Charles Guttenplan joined the Community and Regional Planning faculty with an extensive, and diverse, background in land planning for municipalities and in consulting for public and private sector clients, regarding general land use issues, zoning and other land use controls, legal aspects of planning, subdivision and land development planning and regulation, comprehensive planning, open space and recreation planning, urban design, planning administration and management.
He is currently Director of Planning and Zoning and serves as the appointed Zoning Officer for Whitemarsh Township (Montgomery County, PA). He joined Whitemarsh’s staff late in 2010, though he had served as a planning consultant for the Township for approximately six years prior to that time, while on the staff of The Waetzman Planning Group. At Whitemarsh, Charlie is staff to the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board, coordinates all planning and zoning issues with the Board of Supervisors and Township Manager, and represents the Township in planning and zoning matters. He is responsible for administering all subdivision and land development applications, conditional use applications, and applications to the Zoning Hearing Board. Among his responsibilities, Charlie drafts necessary amendments to the text of the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and recommends changes to the Zoning Map, when necessary. As Zoning Officer, he administers the Zoning Ordinance, issues zoning permits, and enforces the ordinance in the instance of violations.
Charlie served as Director of Planning Services for The Waetzman Planning Group, in Bryn Mawr, PA (now located in Haverford) from 1989, until joining the Whitemarsh Township staff. There, he routinely provided consulting services to municipal governments and private sector clients for services including comprehensive plans, zoning and other land use regulations, recreation plans, development review, expert testimony, and general planning services. He was the lead consultant on several planning efforts involving multi-disciplinary consultant teams, including the Liberty Bell Trail Feasibility Study, working with 16 municipalities in two counties (Bucks and Montgomery) to determine the feasibility of establishing a recreational trail within or nearby the right-of-way from the former Liberty Bell Trolley.
As a land planning consultant, Charlie has represented and given expert testimony for a wide variety of clients, including many municipalities, and on the private sector side, the Devereux Foundation, BET Investments, the American Revolution Center, LFT Realty Group, Tornetta Realty Corp. and Tornetta Properties, Inc., Franklin Realty Development Corp., Trinity Capital Advisors, Realen Properties, Inc., and the Tinicum Land Group, LP. Charlie continues to take occasional consulting assignments with The Waetzman Planning Group when time permits and he and Whitemarsh Township concur that there are no conflicts of interest with his work there.
Prior to joining the Waetzman Planning Group, Mr. Guttenplan was Director of Planning for Lower Merion Township from 1987 to 1989. He was Associate Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission from 1984 to 1987 —initially hired by the Planning Commission in 1973 as a Community Planner — providing technical assistance to municipalities under contract for preparation of comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision/land development ordinances; conduct of topical studies; review of subdivisions/land developments/zoning amendments; and development of grant applications.
He authored several comprehensive plans, numerous zoning amendments, subdivision/land development ordinances and various amendments, neighborhood preservation/improvement studies and other specialized planning reports.
Mr. Guttenplan is a licensed professional planner in the State of New Jersey. He has served as Chairman of the North Wales Borough Planning Commission; Chairman of the North Wales Borough Historical Architectural Review Board; a member of the North Wales Borough Open Space, Comprehensive Plan, and Zoning Committees; and a board member of the Schuylkill Canal Association.
He is additionally a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, and the Pennsylvania Planning Association where he was chairman of the Southeast Section from 1989 to 1991 and board member of the Section for a number of years. In addition to teaching at Temple, he teaches courses to local officials in Community Planning, Zoning, and Zoning Administration for the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI), a partnership of Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Planning Association.
Mr. Guttenplan received a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a BS in Housing from Pennsylvania State University. Fellowships have included: U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Urban Studies Fellowship, September 1971 to August 1972, and the GSPIA Fellowship, September 1972 to December 1972. He also participated in the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Community Leadership Seminars from September 1982 to June 1983.