Regional Community Development News - June 8 & 9, 2011

1. Sanders: With cooperation and collaboration, region’s economy moving ahead - Independence, MO - The Examiner

... Our goal was to inform and help build consensus around the many exciting initiatives that are currently ongoing in Jackson County. ...

Equally important during our time spent together was the need to convey a message of regional collaboration. Whether it is in my office in Jackson County, the mayor’s office in one of our local communities or the statehouse in Jefferson City, solutions to our economic problems must come with a multipronged approach. In the new world economy, regional collaboration is more essential than ever.

We all must realize that what is good for one city is equally fruitful for a neighboring community. What is good for a host of cities is good for an entire county, and what is good for a county is good for both sides of the state line. Competition is healthy, but consensus is necessary if we are going to be able to compete regionally in the future.
In Jackson County, we have ushered in a new era of collaboration that will continue to work for all of our citizens. ...

2. Editorial: County's municipalities should focus on regional cooperation - St. Louis Today


Perhaps Kinloch could be the first domino to fall that would help break down the parochial walls that have been dividing the St. Louis region for decades. The question to ask now is: Would St. Louis County be better off with one fewer municipality? Or two? Or three? Or 50?

The fact that there is a stand-alone city of 319,294 people next door to the county's patchwork of 91 municipalities is the No. 1 obstacle to regional growth. With each city fighting for its own interests, ..., the overall region loses even as one municipality or another wins here and there.

Yet another example of that division happened during the most recent Missouri legislative session. The mall-rich cities of Fenton and Chesterfield sought unsuccessfully to change the system by which city governments share St. Louis County's 1 cent sales tax.
Getting rid of the sales tax sharing pool isn't the answer. But using it to make governments more efficient could be a step to smarter regional governance.

3. Hosting mega sporting-events speeds up regional economic development: PwC – Daily Commercial News

According to a new report from PwC, investing in infrastructure required for mega-events like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup™ can accelerate economic development in some host countries and regions by as much as three decades.

An economic and social impact report by PwC a year after the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, showed Games-related venue construction estimated at more than $1.22 billion, not including the new Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada Line rapid transit project, or the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion between Vancouver and Whistler. Incremental employment from Games-related activities was estimated at 45,500 person years of employment in BC and Canada. As Toronto gears up to host the Pan Am Games in 2015, some are wondering if these games will result in similar benefits in Ontario.

According to the report, success in hosting a mega-event is partly determined by the supporting infrastructure required for both athletes and spectators.

4. Project Milwaukee: How Land Use is Planned - WUWM: News

This week on WUWM, we’re exploring the development of a regional corridor from Milwaukee to Chicago. Economic developers insist that regions will be the major player in the new global marketplace, and that ours, around the southern part of Lake Michigan, could be part of that elite group.
Ken Yunker is the executive director of SEWRPC, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. It works with communities on land preservation and development, attempting to balance competing interests.
Every community’s goal in the corridor should be to create an influential region, according to Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik.

Jursik has organized a group of local planners that meets four times a year to discuss land use and other issues impacting the region. Ideally, she hopes communities in southeastern Wisconsin develop common goals for preserving the region’s farmland and natural resources, while also accommodating its economic growth.

5. Vereb decries 'Hoeffel Tolling Plan' for Route 422; legislators weigh in -

Against the backdrop of the bustling Route 422, a handful of legislators voiced opposition to what they called the “Hoeffel Tolling Plan,” a proposal to implement tolls along the highway corridor, ...

State Rep. Mike Vereb (R-150th of Montgomery County), joined by a number of fellow lawmakers, chided the plan to levy tolls on a 25-mile stretch of Route 422, from King of Prussia to Pottstown. The proposal was unveiled Monday before the governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission and presented to Montgomery County Commissioners Wednesday by representatives of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC).

Tom Quigley (R-146th of Montgomery County) ... “One of the most concerning things to me is that the DVRPC is asking the (transportation) commission to recommend to the legislature enabling legislation that would allow Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties to form authority to oversee this tolling project,” ...

6. Fairgrounds a cut above - Estes Park Trail-Gazette

The Town of Estes Park ... celebration for the new park-n-ride at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park ...

Town administrator Jacquie Halburnt noted the convenience of the lot for visitors.

"Signage along U.S. 36 will encourage visitors to park at the Fairgrounds park-n-ride and hop on a shuttle connecting to more than 40 stops around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park," said Halburnt.

She explained that while the town expects the lot to take a few years to gain popularity, there should be some reduction in traffic congestion right away. The parking lot consists of 408 paved parking spaces ...

The town received three grants totaling $1,158,750 for the project. Matching the grant funding, the town invested $250,000 toward the project from the community reinvestment fund. The Upper Front Range Regional Planning Commission awarded the town two Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program grants totaling $913,000. ...

7. Leaders discuss regionalism - WDTN - DAYTON, Ohio

Talk of combining 26 communities into one metro-government took another step forward as the University of Dayton hosted a daylong discussion on regionalism ... Montgomery County Commissioner and regional advocate, Dan Foley.

"We're well intentioned people," Foley said. "But we tend to fight against each other because of the very nature and the very structure of our government."

Former Ohio governor Bob Taft told the group that changes would have to come from Columbus.

"It's not that tough to go to Columbus and get a law changed," he said. "But there can't be disagreement. Everybody's got to be on board."

Keynote speaker Mike Shea ... said it transformed Lousville and helped that region weather this latest economic downturn.

Sheas said, "our economic development profile has been raised. We went from being something like the 56th largest city to the 16th largest city in the country."

Shea believes the same thing could happen in Dayton.

8. Representative Becker's regionalism bill passes legislature -

The State Senate has unanimously passed a bill, authored by State Representative Brian Becker (D-19th District), which makes it easier for cities and towns to collaborate on municipal functions to save money. The bill has garnered widespread appeal from state and municipal officials and now heads to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.

The bill gives towns more flexibility in negotiating interlocal agreements and eliminates certain procedural hurdles that municipalities have to meet before entering into those agreements. The bill also allows the legislative bodies of such municipalities to delegate their authority to approve an interlocal agreement to the board of selectmen.

Once the bill is signed into law by the Governor, it will become effective October 1, 2011, with the exception that the repeal of required provisions in interlocal agreements is effective upon passage.

9. Bay of Plenty Regional Council Considers Annual Plan Projects (New Zealand) - Dredging Today

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has included a number of funding requests to its Annual Plan budget and referred others to its Ten Year Plan process for further consideration following public deliberations this week.

The Council has agreed to fund a one-off $600,000 amount from reserves to cover the additional cost of local authority insurance premiums as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes and following flood damage to the region’s river schemes during the past year. The funding will relieve the rates burden on flood scheme targeted rates and the general rate.

An additional $2.3 million loan for capital works on the region’s major river schemes was agreed to cover additional works as a result of flooding. ...

10. Transit tax lacks Orange board's support | plan, county, commissioners - Burlington Times News

The Orange County Board of Commissioners put the brakes on a plan to participate in the building of a regional light rail system, increase bus service and make street changes for bus rapid transit.

The commissioners voted ... against putting a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot to fund a portion of the transportation plan that would include increasing bus routes in rural areas of Orange County, installing a light rail system that would run from Chapel Hill to Durham and putting in bus lanes on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.

They also declined to vote on or "approve in principle" a multimillion-dollar financial plan to fund the projects because some of the commissioners said they don't know enough about the financial plan to make a decision.

Commissioner Alice Gordon, who has been a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Triangle Transit Authority, ... wasn't about to give up on the plan. ...

11. Higher Administrative Court (VGH): wind-energy company may contest determination of priority area - Lexology

The Hessian Higher Administrative Court ("VGH") strengthened the rights of wind-energy companies ... awarded them a right of their own to contest determinations of priority areas in regional plans themselves subject to certain requirements.

...a company had applied for the permit under immission-control law for the construction and operation of wind-energy power plants. No priority area had been designated in the Regional Plan of North Hesse 2009 in the area of the proposal. The Regional Plan stipulated that the planning and construction of wind-energy power plants relevant to regional planning was not permissible outside of priority areas for wind-energy use. ...

The Higher Administrative Court stated ... A Regional Plan determining priority areas for wind-energy use with a preclusive effect for another place within the planning area was required to be based on a conclusive planning concept for the entire region which was sufficiently comprehensible and documented. ...

12. Mega-project proposed for Hobe Sound promises jobs, tax income -

... developer Otto "Buzz" DiVosta's proposed 4,000-home community, envisioned as a high tech hub west of Hobe Sound, is being sold as a 20-year job and revenue creator that will employ 3,240 by 2018.

The application for the Harmony Development of Regional Impact, proposed for 2,700 acres of agricultural land west of Florida's Turnpike along Bridge Road, was filed June 3 with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

Michael Busha, executive director of the council, said his staff will make a presentation about the Harmony application on June 17 to give council members — comprised of government officials from Lake Worth to Sebastian — a chance to talk about the project.

The council staff has a month to determine whether the application ... meet state requirements ...

Once ... met, the planning council has about two months to present recommendations to Martin County, which has primary responsibility for holding public hearings and deciding whether to approve the project.

13. Certified Homes Outperform Non-Certified Homes for Fourth Year in Portland Metro Region - PR Newswire -

Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource, announced the results of its annual certified home analysis in the Portland metropolitan region for the 2010 to 2011 year. The study is part of the organization's research efforts that include gathering data on green building valuation.

Existing homes with a sustainable certification sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to sales data provided by the Portland Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) to Earth Advantage Institute. This finding is based on the sale of existing homes between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011 in Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, and Washington Counties in Oregon, and Clark County in Washington.

This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with a third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified.

14. Organization links -Mid-Continent Regional Science Association presentations - Detroit

Data Driven Detroit - Kurt Metzger, Director

The Center for Community Progress - Dan Kildee, Founder & President

Greening Michigan Institute, Michigan State University - Rick Foster, Director

More bookmarks:

Regional Communities - "Think Local Planet, Act Regionally."