Smart growth news – November 16

Congress strikes 2012 budget deal for some agencies
Federal Times, November 15, 2011
House and Senate negotiators have struck a deal on the 2012 budgets for five Cabinet-level departments, as well as NASA and a number of smaller agencies. The measure also would extend short-term funding for other agencies until Dec. 16 at close to last year’s levels. An existing continuing resolution expires Friday, meaning the new measure must pass before then to avert a partial government shutdown. Besides NASA, the $128 billion bill covers the Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments.

A Kentucky City Reinvents a Faded Downtown
New York Times, November 15, 2011
Like so many other American cities after World War II, Owensboro’s pattern of residential and business development spread out from the downtown core….Of late, though, this city of 57,265 and surrounding Daviess County, where 96,656 people live, have invested in an array of business development initiatives in health care, transportation, education, and tourism and travel that focused on making the city and county more competitive in attracting residents and businesses.

New Urbanism: Comparing Songdo, South Korea to Belmar, United States of America
Forbes, November 15, 2011
I grew up in a small town of 6,000 in northeastern Pennsylvania—a county seat surrounded by dairy farms. We walked to the elementary school, the neighborhood store for a loaf of bread and maybe a soda, and weekly shopping trips downtown–3 blocks from home.

City seeks master planner to help with downtown revitalization
Las Cruces Sun (N.M.), November 14, 2011
“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunities downtown if those public-private partnerships can be developed,” Garza said. “We could have a partnership, or several partnerships for that matter, where the developer could work with private landowners to work out mutually beneficial projects that would be for the good of everyone. We’ve reached the point of downtown revitalization where we need to bring in a master developer.”

Cleveland: Mayor’s lakefront plan announced
WKYC (Ohio), November 14, 2011
Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced his plan for Cleveland’s Downtown Lakefront area Monday afternoon at City Hall. It’s a detailed vision of mixed-use development from the western edge of Cleveland Browns Stadium to the eastern edge of Burke Lakefront Airport.

PlanMaryland Part 1: Why is The State Land-Use Plan So Controversial?
Maryland Reporter, November 14, 2011
“We’ve waited too long already,” states the most recent PlanMaryland draft. “We need greater support and incentives to encourage smart growth and discourage sprawl. Each acre consumed for development never returns to its previous state. The tide of development keeps churning onward, weakening communities at the core and natural resources at the edge.”

Opinion and Editorial

Boring resident challenges idea that land-use regulation hurts rural economies
The Oregonian, November 15, 2011
There may be the tiniest tidbit of truth in Huffman’s statement that land-use regulation hurts rural Oregon’s economy, but he’s distorted the situation. Rural areas in states with lax-to-nonexistent land use regulations are also economically depressed, some worse than Oregon’s.

Geography as destiny
Politico, November 14, 2011
Real estate agents and home buyers have long known that location — where we live, learn, shop and join in community — determines most of the opportunities available to Americans. Opportunity is the touchstone to becoming a member of the middle class. As much as brains, pluck or work ethic, geography is destiny — for better or worse.

Fill in the gaps on growth plan
The Ashbury Park Press, November 14, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie has made a promising start when it comes to finally getting a handle on unbridled, hodge-podge growth in this state. His proposed State Strategic Job Growth Plan is seen as a replacement for the 2001 State Plan, which has not in his view — or ours — met the legislative intent of the State Planning Act. A look around at the sprawl in this state confirms that.

Rahall: Investing in Transportation Could Help Grow Economy
The State Journal (W.Va.), November 15, 2011
“Corporations, consumers, construction crews and most of colleagues in Congress all manage to see that America can emerge from this recession stronger than ever before by continuing to make robust investments in our future,” Rahall said. “America’s roadways, runways and railways are not partisan priorities and should not be subject to the political posturing that is dominating the debate in Washington. All Americans would better be served if we put partisan politics aside so we can work together to do the right thing for the economy.”