Fix It First for Sustainability?
Accountability in State Smart Growth Programs

April 3, 2009
Fix It First for Sustainability?
Accountability in State Smart Growth Programs

April 3, 2009
Smart Growth Principles

    Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods
✤




    Protect and preserve envir...
Smart Growth Principles

    Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods
✤




    Protect and preserve envir...
Smart Growth Principles

    Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods
✤




    Protect and preserve envir...
Smart Growth Principles

    Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods
✤




    Protect and preserve envir...
Smart Growth Principles

    Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods
✤




    Protect and preserve envir...
A Challenge for Sustainability


    In 2030 about half of the buildings will
✤

    have been built since 2000

    There...
A Challenge for Sustainability


    In 2030 about half of the buildings will
✤

    have been built since 2000

    There...
A Challenge for Sustainability


    In 2030 about half of the buildings will
✤

    have been built since 2000

    There...
A Challenge for Sustainability -
How will we Build?

    If we follow the trends of the
✤

    past 50 years...

        W...
A Challenge for Sustainability -
How will we Build?

    If we follow the trends of the
✤

    past 50 years...

        W...
A Challenge for Sustainability -
How Will We Build?

    If we alter these patterns to a more
✤

    sustainable form, we ...
A Challenge for Sustainability -
How Will We Build?

    If we alter these patterns to a more
✤

    sustainable form, we ...
A Challenge for Sustainability -
How Will We Build?

    If we alter these patterns to a more
✤

    sustainable form, we ...
Influence of State Programs


    Put in place investments that direct growth
✤




    Establish tax policies that can pr...
Why are State Programs
Important Today?

    Need to focus on what we have
✤

    during these tough economic times

    T...
Why are State Programs
Important Today?

    Need to focus on what we have
✤

    during these tough economic times

    T...
Stimulus Bill: $250 B to States

          State in driver’s seat for much of these funds
      ✤




          Surface tr...
Assessments of State Programs



    Washington
✤



    Maryland
✤



    Vermont
✤
Washington Growth Management
Act - Buildable Lands Program

    Goal is increasing densities within urban areas
✤

    and...
Washington Program Findings

    All counties have sufficient land within UGA to
✤

    accommodate residential, commercial...
Maryland: Smart Growth & Neighborhood
Conservation Program: A Look at 10 Years




    Limit state funding to Priority Fun...
MD Smart Growth: Ten Years

    PFAs a weak tool for containment - sprawl still
✤

    happening outside of these areas

 ...
Vermont Smart Growth Audit -
2003 and 2007

    Undertaking by Vermont Smart
✤

    Growth Collaborative to determine
    ...
Vermont Audit
    VHCB directs over 90% of its investments in housing
✤

    towards existing settlements.

    Large shar...
Vermont Audit - 2003

                                                   Overall Investments (Percentages)
               ...
Results of Assessments



    WA: Adjustments required to plans and regulations
✤




    MD: New legislation - in progres...
How accomplish



    WA: Mandates in legislation, cost-sharing, state staff
✤




    MD: Watch dog group, research, legi...
Conclusions -

    Assessments of state smart growth laws show problems
✤

    with implementation of programs

          ...
Conclusions -

    Built-in mechanisms to benchmark, evaluate and adjust work without
✤

    new legislation

    Role of ...
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  • We are facing huge land use challenges in the future - although the projections you see here will probably be tempered by today’s economic realities.

    While many of the decisions about where this growth will go will be dependent on local decisions, states will also have a large role through their investments, taxation policies, rules and regulations and programs.

    Importance of land use and transportation in sustainability
    Role of state in land use and transportation

    214 Billion Square FT of space
  • We are facing huge land use challenges in the future - although the projections you see here will probably be tempered by today’s economic realities.

    While many of the decisions about where this growth will go will be dependent on local decisions, states will also have a large role through their investments, taxation policies, rules and regulations and programs.

    Importance of land use and transportation in sustainability
    Role of state in land use and transportation

    214 Billion Square FT of space
  • What form will this new construction take? If we follow the past, we will head into an unsustainable future. If we shift our patterns, we will have the opportunity to reduce energy consumption, improve the livability of cities and neighborhoods, and even ______ health

    source: smart growth america
  • A Smart Location outperforms even the greenest sprawl house with hybrid cars

    Shifting just 10% of new housing starts to smart growth would save billions of gallons of gasoline, millions of barrels of oil, and billions of dollars of household expenses.
  • A Smart Location outperforms even the greenest sprawl house with hybrid cars

    Shifting just 10% of new housing starts to smart growth would save billions of gallons of gasoline, millions of barrels of oil, and billions of dollars of household expenses.
  • How can states affect change? Most decisions that affect land use occur at the local level. But the state can perform an important role.

    Investments: Vermont has laws requiring investments be targeted to growth centers and designated downtowns; many states have land conservation acquisition programs
    Tax Policies: RI has a successful Historic Preservation Tax Credit program - with a 30% credit on taxes - that has leveraged over $1 Billion in 250 projects in 24 communities
    State Regulations: Maine has its Land Use Regulatory Commission
    Enable and Mandate Communities: All six states have planning and zoning enabling laws - some with stringent requirements on communities to plan.
  • State programs are always important. But we need to look at the issues of today. We have both a dilemma and an opportunity. We have less resources. But because of this we require more efficient investment. It makes sense now to focus our investments on fixing what we have first before expanding to new places. Most states in New England have some programs that address these issues. Are they being effective? What can be done to make these programs effective?
  • In addition, we have an opportunity with the Stimulus Bill. We may be able to direct investments to aging infrastructure and affordable housing. But we have a challenge too.

    Rutland City and Barre City Projects: Low on priority list due to permitting and bonding. Higher ranked projects include private developments at ski resorts - all small private systems. Mayors are furious. Were these cases of private developers not meeting their permit obligations or deferring maintenance? What should be the priority - the public health of citizens in our urban centers with aging infrastructure or second home owners at resorts? \"At the risk of opening a new front in class warfare, I would contend that it is neither in the state's interest nor within the spirit of the legislation to provide loan forgiveness for nonresident/second homeowners at private resort condominiums when true public infrastructure is in critical need of public funding,\"
    Repair crumbling bridges and roads, low cost transportation choices, retrofit streets for better pedestrian, bicycle and transit use, ANY transportation project not just highways. 3% enhancement requirement included.

    Eligible Activities of the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Strategy –
    o Determination of 1990 and present levels of greenhouse gas emissions;
    o Conducting energy audits and weatherization programs;
    o Creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency retrofits;
    o Development and implementation of building and home energy conservation programs;
    o Development and implementation of transportation fuel conservation programs;
    o Development and implementation of alternative fuel technologies and infrastructure
    that result in significant greenhouse gas emission reductions; and
    o Development and implementation of building codes and inspection services for public,
    commercial, industrial, and residential buildings to promote energy efficiency;
    o Development and promotion of land use guidelines that result in energy efficiency and
    greenhouse gas emission reductions.
    http://www.eecbg.energy.gov/
  • Three states’ smart growth programs have been assessed to determine how they are doing. These include WA, MD, VT. We look at them to understand how we can better manage what we have and what mechanisms are being used to both evaluate and improve these programs.
  • 1997 WA Growth Management Act amended to include Buildable Lands Program which is mandatory for most populous counties. They must track the implementation of their plans and regulations by reporting on what is permitted and where. If results fail to support plan, then changes must be made.

    Have agreed upon guidelines on how to measure and report on the growth so comparisons between counties are possible.
  • Increased densities: King County for MF: From 22 to 38 Units per Net Acre.
  • Maryland’s Smart Growth program has garnered many awards nation- wide including one from CNU.
  • SOURCE: Article by Gerrett Knapp and John Frece
    1. State could not veto overly large PFAs. SUpposed to have 20 yr capacity - some had 10 yr; others had 30 yrs
    2. Maryland Dept of Planning study in 2004: over 90% of development outside of PFA in rural Cecil County and 84% in Queen Anne’s County.
    3. No public process for designating PFAs
    4. Disconnect between state transportation policies and land protection policies and between state policies and local planning. Never enough $ to protect conservation land therefore coordination with transportation policy and local planning is absolutely essential.
    5. No benchmarks or goals. How do you know if you are achieving success?

  • Results are mixed




  • Adjustments are possible. Connecticut is actively pursuing smart growth legislation. But these are tough times. Efficiency in government and prevention of waste should be key mottos.
  • Cnu Ne Talk

    1. 1. Fix It First for Sustainability? Accountability in State Smart Growth Programs April 3, 2009
    2. 2. Fix It First for Sustainability? Accountability in State Smart Growth Programs April 3, 2009
    3. 3. Smart Growth Principles Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods ✤ Protect and preserve environmental quality and important ✤ natural and cultural features Promote health and vitality of communities through targeted ✤ economic growth in mixed use centers Provide choices in mode of transportation integrated with land ✤ use Provide for diverse housing needs of residents ✤ Balance growth with economic and efficient delivery of public ✤ facilities and services Engage public in goals, strategies and actions ✤
    4. 4. Smart Growth Principles Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods ✤ Protect and preserve environmental quality and important ✤ natural and cultural features Promote health and vitality of communities through targeted ✤ economic growth in mixed use centers Provide choices in mode of transportation integrated with land ✤ use Provide for diverse housing needs of residents ✤ Balance growth with economic and efficient delivery of public ✤ facilities and services Engage public in goals, strategies and actions ✤
    5. 5. Smart Growth Principles Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods ✤ Protect and preserve environmental quality and important ✤ natural and cultural features Promote health and vitality of communities through targeted ✤ economic growth in mixed use centers Provide choices in mode of transportation integrated with land ✤ use Provide for diverse housing needs of residents ✤ Balance growth with economic and efficient delivery of public ✤ facilities and services Engage public in goals, strategies and actions ✤
    6. 6. Smart Growth Principles Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods ✤ Protect and preserve environmental quality and important ✤ natural and cultural features Promote health and vitality of communities through targeted ✤ economic growth in mixed use centers Provide choices in mode of transportation integrated with land ✤ use Provide for diverse housing needs of residents ✤ Balance growth with economic and efficient delivery of public ✤ facilities and services Engage public in goals, strategies and actions ✤
    7. 7. Smart Growth Principles Revitalize and enhance compact centers and neighborhoods ✤ Protect and preserve environmental quality and important ✤ natural and cultural features Promote health and vitality of communities through targeted ✤ economic growth in mixed use centers Provide choices in mode of transportation integrated with land ✤ use Provide for diverse housing needs of residents ✤ Balance growth with economic and efficient delivery of public ✤ facilities and services Engage public in goals, strategies and actions ✤
    8. 8. A Challenge for Sustainability In 2030 about half of the buildings will ✤ have been built since 2000 There may be as much as 214 billion ✤ square feet of new built space by 2030 Projections anticipate that nearly 1/3 of ✤ our building stock in the next 20-25 years will be demolished.
    9. 9. A Challenge for Sustainability In 2030 about half of the buildings will ✤ have been built since 2000 There may be as much as 214 billion ✤ square feet of new built space by 2030 Projections anticipate that nearly 1/3 of ✤ our building stock in the next 20-25 years will be demolished.
    10. 10. A Challenge for Sustainability In 2030 about half of the buildings will ✤ have been built since 2000 There may be as much as 214 billion ✤ square feet of new built space by 2030 Projections anticipate that nearly 1/3 of ✤ our building stock in the next 20-25 years will be demolished.
    11. 11. A Challenge for Sustainability - How will we Build? If we follow the trends of the ✤ past 50 years... We will sprawl ✤ We will increase VMT per ✤ capita We will continue to consume ✤ over half of our urban landscape with automobile uses
    12. 12. A Challenge for Sustainability - How will we Build? If we follow the trends of the ✤ past 50 years... We will sprawl ✤ We will increase VMT per ✤ capita We will continue to consume ✤ over half of our urban landscape with automobile uses
    13. 13. A Challenge for Sustainability - How Will We Build? If we alter these patterns to a more ✤ sustainable form, we may: Increase the share of people living ✤ in compact, mixed use urban and village centers and neighborhoods Reduce driving by 15-50% as a ✤ result of these patterns Lower our energy consumption ✤
    14. 14. A Challenge for Sustainability - How Will We Build? If we alter these patterns to a more ✤ sustainable form, we may: Increase the share of people living ✤ in compact, mixed use urban and village centers and neighborhoods Reduce driving by 15-50% as a ✤ result of these patterns Lower our energy consumption ✤
    15. 15. A Challenge for Sustainability - How Will We Build? If we alter these patterns to a more ✤ sustainable form, we may: Increase the share of people living ✤ in compact, mixed use urban and village centers and neighborhoods Reduce driving by 15-50% as a ✤ result of these patterns Lower our energy consumption ✤
    16. 16. Influence of State Programs Put in place investments that direct growth ✤ Establish tax policies that can protect open land or create incentives ✤ for investment in historic buildings, affordable housing and downtowns Have their own regulations guiding growth ✤ Enable and mandate communities to regulate growth ✤
    17. 17. Why are State Programs Important Today? Need to focus on what we have ✤ during these tough economic times There are fewer dollars to support ✤ infrastructure - need to be efficient in public investments There are programs in place that ✤ could be better implemented to achieve smart growth goals
    18. 18. Why are State Programs Important Today? Need to focus on what we have ✤ during these tough economic times There are fewer dollars to support ✤ infrastructure - need to be efficient in public investments There are programs in place that ✤ could be better implemented to achieve smart growth goals
    19. 19. Stimulus Bill: $250 B to States State in driver’s seat for much of these funds ✤ Surface transportation money - $27.5 Billion ✤ Energy Efficiency Block Grants to state and local governments- $3.2 Billion ✤ State Energy Program: $3.1 Billion ✤ Tax Credit Bonds for School Repair or New Construction: $9.97 Billion ✤ Clean Water and Drinking Water: $6 Billion ✤ Community Development Block Grant: $1 Billion ✤
    20. 20. Assessments of State Programs Washington ✤ Maryland ✤ Vermont ✤
    21. 21. Washington Growth Management Act - Buildable Lands Program Goal is increasing densities within urban areas ✤ and lowering development in rural areas Evaluates GMA and remedies problems for six ✤ most populous counties of state Compares what is built to what was planned ✤ If don’t meet standards, amend planning ✤ program, including regulations, and annually monitor effectiveness of changes.
    22. 22. Washington Program Findings All counties have sufficient land within UGA to ✤ accommodate residential, commercial and industrial growth All counties show an increase in density in UGAs between ✤ 2002 and 2007 Results are then used to see if there is enough capacity for ✤ future growth as planned or if there is overcapacity 4 out of 6 counties show increase share of residential ✤ growth inside UGA vs outside UGA Only two counties show increase in ratio of MF housing to ✤ SF housing
    23. 23. Maryland: Smart Growth & Neighborhood Conservation Program: A Look at 10 Years Limit state funding to Priority Funding ✤ Areas Also carrots to develop inside PFAs ✤ Provide funds for rural lands conservation ✤
    24. 24. MD Smart Growth: Ten Years PFAs a weak tool for containment - sprawl still ✤ happening outside of these areas Infrastructure finance - too little state money, for ✤ example, for brownfields Conservation land protection - fragmented, inconsistent ✤ with local zoning and still threatened with sprawl Not integrated with state planning laws -no link of PFAs ✤ in local comprehensive plans No benchmarks or goals, enforcement or monitoring ✤ mechanism, for example, for retaining or obtaining density minimum of 3.5 units per acre
    25. 25. Vermont Smart Growth Audit - 2003 and 2007 Undertaking by Vermont Smart ✤ Growth Collaborative to determine impact of state investments and policies on sprawl Vermont has a history of anti-sprawl ✤ measures taken since the 1960s Have they been effective? ✤
    26. 26. Vermont Audit VHCB directs over 90% of its investments in housing ✤ towards existing settlements. Large share of state aid for school construction went ✤ for maintenance and major renovations VTrans has invested in new construction over fixing ✤ what they have. The majority of funds for economic development ✤ supported growth in sprawl locations. 77% of public investment supported wastewater ✤ facilities in sprawl locations. No state agency planning as mandated by law ✤
    27. 27. Vermont Audit - 2003 Overall Investments (Percentages) Smart Growth Sprawl Locations 100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% Percentage Invested 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% School VT Housing VT Economic VT Economic State Sewer Chittenden Construction & Conservation Progress Development Funding County Small Renovation Board Council Authority Business Loans
    28. 28. Results of Assessments WA: Adjustments required to plans and regulations ✤ MD: New legislation - in progress ✤ VT: New legislation with emphasis on designating downtowns and ✤ growth centers
    29. 29. How accomplish WA: Mandates in legislation, cost-sharing, state staff ✤ MD: Watch dog group, research, legislation ✤ VT: Watch dog group, research, legislation ✤
    30. 30. Conclusions - Assessments of state smart growth laws show problems ✤ with implementation of programs Increased Densities & Spawl Containment Diverse Housing Focused State $$$ Rural Lands Adequate Funding Connection to Plans
    31. 31. Conclusions - Built-in mechanisms to benchmark, evaluate and adjust work without ✤ new legislation Role of smart growth organizations is critical to assessing ✤ implementation of programs and getting necessary changes Funding is key: need to watch and access Stimulus $$$; emphasize ✤ efficiency in spending and prevention of waste Won’t work without integrated local planning ✤
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