Capital Area RPC map

Capital Area Regional Planning Commission
100 State Street, Suite 400
Madison WI 53703
Phone: (608) 474-6017

Counties Served:

Year Created: 2007*

* as a successor agency to the Dane County Regional Planning Commission which was created in 1968

Program and Activity Summary

Economic Development

Commission work activities focus on collecting and providing economic data necessary for the county and communities to prepare the economic development element of the Smart Growth Law. This activity also provides data necessary to evaluate regional economic trends and to assess the interrelationship between regional development policies and economic development. Economic trends data is published annually in the Commission’s Regional Trends report.

The Commission partners with the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board to generate economic development projections concurrent with new Census information as a basis for allocating growth projections for the region.

Community Development

The Commission maintains the Dane County Land Use and Transportation Plan, the general land use plan for the region, by reviewing requests to amend 20-year service area boundaries to accommodate urban growth. The Commission also provides information and technical assistance to local communities and others regarding Census data and demographics, housing, urban design, density, redevelopment and infill studies. A central work activity involves working with local communities in the Future Urban Development Area (FUDA) planning program, which is a collaborative long range local community planning initiative in the context of local comprehensive planning. FUDA planning creates an opportunity to inform local planning activities of regional issues and opportunities, and concurrently informs regional planning activities of local needs and interests.

Land Use & Environmental Resources

The Commission is the area-wide water quality management planning agency for the region under contract with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Commission engages in natural resources monitoring and inventories, ground and surface water quality and quantity management, planning point and non-point source pollution control, resource protection, and other environmental planning contained in the Dane County Water Quality Plan. Additional work is carried out in natural resource monitoring and screening work associated with FUDA Environmental Conditions Reports and related activities.

The Commission coordinates the needed resources to maintain an ongoing water quality monitoring program in partnership with the USGS. It also coordinates the needed resources to maintain a groundwater hydrologic model for the region in partnership with WGNHS.


Transportation planning activities were part of the work of the Dane County Regional Planning Commission and were separated out by the creation of the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the "MPO") upon the re-organization of the DCRPC in 1999. The CARPC contracts with the MPO for transportation planning work associated with amendments to the Dane County Land Use and Transportation Plan and for the rural portions of the region.

Information & Data Systems

The Commission maintains and updates GIS layers on natural resources, land use, service area boundaries and environmental corridors for the Dane County region. Its staff also participates in interdepartmental staff meetings to coordinate the GIS activities of the Commission with the rest of GIS enterprises in the region. The Commission also conducts a Land Use Inventory, which involves the use of aerial photography, field reviews, and GIS databases to produce maps and land use statistics. The Commission is a Census data clearinghouse and maintains community data on growth, development, economic activity, and transportation for the region, and publishes an annual Regional Trends report.

  • Operating Characteristics
  • Commission and Method of Selection
  • Current Commissioners
  • Staff
2019 Adopted Operating Budget:
$1,219.505 (76% County Levy; 12% Federal; 5% State; 1% Other; 6% Local Contracts)
Four principal authorities appoint the 13 members, who serve three-year terms:
The Mayor of the City of Madison (4 members);
the Dane County Executive (3 members);
the Dane County Cities and Villages Association (3 members);
and the Dane County Towns Association (3 members).
Appointed by the Dane County Executive: Ed Minihan, Town of Dunn; Peter McKeever (Vice Chair); Caryl Terrell
Appointed by Dane County Towns Association: Kris Hampton, Town of Cottage Grove; Mark Geller, Town of Verona; David Pfeiffer, Town of Pleasant Springs
Appointed by Dane County Cities and Villages Association: Maureen Crombie, City of Sun Prairie; Heidi Murphy, Village of Cottage Grove; Bruce Stravinski, Village of Windsor
Appointed by the Mayor of the City of Madison: Lauren Cnare; Grant Foster; Ken Golden; Larry Palm (Chair)

Authorized Staff: 8 Regular
Staff Contacts:

Stephen Steinhoff, AICP, Agency Director / Director, Community and Regional Development Planning
Mike Rupiper, PE, Deputy Agency Director / Director, Environmental Resources Planning
Caitlin Shanahan, Community Planner
Linda Firestone, Administrative Services Manager
Sean Higgins, CNU-A, Senior Community Planner
Sarah Fuller, Environmental Resources Planner
Matthew Noone, GIS Specialist