Our New Normal: Resources & Tips

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We hope this finds you safe and well. Like you, we at the Chapter Office are navigating our way through this "new normal". Staff is working from home but we are still here to support our members and provide any assistance and service you may need.

Over the past couple weeks, we combed through the emails coming through the chapter office and have compiled an eclectic group of  tips, information, articles, and opportunities that might help you traverse these challenging times.  We hope you find something in here that is useful or interesting — we did!

We are updating this page as we find interesting tidbits and information, so if you have anything interesting to share, please send it to fapa@floridaplanning.org and we will add it to the page. And remember, be physically distant, not socially distant! 


APA Florida Chapter Office

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Tips for the New World of Telecommuting

How to Prevent Zoom-Bombing. Zoom is becoming the videoconferencing method of choice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, your Zoom meetings are wide open to hijacking if you don't know how to set the host controls properly. Learn how to stop bad actors and keep your video calls on track. Jill Duffy, PC, March 31, 2020

4 Tech Tools to Help Employees Work Remotely The wide variety of available tech tools makes it easy for employees to telecommute and stay productive. 

Working Remotely 101-What Do I Do Now? Tips, Tricks and Practical Advice to Keep You Productive and Sane. Great tips from the Florida Society of Association Executives. Recording available made from March 26 webinar.

Working Remotely 101  - Managing People Projects Remotely: Exploring, Setting and Managing Expectations with the New Work Environment courtesy of the Florida Society of Association Executives. Recorded on April 2.

How to Transition Between Work Time and Personal Time. A a time management coach, here are some of the ways to be less distracted and more present whether you’re working or enjoying personal time. Harvard Business Review, April 6. 

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Public Meetings Go Virtual

Innovation During Crisis: Remote Engagement Methods for the Future of Public Participation. White paper by Nickolas Hill, S&ME

Moving Planning Commission Meetings Online During the COVID-Pandemic: A Mid-Sized City Perspective.  With the COVID-19 outbreak, planners are being challenged to rethink how they work with various shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines around the country. One particular challenge is how to continue with planning commission and other board meetings to keep communities moving forward. In Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a population of 85,000, the Planning Commission held their first online meeting Monday, March 23 using the platform Zoom. APA's Roberta Rewers talks with immediate Past Chair of the Fayetteville Planning Commission, Matt Hoffman, about the experience. Matt’s tenure as chair concluded at that meeting.

Looking for the Executive Orders?

LobbyTools has a free, easy-to-use page with orders organized by regions that are updated daily.  You can also sign up for the free daily COVID-19 e-newsletter. 

Tolling of Permits Under s.252.363, F.S.

Based on documentation from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations,  Executive Order 20-52, issued March 9, qualifies as a “natural emergency” pursuant to Florida law, which allows for the tolling of certain permits for the duration of the emergency declaration and for up to six months in addition to the tolled period (see s.252.363, F.S.).  This applies to the following: 
  1. The expiration of a development order issued by a local government 
  2. The expiration of a building permit 
  3. The expiration of a permit issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to part IV of Chapter 373, F.S. 
  4. The buildout date of a development of regional impact, including any extension of a buildout date that previously granted as specified in s. 380.06(7)(c), F.S. 
Under the provisions of s.252.363(b), within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration, the holder of the permit or other authorization must notify the issuing authority of the intent to exercise the tolling and extension. The notice must be in writing and identify the specific permit or other authorization qualifying for extension. There are statutory exceptions to the tolling and extension – see s.252.363(1)(d).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides a wide range of assistance to American workers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only does the FFCRA provide paid time off for workers affected by the pandemic, including paid sick leave for caring for a child whose school is closed for reasons related to Covid-19.  It also gives employers the opportunity to receive tax credits to offset the cost of providing paid leave. The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.  The FFCRA is effective April 1, 2020 (with a 30 day non-enforcement for good faith efforts) and expires Dec. 31, 2020.   Go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website for more information. 

APA Resources  

woman doing yoga via tv at home

Need a Break or Creative Ways to Burn Calories?

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning and Online Collections. Every resource is free to access and enjoy.

The Hidden Worlds of National Parks. Take 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful U.S. National Parks: Kanai Fjords in Alaska, Hawaiian volcanos, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, Utah’s Bryce Canyon and Florida’s Dry Tortugas.

Peloton Digital App for At Home. This app doesn’t require a Peloton bike or treadmill. It offers yoga, HIIT, stretching, strength training, and other classes. Free 90 days for new users. 

Tone It Up videos.  This app offers workout programs, live classes, on-demand workout videos, and meditation and stretching videos. Free through April 22. 

Down Dog. This app offers yoga for beginners, HIIT, barre, and 7-minute workout classes. Free through May 1.

Planet Fitness This Facebook page offers daily live-streamed workouts. If you miss the live class, you can come back and watch it later. Free. 

Calm. this app provides guided meditation and sleep stories to help you fall asleep. Matthew McConaughey reads one. Alright, alright, alright! 

Kahoot. Looking for a team building activity or just some fun with friends?  Kahoot lets you make your own trivia games.


And remember your physical distancing ... 

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