2003 Smart Growth in Brownfield Communities Grant Recipients
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- City of Allegan, Michigan
- City of Toledo, Ohio
- Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
- City of Emeryville, California
- Downriver Community Conference in Southgate, Michigan
EPA's "Open Space Preservation Strategies for Promoting Smarter Growth and Environmental Preservation" initiative, announced in 2002, recognizes the critical importance of linking open space preservation and brownfield redevelopment through a smart growth approach to achieve better environmental protection. The Smart Growth in Brownfield Communities grant program is an important component of this plan.
In 2003, the grant program awarded about $400,000 to five Brownfields Showcase communities across the U.S. to incorporate smart growth into their planning, revitalization, and/or redevelopment efforts. Using smart growth principles in brownfield redevelopment can create greater benefits from the reuse of these infill sites, reduce demand for land for development on the urban fringe, and improve the air and water quality of the regions in which they are applied. Grant recipients emphasize projects that feature innovative community actions or successful responses to barriers to smart growth implementation and brownfields redevelopment that can be replicated in communities across the country.
City of Allegan, Michigan
EPA will provide funding for the city to conduct an intensive, two-year, citizen-based planning process. This planning will result in the development and adoption of a building code to facilitate brownfield and infill development consistent with the town's vision of stimulating investment and creating a compact, mixed-use, and pedestrian-friendly community.
City of Toledo, Ohio
The Toledo Public School System is currently financing the construction and renovation of schools at a total cost of nearly $800 million over a 12-year period. The city would like to leverage this investment and stimulate brownfield redevelopment in neighborhoods where schools are located. EPA funding will help coordinate brownfields redevelopment and school construction/renovation by providing funding that helps the city adopt a ranking system to evaluate development proposals and implement a community involvement plan.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Residents and public officials envision a county where existing urban centers are major hubs of commerce and population. Current traffic and parking standards limit the county's ability to achieve this vision. EPA funding will be used to implement a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy that promotes investment in the county's historic urban centers and changes current parking and traffic standards, thus removing barriers to smart growth and brownfield redevelopment.
Update: The county approved the Gateways Revitalization Strategy (PDF) (58 pp, 10MB) in May 2007.
The Gateway plan was created to: (a) reconnect various areas of the community through a coherent and cohesive visioning and land use plan; (b) revitalize the economic base by recycling industrial land consistent with job-producing opportunities tied to clean growth industries; (c) improve and build on infrastructure and public/private partnerships that will help attract a variety of uses needed to support residents, prospective employers, and visitors; and (d) strengthen opportunities to retain current residents and attract infill development in the form of new, mixed-use development that will enhance the sense of community.
More information about this project is on the Lancaster County Planning Commission web site for the Gateways Project. This site includes additional project products, including case studies and ordinance change recommendations, as well as demographic and market data and analysis.
City of Emeryville, California
The city is committed to expanding housing and transportation choices and creating a distinctive and attractive community through brownfield redevelopment. Concerns about groundwater contamination, incompatibility of land uses, traffic congestion, and density have curtailed brownfield redevelopment. EPA funding will help Emeryville address these concerns by supporting development and implementation of guidelines to minimize stormwater runoff and groundwater contamination; coordinating land use changes with current parking supply and transportation options; and promoting human-scale, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development.
Update: The city adopted these guidelines in December 2005. Click here to read more about Emeryville's Stormwater Guidelines for Green, Dense Redevelopment.
Downriver Community Conference in Southgate, Michigan
The funding will help develop a tool for certifying communities in the Detroit region as being "smart growth ready." Communities that meet best practices in site plan approval, RFP/RFQs, land assembly, title clearance, and inter-agency coordination will be certified as "smart growth ready." This certification will help stimulate private sector interest and increase demand for brownfield redevelopment.