastal resources, geographic information systems, military base closure, greenways, effective communication, board of zoning appeals, transportation policy, working with the media and growth management. Conferences are also used as forums on legislative issues, providing input to legislation authors or discussing strategies for encouraging or discouraging planning related legislation.

We produce a quarterly newsletter, The Palmetto Planner, that contains summaries of planning agencies’ activities throughout the state, featuring articles on significant projects, updates on APA activities and legislative issues, a calendar of planning events, and articles related to Chapter business. Over 45% of the practicing planners who are members of APA South Carolina have met the requirements to be accepted as members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). The Chapter promotes AICP membership and coordinates preparation for the exam.

Officers / Committees / Representatives

Executive Committee


Celia Boyd Myers, AICP
P: (864) 980-5841


Stephanie Monroe Tillerson, AICP
Town Administrator
Kiawah Island
P: (843) 768-9166

Immediate Past President

Wayne Shuler, AICP
Director of Planning and Zoning
City of West Columbia
P: (803) 939-3186


Shawn Putnam, AICP, CFM
City Planner
City of Camden
P: (803) 432-2421


Leigh Kane, AICP
Community Development Planner
Horry County Planning & Zoning
P: (843) 915-7917


Kelli McCormick, AICP
Senior Associate-in-Charge
Kendig Keast
P: (864) 248-6161


Lance Estep, AICP
Principal Planner
Appalachian Council of Governments
P: (864) 241-4674

Professional Development Officer

Amy T. Southerland, AICP
Tourism & Special Events Manager
City of Charleston Department of Livability & Tourism
P: (843) 720-3876

Communications Officer


Emerging Planners Group


Clemson University Representative

John Gaber, PhD, AICP
Professor & Chair
Department of City Planning & Real Estate Development
P: (864) 656-1208

Clemson Planning Student Organization (PSO)

Ryan Helle
Graduate Student
Clemson University

College of Charleston Liaison

Melinda Lucka Kelly
Attorney at Law and Urban Studies Director
Finkel Law Firm and College of Charleston
P: (843) 214 – 8266

APA South Carolina Representative to SC Planning Education Advisory Committee

Wayne Shuler, AICP
Director of Planning & Zoning
City of West Columbia
P: (803) 939-3186

Commissioner Representative