Pasco County, FL hosts workshop on revitalizing U.S. 19 corridor

A building in New Port Richey, FL. Photo via Wikipedia Commons.

On July 30 and 31, 2014, officials and local residents of Pasco County, FL met with representatives from Smart Growth America as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshop aimed to provide Pasco County with tools and techniques to implement plans to revitalize the Harbors, a portion of the U.S. Route 19 corridor that follows the county’s coastline.

“Pasco County has already laid a robust framework for redevelopment by adopting the Harbors Redevelopment Plan and the county’s first Economic Development Plan,” said Richard E. Gehring, Pasco County Planning and Development Administrator. “The technical assistance workshop will be instrumental in taking these plans forward and in establishing stakeholder consensus.”

On the first day of the workshop, Pasco County residents gathered for an introductory presentation that featured an overview of the fiscal and economic benefits associated with smart growth practices. On the workshop’s second day, County staff, elected officials, residents, local real estate industry representatives and members of the nonprofit community came together to discuss how smart growth approaches to encourage quality development along the U.S. 19 corridor could make the county more competitive and reduce taxpayer burdens. They brainstormed issues and alternatives to the area’s successful redevelopment and left the workshop with a clearer sense of the County’s next steps.

In January, Pasco County  was one of 18 applicants selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from New Hampshire to California, 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 under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

Workshop materials:

Technical assistance