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Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Reasons for Change
P2 Opportunities
All Community Growth links
Only P2 Opportunities links

Essential Links:

LUTRAQ Reports
A listing of eleven on-line, technical reports documenting its creation of a plan for community grow...

Sample Codes and Ordinances
Model codes and ordinances other communities have used to implement sustainable development.

The Energy Yardstick: Using PLACE3S to Create Sust...
PLACES3S is an urban planning method designed to help communities discern an effective path toward s...

Smart Growth Policy Database
This database highlights numerous policies and programs that states and localities nationwide have i...

Community Growth: P2 Opportunities
P2 and Sustainable Community Development: P2 Options The roots of sprawl and inefficient growth in large cities lie largely in decisions dating back to when they were small towns. To address rapid growth effectively, municipalities and all stakeholders must first build a common, accurate understanding of the problem. This step requires thorough consideration of what defines the community and its various members, which interests are critical to the effort's success, and how they might be engaged. Once communication among diverse community members is established, they can begin to discuss their perceptions of the problem. At this early stage, it may be necessary to sort through the facts and beliefs underlying various perceptions, ultimately developing a shared understanding of the community's situation (Source: Growth Management Toolkit).

Preventing pollution caused by sprawl can be achieved by:

  • Protecting open spaces where development is undesireable
  • Concentrating growth in desirabe low-impact living areas
  • Increasing efficiency of resource use

Protecting Open Spaces

Land protection mechanisms include:

  • land purchases
  • differential taxation programs
  • conservation easements
  • transfer and purchase of development rights
  • right-to-farm laws
  • exclusive use zoning
  • critical area protection programs
  • minimum setback zones (for construction near wells)
  • riparian buffers
  • high density urban development

Actions taken:

  • President Bush asked to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which directs money from off-shore drilling revenues to the nation's parklands (http://www.nps.gov/lwcf/)
  • Park City, Utah, approved a $10 million land preservation bond with 77% support, to allow the local government to raise sales taxes for green space protection and developer incentives.
  • Former Vice-President Gore developed a livability agenda while in office, part of which proposed $9.5 million in bond authority for investments by state and local governments for preserving green space, creating or restoring urban parks, protecting water quality, and cleaning up brownfields (http://www.smartgrowth.org/library/gore_intro.html)
  • Ventura, California, passed legislation forbidding the county to rezone land for development without vote approval (http://www.thetribunenews.com/stories0500/36267.htm).

Concentrating Growth

Concentrating growth allows many benefits in terms of reducing vehicle miles traveled and the pollution generated by that activity. Numerous approaches to limiting the amount of time and money invested in driving fall into two camps:

  • increasing the supply of alternatives
  • decreasing the demand or the need to drive.

Actions taken:

  • A new light-rail line in Littleton and Englewood, Colorado, has led to an increase in property values and development of a new pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use City Center
  • The 50-year land use and transportation plan adopted by Portland Metro incorporates "transit-oriented" community design policies (http://www.metro-region.org/pssp.cfm?ProgServID=3)

The collective decisions of residents, government and businesses about where and how to build have a tremendous impact on the character of communities. Often the best choices involving revitalizing older central city areas to make more efficient use of the space. Decisions to eliminate or revamp older buildings to eliminate health risks and improve operating efficiency are also important. It can be a complex undertaking. Tools available include:

  • incentives to reinvest in existing communities and already-developed areas
  • encouraged infill developmemt
  • brownfield redevelopment
  • housing policies that encourage mixed-income housing and down-town investments
  • zoning that encourages mixed uses
  • infrastructure subsidies where growth is desired

Actions taken:

Increasing Efficiency

Infrastructure (roads, stormwater and sewer systems, water systems, schools, etc.) can be developed in ways that help prevent pollution and save money for municipalities. Options sensitive to the costs associated with infratructure include:

  • Impact fees on developers to help defray infrastructure costs
  • Incentives for developers who incorporate managed growth into their plans and projects
  • Pooling resources among communities, perhaps building one large sewage treatment plant for both
  • Supporting brownfields legislation that encourages the reuse of existing development and infrastructure
  • Establishing guidelines for the water use and chemical applications on new golf courses
  • Promoting green buildings
  • Encouraging government buildings to utilize recycled components, solar energy, water-efficient fixtures, etc.
  • Clustered development or high density urban level development

Actions taken:

Many model industrial and residential communities are demonstrating the feasibility of tackling multiple pollution prevention and community growth issues at once. Highlighting numerous efficient design features in one community--such as energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient plumbing, services within walking distance, and xeriscaping (landscaping with plants requiring minimal water)--not only conserves resources, but provides an invaluable educational and awareness tool.
Hub Last Updated: 08/20/2003

The P2Rx Topic Hub Project was developed by:
The Community Growth Topic Hub was developed by:
Peaks to Prairies
Peaks to Prairies
Contact Laura Estes (Peaks)
406-994-3451 or laurae@montana.edu