Greening vacant lots in syracuse final


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Vacant Lot Conference in New Orleans June 2012

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Greening vacant lots in syracuse final

  1. 1. Samuel H. SageAtlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. (ASLF) June 2012
  2. 2. About ASLF New York based not-for-profit, headquartered in the Near Westside area of Syracuse Established in 1982 to provide legal, technical, and organizational services to individuals and organizations dealing with environmental issues Has taken a lead role in the protection and restoration of Syracuse waterways and the CSO problem
  3. 3. The Impacts Economically draining for city Lower property value Aesthetical degradation High rates of crime and arson Public health issues Property Value Degradation around A Vacant Property Source: Temple University Center for Public Policy and Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project. “Blight Free Philadelphia: A Public-Private Strategy to Create and Enhance Neighborhood Value.” Philadelphia, 2001.
  4. 4. The Opportunities  Stormwater retention  Public amenities  Urban infill development  Urban forestry  Urban agriculture  Habitat creation and conservation
  5. 5. The Issue Onondaga Lake, one of the most polluted lakes in North America
  6. 6. The Issue (cont.) Municipal Source of Pollution: Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Diagram of a Combined Sewer Overflow System. Adapted from “CSOs Explained” Official City of Bremerton Site.
  7. 7. The Process: ACJ ASLF and the NYS-DEC 1988 lawsuit against Onondaga County under the Clean Water Act METRO Consent Judgment Amended Consent Judgment (ACJ, January 1998)  The key legal document  Outlined two dozen projects for the County  Extensive monitoring program
  8. 8. The Process: The 4th Stip to ACJ 2009 The court order requires Onondaga County to use GRAY and GREEN infrastructure addressing CSOs  Gray Infrastructure: Commitment to 88.7% annual volume capture in by 2013  Green Infrastructure: Commitment to an additional 6.3% annual volume capture in Green Infrastructure commencing immediately in 2009, resulting in 95% total annual volume capture by 2018
  9. 9. The Solution: Save the Rain (STR) A GI program created by the County  Encompasses the storm water and GI initiatives  Educates the public about issues and how they can use and benefit from GI Initiatives  GI on public land  Green Improvement Fund: GI on private land  Rain Barrel Program  Urban Forestry Program  STR-Vacant Lot Program (VLP)
  10. 10. VLP Program Goals Reduce minimum of 9 million gallons of CSO by 2018 with GI on publicly owned vacant lots Provide different forms of GREEN infrastructure projects for Save The Rain Simultaneously reclaim greenspace in a useful way and improve value of vacant lots to community Engage public in GI maintenance for Save The Rain
  11. 11. Syracuse Vacant Lot Inventory 3,668 vacant parcels in the City of Syracuse (2012 data) 1,786 vacant parcels (392 ac.) in combined sewer service area where GI projects are required for managing stormwater and CSO’s 828 publicly owned vacant parcels which could be potentially used Vacant Lots in the City of Syracuse.
  12. 12. Syracuse Vacant Lot Inventory 814 of 828 public vacant parcels are under City ownership City of Syracuse Ownership NYS County City City Seizable Total City TD Owned Agencies Parcels Parcels 6 8 78 120 37 579 828Inventory Acreage 2.26 7.39 36.72 28.33 6.09 107.27 188.06 Parcels 0 0 24 60 25 332 441Candidates Acreage 0 0 6.92 12 5.06 80.14 104.12
  13. 13. VLP: A Joint Venture Between Onondaga County and City of Syracuse Initiated in 2011 by Onondaga County Funded by Onondaga County to built GI projects on City owned vacant lots Developed collaboratively to fit under both governments’ immediate planning goals Based on the agreement that defines the County’s and the City’s responsibilities in O&M of the VLP projects Developed and coordinated by ASLF The City of Syracuse Ordinance that depicts the City-County Agreement on installing GI on the City properties
  14. 14. VLP’s Reclamation Typologies Urban Orchard Community Garden (Ornamental or Vegetable) Urban Forest/Tree PlantingCombined with other GI practices such as rain garden, cistern, bioswale,stormwater planter, etc. VLP Pilot Project Rendering: Urban Orchard at 701 Oswego Street, Syracuse, New York
  15. 15. Community Involvement in VLP Outreach to general public and communities near project sites Coordination with community in planning & design process (community meetings, design workshops) Community participation in maintenance (organized to ensure the quality of performance) Green job training and job creation
  16. 16. VLP Projects: 2011 Urban Orchard at 701 Oswego Street Before Under Construction Design Rendering
  17. 17. VLP Projects: 2012 Concept Field Work 50% Design Project Status Bid Phase Total Phase Phase Phase Number of 7 3 3 3 16 Projects
  18. 18. Benefits of VLP Environmental Benefits  Biodiversity  Increase of tree canopy  Carbon sequestration  Reduction in pollution, heat island effects and CSO events Economic Benefits  Increased property value and land desirability  Lowers City’s maintenance costs  Creation of new job and local business
  19. 19. Benefits of VLP Social & Public Health Benefits  Revitalization of community  Reduced crime rates  Improved access to healthy foods from urban agricultural typologies  Increased opportunities for outdoor physical exercise  Facilitation of healthy behaviors is a factor in chronic disease incidence
  20. 20. Further Needs and Challenges Long-term ownership and O&M mechanism  Alternatives  Under public ownership  Under private ownership and operation  Land Trust model  O&M  Produce  Taxes  Utilities
  21. 21. Further Needs and Challenges Public acceptance and involvement in projects  Safety issues related to urban farming on abandoned land  Lawn VS Native Garden  Tree(s) VS Forest Long-term monitoring and compliance with legal requirements
  22. 22. For More Information Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. 658 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York 13204 315-475-1170. Onondaga County Save The Rain Program