Volume 3, Number 35- September 26, 2001
= = = Highlight = = =
For only the second time in history, a Governor
has called the state legislature back for a special session to address
sprawl. The first time was in May, also in Colorado. Colorado lawmakers
began their special session September 20 and hope to approve growth legislation
after two unsuccessful tries earlier this year. Citizen groups are holding
a series of local Town Hall Meetings on Growth across Colorado. The Town
Hall Meetings are gathering feedback from citizens on growth issues, and
providing them with factual information on different growth management
tools that have been used around the country and solutions that may work
best in their communities. Citizens will voice their views and ask questions
of a local panel of experts. Citizen comments will be collected and compiled
into a report that will be presented to the State Legislature.
For details on the Citizen Town Hall Meetings
on Growth and to find about growth trends in your region, visit http://www.TheSprawlSite.com
The Rocky Mountain News reports that Senate Democrats
have blocked Governor Owens highway plans. http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/legislature/article/0,1299,DRMN_37_832013,00.html
A proposal to impose impact fees on new construction
to help pay for the cost of growth comes before a Senate committee today
For more information on Colorado and sprawl, visit
= = = State and Local News = = =
A federal judge has directed the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to reconsider its designation of 260,000 acres in Pima
County as critical habitat for the endangered pygmy owl. The judge's decision
Friday came in a lawsuit filed last year by the Southern Arizona Home Builders
Association and other business groups. A critical habitat designation makes
development more difficult and costlier.
Mayors from three of Orange County's largest
cities seek to revive altered light-rail plan
Students from the grass-roots group Sacramento
Area Congregations Together requested a price cut for bus passes for students
attending middle and high school in the Sacramento City Unified School
The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority,
started in 1999 to ease traffic troubles and help air quality in metro
Atlanta, plans to roll out its first buses Monday on some of the county's
busiest commuter and shopping routes.
A University of California Irvine survey finds
that population and traffic congestion are among top concerns. Last year,
crime and education led the list.
In Albuquerque, NM, traffic and growth are voters'
For more information other state or national polls
please visit http://www.sprawlwatch.org/communications.html
= = = New Releases= = =
The Brookings Instiution’s Center on Urban and
Metropolitan Policy released Bigger, Faster. But Better? How Changes
In The Financial Services Industry Affect Small Business Lending In Urban
Areas. This paper assesses the extent to which the evolving structure
of the small business finance system affects both the nature and availability
of capital in inner cities and modest income suburbs. To read the
report, visit http://www.brookings.edu/urban
Neal Peirce’s latest column focuses on Marrying
Smart Growth and Housing Affordability.
Community Open Space Summit
Sponsored by the Open Space Foundation, the “Community
Open Space Summit” will be held
October 11-13, 2001 in Appleton, Wisconsin. The
conference will explore successful models and practical strategies for
using open space to create healthy, enriching neighborhoods and natural
areas. Participate in Shaping the Principles that will guide future neighborhood
open space design. For more information, visit http://www.uosf.org
To find out what other events are taking place
across the country visit Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse’s Calendar page at
Volume 3, Number 34- September 19, 2001
= = = Highlight= = =
In the latest edition of “Blueprint Magazine”,
the New Democrats are pushing a transportation agenda that is increasingly
hostile to the goals of transportation reform and smart growth. The authors
of many of these articles are well known proponents of highway interests,
sprawl and the like.
About the New Democrat Movement
= = = State and Local News = = =
Conservationists in the past decade nearly tripled
the acreage protected by small, regional land trusts, which for the first
time have land in all 50 states. More than 6.4 million acres have been
put into land trusts, an area twice the size of Connecticut.
If approved by the state, the San Francisco-based
environmental group the American Land Conservancy plans to purchase a $25.8
million parcel of land using state park bond money and transfer the land
to the state parks department.
As the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
Board develops its permanent process for evaluating the traffic and
air quality impact of large developments, the board shies away from denying
state and federal road funds to a local project.
Howard County, MD transportation and senior citizen
advocates are trying to understand why more older Howard County residents
don't use public transportation and are exploring ways the system might
be more responsive to them.
In Portland, ME the Independent Transportation
Network,a non-profit, membership organization is dedicated to helping
seniors in the community with their transportation needs. http://www.itninc.org/
The Metropolitan Organizing Strategy for Enabling
Strength concludes its 100-day transportation campaign urging state and
local lawmakers to allocate money to overhaul Metro Detroit’s mass transit
Worried about sprawl, a group of Charlotte, NC
eastside activists sued the city when council members approved a developers'
plan to build a large department store. The suit has caused the city to
amend its zoning practices. http://www.charlotte.com/neighbors/meck/mcoverbar0909.htm
= = = New Releases= = =
The Colorado Sprawl Action Center in conjunction
with CoPIRG (the Colorado Public Interest Research Group) released
its 4th Annual Sprawl of Shame report. Sprawl
of Shame is a survey of ten examples of sprawling development projects
in Colorado and the planning and development issues associated with those
developments. The report can be downloaded on the web at http://www.sprawlaction.org
California Planning & Development Report
has compiled the top 10 land use bills that were approved during the recently
completed session of the state Legislature. Among the bill topics are water
supply, redevelopment, the Subdivision Map Act and affordable housing.
Please visit their website http://www.cp-dr.com
to learn more.
Volume 3, Number 33 - September 12, 2001
Due to the tragedy of September 11 the Growth
Management Leadership Alliance, ULI and Campaign for Sensible Growth have
cancelled their meeting/symposium in Chicago this week. Sprawl Watch apologizes
for the brevity of this week’s newsletter.
= = = Highlight = =
House leaders announce plans to merge the Senate-passed
brownfields bill (S.350) with a House small business Superfund liability
relief bill (H.R. 1831). The combined legislation addresses funding and
liability issues that have blocked the redevelopment of many brownfield
sites, impeding economic, environmental and social benefits to many communities.
A new Northeast-Midwest table examines the leading
proposals in the 107th Congress to spur brownfield redevelopment. The table
compares measures within the Senate-passed bill (S. 350) and provisions
advanced by Republicans and Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce
Committee. The table is available at http://www.nemw.org/BF107bills.pdf.
The Working Lands Stewardship Act of 2001 (H.R.2375)
and the Kind-Gilchrest-Boehlert conservation amendment to the Farm Bill
(H.R. 2646) are expected to be voted on this week. The bills present an
opportunity to dramatically increase support for farmland preservation
and smart growth.
To read both of these bills in their entirety,
= = = State and Local News = = =
Maryland Governor Parris Glendening will push
to strengthen a controversial law designed to limit development along the
Atlanta, GA: MARTA joins national effort to increase
public ridership. http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/today/metro_b3c986c480c161500099.html
About 24,000 state employees in Columbus can
save up to 40 percent on the cost of a monthly bus pass if they use a new
pre-tax transit-benefit program announced by the state.
Mayor John O. Norquist is accusing Assembly Republicans
of exploiting racial and city-suburb divisions by setting up roadblocks
to a Milwaukee County light rail system. http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/sep01/train07090601a.asp
= = = New Releases = = =
A new publication from Scenic America,
Power to the People: Strategies for Reducing the Visual Impact of Overhead
Utilities gives communities the tools and information they need
to prepare a comprehensive utility relocation plan, including options for
reducing the visual impact of utilities, such as underground burial, wire
relocation, and utility camouflaging, as well as the pros and cons of each
option. Power to the People also examines federal, state, and local funding
sources for utility relocation projects and uses case studies from around
the country to illustrate various utility relocation strategies. The publication
is available from Scenic America for $8.00 plus shipping and handling by
calling (202) 543-6200, or by visiting Scenic America's secure online bookstore
The American Public Transportation Association’s
(APTA) annual campaign “Try Transit Week” promotes the many benefits
a community experiences when more people use public transportation – whether
bus, train, carpool or vanpool. “Try Transit Week” is September 9-15.
For more information and a variety of ideas please link to: http://www.apta.com/services/trytransit/index.htm
= = = National News = = =
Scenic America and EDAW, Inc., co-hosts of the
national conference, “Scenic Summit: Action for America’s Communities,
Countryside and Public Lands”, on April 21-24, 2002, announced that they
have cancelled their contract with the conference hotel, the Adam’s Mark
Hotel in Denver, CO and have postponed the conference until 2003. The cancellation
is necessitated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People’s (NAACP) nationwide boycott of all Adam’s Mark hotels based on
charges of racial discrimination at the Adam’s Mark in Daytona Beach. For
more information on the Scenic Summit: Action for America’s Communities,
Countryside and Public Lands see http://www.scenicsummit.org.
Volume 3, Number 32- September 5, 2001
= = = State and Local News = = =
For the first time in over a decade, Illinois
has created a new state resource for affordable housing development. Governor
Ryan signed the Affordable Housing Donations Tax Credit into law in late
August. It will provide a fifty-cent tax credit for each dollar donated
to Illinois nonprofit, affordable housing projects. Up to $13 million annually
in foregone state revenue will leverage another $13 million in private
funding for a total of $26 million for affordable housing development.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority(IHDA) has been charged with
adopting rules for issuing the tax credits. For more information see http://www.ChicagoRehab.org
Under the Economic Development and Housing Challenge
program Minnesota businesses invest in affordable housing for workers.http://webserv6.startribune.com/viewers/story.php?story=669721&word=housing&word=affordable
Affordable housing program under way in Beaufort
County. The County Council committee will set up a non-profit corporation
to run the program. http://www.beaufortgazette.com/search/story/0,1954,290894,00.html
Southern California environmental coalition will
propose initiative for November ballot that will designate 30% of the state's
share of vehicle sales-tax revenue for projects to relieve traffic congestion.
Seeking to energize downtown Los Angeles, city
officials voted 13 to 0 to rezone the Staples Center area to allow the
$1-billion project to move forward. Community members praised the Staples
expansion as a crucial step in revitalizing the city's core while forming
a strong coalition with area residents and union leaders.
A New Hampshire forest program to be unveiled
this fall will help cities and towns fight sprawl and protect open space.
New upscale mall in Tampa, FL does not accommodate
bus routes. Elitism said to be factor.
Transportation planners see at least five more
TRAX spurs, two new freeways and one commuter rail line in the Wasatch
Front's future the next three decades. The projects are part of the Wasatch
Front Regional Council's new 30-year plan. Planners say that every mode
of transportation must be bolstered because the combined population of
Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties is expected to mushroom to 2.15 million
by 2030, a 60 percent jump. http://www.sltrib.com/09052001/utah/129268.htm
= = = National News= = =
A recent study in the journal Science shows
that auto pollution kills more than traffic crashes. Fossil fuels
such as gasoline and coal create air pollutants such as ozone, airborne
particles, and carbon dioxide. These pollutants are inhaled and can cause
premature death from asthma, breathing disorders and heart disease. The
study sends the message that there can be “real and immediate health benefits
in reducing greenhouse gases.”
= = = New Releases= = =
A new study released by Tufts University strongly
suggests that the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts could be made
even worse by further restrictions on development.
A new report from the Brookings Institution Center
on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, Moving Up, Filtering Down: Metropolitan
Housing Dynamics and Public Policy argues that there is an important,
almost inevitable, housing dynamic that shapes many major metropolitan
areas, particularly those in the Midwest. As households accumulate wealth,
they tend to buy bigger and more expensive homes, and these homes are often
located farther out at the edges of metropolitan areas. This pull to the
suburbs creates housing vacancies or less investment in homes located in
central cities and older suburbs, which in turn, can further erode existing
neighborhoods and push more families outward. The paper examines this homebuying
and housing cycle in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio metropolitan
areas and offers a number of strategies that state and local leaders should
take to help stem some of the negative effects of this pattern.
National Neighborhood Coalition releases Smart
Growth for Neighborhoods: Affordable Housing and Regional Vision.
This report scans smart growth and housing literature, examining the findings
and policy recommendations of researchers and practitioners addressing
the effects of smart growth on affordable housing. NNC finds that while
smart growth is not bad for affordability, neither do smart growth and
more compact development guarantee availability of affordable housing.
Specific steps can be taken to ensure that housing needs are addressed
as part of a comprehensive approach to growth. Ultimately, the research
suggests that careful planning and regional approaches to affordable housing
must be a fundamental component of smart growth. For a copy of the report,
contact the National Neighborhood Coalition at (202) 408-8553, or email
A copy of the report is also available online in PDF format at
PolicyLink releases a new report Sharing
the Wealth: Resident Ownership Mechanism. The study cofunded by
the Fannie Mae Foundation and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD)describes
equitable development- tools that insure that
community residents benefit from local economic development. Twenty models
of innovative economic activity in rural and urban areas around the US
are featured. Beginning September 6, copies will be available on
the web at http://www.policylink.org
The Sierra Club has launched a website called
“I Want My MPG” which helps car owners determine their annual fuel costs
and savings if the miles per gallon (MPG) standards are raised. The website
is similar to a blue book and has mpg information on almost every make
and model of car. The website is at http://www.sierraclub.org/iwantmympg/.