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A short history of a big idea

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Smart growth in Maine

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A short history of a big idea

  1. 1. A Short History of a Big Idea Smart Growth in Maine 2003-2013 Evan Richert
  2. 2. Maine’s Connection to TND Founder Duany Ingraham Corner, West Rockport 1989 2010 rev
  3. 3. Smart Growth 2003-2013 HISTORIC PRESERVATION PLAYED STARRING ROLE
  4. 4. The Forerunner: Historic Preservation • Union Station, 1961, an early trigger in Maine • 1966 National Historic Preservation Act – Response to 2 major programs that destroyed historic structures and dismantled downtowns • National Interstate System (1956) • Urban Renewal (1960s) – In Maine, 51 Historic Districts with commercial components placed on the National Register 1970-2013, including 9 since 2003.
  5. 5. Historic Preservation Tax Credits: a Financial Underpinning of Smart Growth • 1976 – Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit • 1999 – First Maine tax credit for re-use of historic buildings • 2007 – Special state tax credit for rehab of Hathaway Mill in Waterville • 2008 – State tax credit expanded to statewide, w sunset date of 2013, later extended to 2023
  6. 6. No. of State Historic Tax Credit Projects Maine, 1999 - 2013 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 10 10 9 5 3 State Historic Tax Credit expanded 1 4 0 3 3 3 GrowSmart ME est. 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12
  7. 7. Through the Great Recession: $$ Spent Rehab of Historic Buildings $45.0 Millions $40.0 State Historic Tax Credit expanded $35.0 $31.6 $40.3 $36.9 $30.0 $25.0 $19.1 $20.0 $15.0 $10.0 $6.9 $5.0 $0.0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: Planning Decisions and Maine Preservation, April 2011
  8. 8. Signatures of Smart Growth… • Former mills, schools, churches and commercial blocks Gilman St. School, Waterville Pepperell Mill, Biddeford
  9. 9. …Signatures of Smart Growth… • In the heart of downtowns, historic waterfronts, established neighborhoods • On transportation lines Bates Mill #3 Downtown Lewiston
  10. 10. …Signatures of Smart Growth • Meeting variety of housing, commercial and industrial needs • And innovating with energy and environment LEED certified former Baxter Library Portland Press Herald and LiveWork Portland Blog photos
  11. 11. Smart Growth 2003-2013 ENTERED A DEMOGRAPHIC GOLDEN AGE FOR SMART GROWTH
  12. 12. Demography Catches Up with Smart Growth • Baby Boom (1946 – 1964) • Echo of the Boom – GenY (~1982 – ~2001) Thousands 0 100 >65 yrs Baby Boom Gen X Gen Y 0-9 yrs 200 300 400 382,000 301,000 State of Maine, 2010 Census
  13. 13. The Impact of Two Generations Baby Boom fueled sprawl of 1970s – 2000s BUT : – Now entering retirement with different needs – And had the decency to give birth to Gen Y, which experiences the world differently Age in 2003 Baby Boomers Gen Y Age in 2013 Age in 2023 39 - 57 49 - 67 59 - 77 2 - 21 12 - 31 22 - 41
  14. 14. Where 1st Wave of GenY Homeowners Lives “They are willing to pay for the ability to walk. They don’t want to be in a cookie-cutter type of development. The suburbs will need to evolve to be attractive to Gen Y.” -- Melina Duggal, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, 2011 NAHB Rural Suburban Urban (Downtown, In-Town Neighborhood, Small City) 14% 38% 49% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
  15. 15. Fewer and Shorter Vehicle Trips Change in Vehicle Trips and Miles Per Person 18-34 yrs old, 2001-2009 0.0% -5.0% -4.2% -10.0% -15.0% -20.0% -25.0% -16.6% -21.5% Population Vehicle trips Vehicle miles 18-34 Source: National Household Travel Survey, US Dept of Transportation
  16. 16. We Had an Inkling in 1999 First Market Study to document demand for traditional neighborhood development in Maine Predicted market share of ~37% of home buyers Included the “Young Turks” – young, educated Maine natives, the leading edge of the “connected” generation Prefer to be close to services & amenities Young Turks 12%
  17. 17. Number of 2003-2013 Developments Fit with Changing Demographics • Brick Hill (collaborative private-public project to redevelop Youth Training Center) • Dunstan Crossing (first Maine TND-style project) • Eastern Village in Scarborough • Bayside projects in Portland (starting with Unity Village in 2000) • The mills – e.g. Pepperell, Hathaway, Bates, Goodall • Bangor EcoHomes • Brunswick Landing • In-town retirement communities • Co-housing developments in Brunswick (1998) Belfast and Buxton
  18. 18. Smart Growth 2003-2013 DOWNTOWNS TURNED A CORNER
  19. 19. 1970-2000: Figuring Out How to Adapt • Battered by 40+ years of highway strip development • With loss of department stores, grocers & hardware, most forced down the hierarchy of retail centers • Vacancies, loss of population, aged buildings, hard to re-use SuperRegional Regional Community Neighborhood Convenience
  20. 20. Learned from Those that Adapted… • Old Port Exchange, Rockland, Bath, others; and • Those with built-in strengths, like Bar Harbor, Bethel, others
  21. 21. …And a Lot of Bootstrapping • Property owners reinvesting • Small businesses taking risks -shopkeepers, restaurateurs, innkeepers & professional offices • Renys! Maine Downtown Center Helping Downtown organize and reinvent themselves Grew from 4 to 10 Main Street Communities, with • $169.7 million in downtown improvements, 2002-12 • 269 net new businesses
  22. 22. Assisted by Key Public Programs • Historic Preservation Tax Credits • EPA Brownfields Program ($51.5 million, 1994-2013) • Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (points for smart growth – 2007) • Clean-up of Harbors and Rivers along which many Downtowns were built • Community Development Block Grants • Downtown Tax Increment Financing Districts
  23. 23. Recipe for Downtown Success Remained the Same: • Establish at least two primary activities – “go-to” activities for residents of the trade area – that Downtown can perform better than any other location • Add two or three complementary activities
  24. 24. But a New Menu of Activities to Replace What Was Lost • • • • • • • • • Financial Institutions Government Arts, Culture, Education Entertainment Food! Restaurants, Farmers’ Markets, Natural Foods and Other Specialty Foods Other Specialty Retail & Shops of Artisans Residential Business Services Professional Offices incl. new formats like Co-Work
  25. 25. Revived Waterfronts Helped Build Critical Mass • Arts, entertainment, recreation venues • Working waterfronts Bangor’s revived waterfront: • American Folk Festival • Waterfront Concert Pavilion • Walk & Bikeway
  26. 26. Smart Growth 2003-2013 THE PUBLIC POLICY FRAMEWORK: HOW IT SAVED MAINE’S FIRST TND PROJECT AND HELPED SET THE COURSE
  27. 27. The 1989 Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act (aka Growth Management Program) • MEREDA, MMA, NRCM jointly supported • Enacted in 1989, gutted in 1991, partially restored in 1993 • No teeth…but a tooth: “…any portion of a municipality's … rate of growth, zoning or impact fee ordinance must be consistent with a comprehensive plan adopted in accordance with the procedures, goals and guidelines established in this (act). The portion of a rate of growth, zoning or impact fee ordinance that is not consistent with a comprehensive plan is no longer in effect.”
  28. 28. How It Saved Dunstan Crossing Once upon a time, at the turn of the century, Elliott and John Chamberlain decided to build the Great American Neighborhood. After 2 years of charrettes and negotiation, they won a contract zone. The Comprehensive Plan said there should be a new village at Dunstan Corner in Scarborough. And the Chamberlain’s wanted to build it: • 445 units of mixed housing • Neighborhood stores • Public space • Conserved open space • TND design
  29. 29. It was very different from the development every one was used to.
  30. 30. See How Different? S-P-R-A-W-L
  31. 31. People were VERY worried and scared. They held a referendum in 2003. They killed Dunstan Crossing. But wait! The Chamberlains sued based on the Growth Management Act!
  32. 32. And the Good and Wise Court said the repeal was INCONSISTENT with the Town’s own Comprehensive Plan and was NO LONGER IN EFFECT! The moral to the story: As long as you have a tooth and good gums, you can prevail!
  33. 33. Everyone in Scarborough still liked each other, and in 2006 the Town and John & Elliott agreed to a smaller, lower density version but still faithful to the TND design. NOT YET the End…
  34. 34. Because Scarborough Didn’t Stopped There It overhauled zoning in the Route 1 Corridor: • In 2004 adopted TND Option Overlay District • In 2007 re-zoned corridor based on Town and Village Centers TVC Districts TND District
  35. 35. Growing Number of Supportive Zoning Plans in Last Decade A Sampling: • Portland’s Bayside Vision (2000) and rezoning to enable its implementation • South Portland’s Village Commercial and Knightville Design District and infill housing zoning • Standish’s form-based system • Development fee transfer systems in Gorham, Scarborough, Topsham • Other experiments with Transfer of Development Rights • Many types of clustered development provisions, from incentive-based to mandatory
  36. 36. Infill on <5000 sf Lots, So. Portland Photos: Kristel Sheesley
  37. 37. Smart Growth 2003-2013 TRANSPORTATION EMERGED AS A PARTNER
  38. 38. Transportation Policy Turns “Sensible” • 1991 Sensible Transportation Policy Act – Required capacity-expanding transportation improvements to consider the alternatives • But 2003 was a threshold year: Required MaineDOT to adopt a rule in coordination with Growth Management Act and to link transportation and land use processes
  39. 39. Another Step in 2007-08 The Rule added incentives to adopt local and regional transportation plans that use land use strategies to reduce pressures on state transportation corridors
  40. 40. First Two Attempts to Link Transportation and Land Use in Major Corridors • Gateway 1: Route 1, Brunswick to Stockton Springs • Gorham East-West Corridor: Portland to Standish, guided by PACTS Land Use Policy in Destination Tomorrow • Neither has materialized yet, but…
  41. 41. …Best modeling available demonstrated the benefits across nearly every metric
  42. 42. Meanwhile…Local Initiatives Grew • Complete Street policies have been adopted – including Portland (2012) and Auburn (2013 – 500th city in the nation) • Franklin Arterial Street Study, using Context Sensitive Solutions model • Advent of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Tax Increment Finance Districts to fund transit operations – So. Portland & Orono
  43. 43. Alternative Modes Gained Steam • Maine as high as No. 2 in U.S. for bike friendliness (League of American Bicyclists 2010) • New sidewalks and trails, extension of Eastern Trail • Bus ridership grew across the State as gas prices increased – and Island Explorer, started in 1999, greeted 3 millionth passenger in 2009
  44. 44. The Downeaster Proved Itself… and Expanded 600,000 528,292 Passengers 500,000 400,000 Brunswick Station, Opened 2012 300,000 200,000 262,691 100,000 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2005 2006 2009 2010 2011 2012
  45. 45. The Housing + Commute Equation Shifted Est. Annual Housing + Commuting Costs (work in Portland) $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000 Commuting Cost Housing Cost $0 Source: E. Richert, calculated from U.S. Census and U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010
  46. 46. Smart Growth 2003-2013 THE FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN: CONSERVING PRODUCTIVE NATURAL PLACES
  47. 47. 3 More LMF Bond Issues Passed, 2003-2013 • Totaled $37 million • Bringing LMF bonds to $134 million since inception in 1987 LMF PROJECTS, 1987-2012 Type Conservation & Recreation Farmland Working Waterfront Water Access Number 187 36 19 52 Source: Land for Maine’s Future Program FY 2011-2012 Biennial Report
  48. 48. Partners Statewide and Locally • Since 2000, each LMF dollar leveraged $3 of private funds • MCHT - $100 million Campaign for the Coast • Maine Farmland Trust – protected 35 farms through buy/sell, 108 through easements
  49. 49. Partners Statewide and Locally • The Nature Conservancy of Maine – including landscape-level projects in the St. John River Valley and Moosehead Lake Region • The Forest Society of Maine – focused on Maine’s North Woods • Trust for Public Lands – including “parks for people” • 98 Land Trusts in Maine Land Trust Network
  50. 50. Lake Concept Planning in Unorganized Territory • 3 new plans 2004 – 2009 • Plum Creek’s Moosehead Lake Region Plan – Green-lined growth areas of 16,000 acres – Permanent conservation of 392,500 acres – TNC, Forest Society of Maine, Appalachian Mountain Club – Connects network of >2 million acres from St. John River to Baxter State Park
  51. 51. Smart Growth 2003-2013 INVESTED IN INNOVATION – AND THEREFORE IN DOWNTOWNS AND SERVICE CENTERS
  52. 52. Innovation as Part of the Smart Growth Ecosystem Patents, 2000-2011 100% 87% 80% 60% 40% 13% 20% 0% Metro/Micro Areas Non-Metro Shares of Enrollment in Colleges & Universities 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 72% On 27 campuses 28% 71 Service Centers On 6 campuses Rest of Org. Towns (418)
  53. 53. Incremental Progress 2003-2013 • Maine Technology Institute funded 500th company in 2005 • In 2012-13, funded 253 projects with $10.5 million, leveraging $33.7 million in match • Maine performing relatively well on the entrepreneurial index (2013 = 0.36; goal is 0.50) • 2011 - Blackstone Accelerates Growth grant for entrepreneurship
  54. 54. But a Red Flag from Measures of Growth From Measures of Growth, 2013
  55. 55. Urban Scaling: Innovation Rates Increase with Agglomerations of People Investment in Innovation = Investment in Service Centers and Downtowns
  56. 56. Some Milestones 2003-2013 • • • • • • • • • 2004 - First GrowSmart Maine Summit 2006 – Charting Maine’s Future released 2007 – Model Town Community project initiated in Standish 2008 – Successfully advocated for Historic Preservation Tax Credit and Uniform Building and Energy Code 2009 – Successfully advocated for Communities for Maine’s Future bond 2010 -- Reinventing Maine Government published 2011 – Project Canopy project with Maine Forest Service 2012 – Charting Maine’s Future: Making Headway published 2013 - Reinventing the Commercial Strip project completed

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