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E-M:/ Smart Growth in WI, Penn.

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Kelly Thayer -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dec. 22

Here's some information on Smart Growth law in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that might offer some tools and hope for advocates in Michigan:

TRANSFER December 22, 1999

December 22, 1999
Surface Transportation Policy Project

Wisconsin Enacts Landmark Smart Growth Bill

On 11/2, Wisconsin enacted landmark legislation as part of its biennial budget bill that sets guidelines, funding, and incentives for "smart" local comprehensive planning. The legislation provides several million dollars to local governments to develop plans that must then be the basis for land use decisions in nearly all communities by 2010. By that same year, local governments must also designate Smart Growth Areas for state and local infrastructure investments and pass smart growth ordinances with the help of the University of Wisconsin. In 2005, Wisconsin communities will also be eligible for additional state aid in the form of a Smart Growth Dividend. Explicit smart growth goals for local plans include promoting urban redevelopment, protecting farmland and natural areas, and using development patterns with lower public service costs.

While progressive in other respects, Wisconsin has lagged behind many other states with its highly localized land use decision-making and lack of effective land use policy at the state level. Local advocates such as 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and environmental organizations such as Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE), which first proposed the legislation just enacted see it as a big step forward. The measure also enjoyed the support of an unusual coalition, including the Wisconsin Towns Association, state realtors, builders, and road builders associations. For more information, call Rob Kennedy at CBE at 608.251.9164 or robkennedy@igc.org.


Keystone State Senate Approves Regional Planning Legislation

Legislation passed in the Pennsylvania Senate last week could provide new regional planning options in the Keystone State. The bill, SB 300, includes an amendment that offers counties and municipalities the option for accommodating all uses in the planning region, without the need for joint zoning. Pennsylvania law currently requires municipalities to provide for every mall and quarry in each of Pennsylvania's 2569 municipalities. The bill also provides options for growth boundaries, tax-base sharing and streamlined permitting. Local advocates are now better positioned to work on the issue in the House this spring.

For more information, contact Janet Lussenhop at 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania at 215.568.2225 or see <http://www.legis.state.pa.us/>http://www.legis.state.pa.us/


1999 Record Year for Land Use Reform Bills

A new report by the American Planning Association (APA) shows that, this year, a record 1,000 planning statute reform bills were introduced around the country, with 200 enacted into law. The multi-year study, "Planning Communities for the 21st Century," includes detailed profiles of planning strategies in six states.

To obtain the report, contact Denny Johnson at APA at 202.872.0611.


Smart Growth Must Get Smarter

A smart growth critique released by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and 1000 Friends of Maryland this October found that most county governments in Maryland are not directing growth into designated "priority funding areas" created by the state's smart growth law. The report also notes that state agencies have not developed adequate procedures and guidelines for implementation, and that the public has been shut out of the decision making process.

To read the report, contact CBF at 410.268.8816 or visit


Livable Communities Receive 1999 Ahwahnee Awards

The 1999 Ahwahnee Award winners were recently announced for achievements in the following categories: built projects, plans, community programs, government policies and regional planning.

The Portland, Oregon region took the lead for built projects for its transit-oriented neighborhood of 1,800 homes at the Orenco light rail station, and for converting an abandoned milk processing plant into a mixed-used center. The City of Brea, California was awarded for its plan to create a downtown in a suburban community, and Playa Vista--a 1,000 acre new town at a former military base. In community programs, the Association of Bay Area Governments received an award for Hometown Blue video which featured the problems of growth and potential solutions, as did the California Main Street Program for their efforts to revive numerous commercials districts around the state. Winners for work in government policies were Oregon's statewide Transportation and Growth Management Program, and San Rafael, California's highly successful plan to revitalize its historic downtown. A team of local designers, the City of Santa Fe and 1,000 Friends of New Mexico were recognized for their model for growth without sprawl in the category of regional planning.

For more information, contact the Local Government Commission at 916.448.1198 or visit <http://www.lgc.org/clc>http://www.lgc.org/clc


Article of the Month

"Divided We Sprawl," Atlantic Monthly, 12/99.


Quote of the Week

''The highway system is a lot like the aviation industry was in the 1930s. No radar, no computer technology. It's time to catch up.''

Christine Johnson, Director of the Federal Highway Administration's Intelligent Transportation Systems, in a 12/21 USA Today article on the transportation department's decision to handle worsening congestion through ITS technology instead of building new highways.


Transfer--STPP's weekly update--is edited by Nancy Jakowitsch with contributions from other STPP staff. This week's feature on local transportation reform campaigns was written by Rob Kennedy at Citizens for a Better Environment. If you are not currently subscribed, please send us a note via e-mail to: transfer@transact.org. Be sure to include your full mailing address and name of your organization, phone and fax numbers.

The Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) is a non-profit, public interest coalition of over 200 groups devoted to ensuring that transportation policy and investments help conserve energy, protect environmental and aesthetic quality, strengthen the economy, promote social equity, and make communities more livable. For more information about STPP visit our web site at <http://www.transact.org>http://www.transact.org or call 202.466.2636.

Mr. Kelly Thayer
Transportation Project Coordinator
Michigan Land Use Institute
P.O. Box 228
845 Michigan Ave.
Benzonia, MI 49616
Ph: 231-882-4723
Fax: 231-882-7350
E-mail: kelly@mlui.org

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