Carol Swayne Image
Carol Swayne Image

TO: NPZA Members and others in the Planning and Zoning Field in Nebraska

FROM: Judy Clark – NPZA President

The planning and zoning community in Nebraska is mourning the loss of Carol Lynne Swayne. She passed away on September 8, 2023, in Bellevue, NE.

Carol had a long and distinguished involvement in the planning and zoning field. She was a member of the Bellevue Planning Commission for 30 years and had a passion for city planning.

In her lifetime, Carol was awarded two Jewel of Bellevue Awards bestowed by the Mayors of Bellevue. She also was the recipient of four awards from the Nebraska Planning and Zoning Association, including the first recipient of the Loretta Ludemann Excellence in Planning by a Nebraska Woman Award in 1999.

Swayne is a past president of NPZA and broke a mold when she became the first non-professional planner to serve on the board of directors of the American Planning Association. Her contributions to planning and zoning in Nebraska were so impactful that NPZA created the Carol Swayne Planning Commissioner Award, which awards excellence by a planning commissioner in Nebraska.

At the height of her involvement with NPZA Carol and her colleagues from Bellevue created the Zoning Jeopardy session for the conference.  She was a strong supporter of the joint conference with NE APA and NPZA using her contacts with APA National to bring in speakers like Sue Schwartz, Greg Dale, Eric Damien Kelly, and Jim Segedy.  Those speakers have returned to Nebraska many times since the initial invitations from Carol on behalf of the conference committee.  The Nebraska Planning Conference would not be the dynamic event that always feels like spending a few days with your favorite family members without her influence.

Carol’s impact wasn’t just felt in relation to the Nebraska Planning Conference, she was often seen in neighboring states conducting the Ethics Session at their conferences. She took ethics personally and insisted that not only practicing planners follow a code but planning commissioners as well.

Carol Swayne’s dedication to good planning in her years of service to the City of Bellevue and the NPZA serves as an inspiration to others involved in planning throughout the state.