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"Development that serves the economy,
the community, and the environment."
MyValleySprings.com strongly favors smart growth as defined above by the 'California Planning Guide'. That definition implies participation and cooperation from representatives of each of these areas.
Click IT’S TIME FOR VALLEY SPRINGS TO GET “SMART” to read flyer about Smart Growth for Rural Communities.
Smart Growth Principles
• Community and Stakeholder Collaboration in Development Decisions
• Compact Building Design
• Direct Development Towards Existing Communities
• Distinctive and Attractive Places
• Mix Land Uses
• Predictable and Cost Effective Development Decisions
• Preserve Open Space and Farmland
• Range of Housing Choices
• Variety of Transportation Choices
• Walkable Neighborhoods
From EPA Smart Growth website
Cost of Sprawl
Sprawling development costs government (and taxpayers) more than compact, smart growth. On average, the tax revenues generated by residential development do not cover the costs incurred to local government from them.
Read American Farmland Trust’s Cost of Community Services Studies
Read Smart Growth Can Be a Taxpayers Friend, a summary of a Sonoran Institute story and report
Does location alone make a proposed development smart growth?
Proximity to existing communities, infrastructure, and services is important, but not enough to make a project smart growth. There is more to it!
“Projects also need to be well designed. They need to preserve habitat, including oak trees. They should be compact, providing buffers for adjoining ranch lands. They should be walkable, with good connections to existing neighborhoods. They should include housing working families can afford. They should be as green as possible.
In addition, projects shouldn’t create gridlock on local roads, use up water or wastewater capacity needed for existing lots, decrease local residents’ quality of life, or create fiscal burdens on local governments.” (‘Foothill Focus’, Foothill Conservancy’s Winter 2009 newsletter; for more info see www.foothillconservancy.org)
For further information about Smart Growth, check out Smart Growth Online
Smart Growth Policies Glossary:
Community and Stakeholder Collaboration in Development Decisions
Encouraging Community and Stakeholder Collaboration in Development Decisions means ensuring the early and frequent involvement of all stakeholders throughout the planning and development decision -making process. The means of engaging the community and stakeholders are myriad and range from early stakeholder input in community plans to ongoing feedback and evaluation of plan implementation as projects are constructed. Ensuring a high level of public involvement is fundamental to guaranteeing that community needs are fully integrated into the planning and development process, as well as contributing to avoidance or creative resolution of development conflicts.
Compact Building Design
Compact Building design refers to the act of constructing buildings vertically rather than horizontally, and configuring them on a block or neighborhood scale that makes efficient use of land and resources, and is consistent with neighborhood character and scale. Compact building design reduces the footprint of new construction, thus preserving greenspace to absorb and filter rain water, reduce flooding and stormwater drainage needs, and lower the amount of pollution washing into our streams, rivers and lakes. Compact building design is necessary to sustain transit ridership at levels necessary to make public transit a viable transportation option.
Direct Development Towards Existing Communities
Directing development to existing communities refers to the act of encouraging reinvestment and redevelopment of communities that possess previous investment of infrastructure and development. Directing development to existing communities strengthens the tax base, ensures a closer proximity of a range of jobs and services, increases the efficiency of already developed land and infrastructure, and reduces development pressure in edge areas, thereby preserving more open space, and, in some cases, strengthening rural communities.
Distinctive and Attractive Places
Distinctive and attractive places are regions, and towns, communities whose architectural and natural elements reflect the interests of all residents, reinforces and contribute to community cohesiveness. Such places set standards for development and construction that respond to community values of architectural beauty and distinctiveness, as well as expand choices in housing and transportation. Ultimately such places retain their economic vitality and value over time, in the process making an efficient use of infrastructure and natural resources.
Mix Land Uses
Mix land use refers to the act of putting differing land uses (residential and commercial, residential and business, etc) in close proximity to one another to foster alternatives to driving, such as walking or biking. Mixed land uses provides a more diverse and sizable population and commercial base for supporting viable public transit, and enhance the vitality and perceived security of an area by increasing the number of people on the street. Mixing land uses helps streets, public spaces and pedestrian-oriented retail again become places where people meet, attracting pedestrians back onto the street and helping to revitalize community life.
Predictable and Cost Effective Development Decisions
Predictable, Fair and Cost Effective Decisions refers to the act of removing barriers in regulatory process that inhibit the construction of pedestrian- oriented, compact, mixed-use development, and making public investment and infrastructure decisions that support such development activity. In doing so, governments create a fertile policy framework that frees the private market to provide pedestrian and transit friendly development.
Preserve Open Space and Farmland
Open space and farmland protection broadly refers to the act of protecting natural areas (habitat, farm and ranch land, places of natural beauty and critical environmental areas (e.g. wetlands)) from being converted to development, either through the acquisition of land or development rights, or removal of development pressure. Protection of open space provides fiscal benefits, prevents flood damage, provides a less expensive and natural alternative for providing clean drinking water, combating air pollution, attenuating noise, controlling wind, providing erosion control, and moderating temperatures.
Range of Housing Choices
Housing choice means providing households of all income levels with the ability to live in a home that meets their needs. This requires communities to promote housing of varying type (apartment, a rowhouse, or a traditional suburban) and cost, and locating them in proximity to places of work, services, and transportation. Expanded housing choice allows communities to mitigate the environmental costs of auto-dependent development, use their infrastructure resources more efficiently, ensure a better jobs-housing balance, and generate a strong foundation of support for neighborhood transit stops, commercial centers, and other services.
Variety of Transportation Choices
Transportation choice means providing residents with multiple, safe and connected options- driving, rail and bus transit, bicycling, walking - to get from one place to the other. Doing this effectively requires adopting development practices- mix land use, compact building design, etc- that support multiple travel choices, or modes. Providing choice ultimately enables regions and communities to move toward a less congested transportation system and cleaner air.
Walkable neighborhoods are places that locate within an easy and safe walk goods (such as housing, offices, and retail) and services (such as transportation, schools, libraries) that a community resident or employee needs on a regular basis. Walkable neighborhoods are characterized by mixed land uses, compact building, inviting pedestrian corridors, and a streetscape that better serves a range of users -- pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and automobiles. Walkable neighborhoods allow persons substitute walking, bicycling or other non-auto modes for short trips, thus contributing to reduced congestion and better air quality.