Blue Springs officials and local residents met with representatives from Smart Growth America on September 19 and 20, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide a “code audit”—a review of development regulations—that will help Blue Springs leaders understand the various smart growth development options available to them, specifically with regard to the Unified Development Code. The City is in the process of updating both the Unified Development Code and Comprehensive Plan.
“The City of Blue Springs is a very fortunate recipient of a Smart Growth America technical assistance grant,” said Blue Springs Director of Community Development Scott Allen. “This code audit will focus on community health, alternative energy codes, and sustainable stormwater infrastructure, and will help Blue Springs move forward with sustainable development alternatives. This technical assistance from Smart Growth America and Clarion Associates has come at a most opportune moment for Blue Springs. We are currently updating both the Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code, and the knowledge gained from this assistance can be incorporated into both the Plan and Code to move Blue Springs towards a more sustainable development type.”
On September 19, Blue Springs residents gathered for an introductory presentation and conversation about the benefits of a development regulations sustainability review.
In November 2012, Blue Springs was one of 22 communities selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from Maine to Washington State, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.
The technical workshop program is made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Three other nonprofit organizations—Forterra, Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also received competitively awarded grants this year to help communities get the kinds of development they want.