Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - June 26, 2011

1. Gaylord and stock show project has some in Denver and Aurora taking sides - The Denver Post

Denver and Aurora are gearing up for a modern-day border war over the biggest deal to be announced in the region in a decade.

At issue is a planned Aurora hotel and theme park that could get the largest public subsidy the state has ever awarded, and the possible relocation of one of Denver's most beloved institutions — the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo.

It's a tale rife with all the drama of the Wild West, ...

"The challenge with regionalism is you can't create a doughnut. If we keep shipping our tax base and our cultural institutions to cities in the ring around us, there won't be anything left to support Denver itself," ... president of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association.

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown said the development proposal and resulting tension suggest a fracture in the mostly cooperative dealings among economic developers and business advocacy groups.

"It reveals that regionalism and intergovernmental cooperation look great on a bumper sticker or in a speech, but actually we're all territorial animals," he said.

Absent from the debate is Gov. John Hickenlooper, who during his eight years as Denver mayor touted regionalism as critical to the health of the city and surrounding communities. ...

2. East Side suburbs must consider police, fire, trash services; video: residents, businesses react |

Moreland Hills picks up trash once a week. Woodmere collects twice. Orange pays a garbage contractor. Pepper Pike ...

Trash -- perhaps the most regular, most visible chore municipal governments perform -- is something all residents worry about. And it's one of many issues the four East Side suburbs must study before asking voters to consider merging.

The communities' mayors announced Wednesday they are studying a merger in the most significant step toward regionalism Cuyahoga County has ever seen. Now comes the tough stuff: comparing police staffing, mapping fire coverage, negotiating tax rates and compromising on employee benefits.

The suburbs were once part of Orange Township. Now, they share schools and recreation programs. The villages of Moreland Hills, Orange and Woodmere collaborate for dispatch services, and all four communities contract for income tax collection.

But integrating the four into one city of 13,500 residents and 18 square miles? That's a daunting proposition.

3. After the quake: old new town solution for new overspill problem - Cities Matter

Our vision

The long-term shape of Auckland could be a 100 km-long 'city'.  It would retain one clear major centre – a green CBD – but there could be a dozen secondary city centres. They would lie from north to south – like pearls on the chain – along a natural central spine.  They would be urban in appearance.  They would be separated by the greens of farmland, town belts, and parks, but well connected by private and public transport.

This alternative vision builds on reality: Aucklanders live on an isthmus and that shapes our choices.  (Some live on an isthmus within an isthmus).  The completion of the western ring motorway and planned investment in the rail – if it happens -- will only reinforce the north-south development of the city, its region, and its hinterland. It is hard to imagine planning policies that could force change on this natural geography without compounding congestion and costs.We can have a future in which settlements of various sizes (towns, villages, ...

4. Bencini Balks At Board’s Rush To Summer - re: Piedmont Triad Council of Governments (PTCOG)

... Bencini, who's been a major backer of regionalism, and of the county's participation in the PTCOG, still had a number of questions.
Bencini said publicly in the days before the meeting that he'd heard from some sources there were other duties the county would have to either contract for or hire additional county staff to handle if the county were not a member of PTCOG.

Bencini asked if Guilford County would need to hire any additional staff to take over other duties formally performed by COG.

"We should not have to contract anything else," Fox said.

Commissioner Kay Cashion asked county staff if the county's membership was still a possibility at some point in the future.

"The door is still open," Fox said.

Gibson said he didn't support the motion to contract out the service for $52,000 instead of joining the organization the county had been a member of for 40 years.

"We talk big talk about regionalism and working with other governments in this area," Gibson said.

He said it seemed now like all of that was just lip service, since the county was no longer going to be a member the group.
"I think that's the wrong thing to do," Gibson said.

Bencini and Gibson couldn't find any support on the board, which voted to pay the COG $52,000 to administer the grants as a service for non-members.


More links: