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Smart Growth Movement.
Forwarded by Tony Siebenthaler   6 August 2007

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Phoenix Prepares to Align Bus Services with New Light Rail

With the $1.4 billion, 20-mile light-rail line from downtown Phoenix southeast to Tempe, Mesa and Chandler scheduled to open in December 2008, most restaurateurs along its first partly completed 8-mile section saw their business pick up in the past few weeks, though less than they would wish, and the three cities advanced their plans to match local bus services with prospective light-rail stations and schedules and to spur ridership by investing in several park-and-ride lots.

Proposed Indianapolis Green Redevelopment Would Avoid Sprawl by Going Up

In exemplary outreach to neighborhood groups and the Indianapolis Arts Council ahead of seeking the Metropolitan Development Commission's approval for his green, mixed-use redevelopment at the city's Far Northside, Premier Properties USA CEO Chris White earned "a nod" from the smart-growth Nora-Northside Community Council, which voted to sent the commission a letter of support for the 50-acre high-density project.

$7.9 Million Needed to Meet Bay State Smart Growth Housing Fund Obligations

Set up by state lawmakers in 2004 to help municipalities create smart growth districts near transit and reward them for related residential construction, the Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund has only $1.3 million left and would face a $7.9 million deficit if the 16 communities on its "owe" list asked for the money now, wrote Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Secretary Daniel O'Connell to budget committee leaders in both chambers, asking for quick approval of $15 million requested by Governor Deval Patrick to replenish the fund.

St. Paul Bond Fund Would Raise $25 Million for "Smart" Capital Reinvestment

Building upon his predecessor Randy Kelly's 5,000-unit housing expansion plan and continuing the 2005-2006 Residential Street Vitality Program, with its enhanced sidewalk restoration, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman won the City Council's approval for his own Invest Saint Paul initiative to raise $25 million in bonds for "smart" capital reinvestment, mainly in four neighborhoods "challenged by economic and social downturn."

New State Law Streamlines Montana Subdivision Reviews

They often disagree, but this time Montana Smart Growth Coalition Executive Director Tim Davis and Montana Association of Realtors Government Affairs Director Glenn Oppel have joined forces on a new state law that allows cities and counties that already manage growth and protect the environment to expedite reviews for subdivisions in residential zones near city limits, with public input taken just before the final votes on these projects.

Chautauqua County Comprehensive Plan Embraces Smart Growth

"Initiating Smart Growth in Chautauqua County will be the first step toward creating communities that are easily accessible, dotted with parks and natural beauty, while keeping with the historic and classic style of our cities and villages," announced County Executive Greg Edwards, saying his administration has been working for the past 19 months on a comprehensive plan to ensure the full development potential of the county's two cities, 27 towns, manufacturing industry, agriculture and commerce without urban sprawl.

Editorial: Measure 49 Will Bring Balance to Oregon's Property-Rights Law

Poorly written yet pushed through by the Oregonians in Action (OIA) property rights group three years ago "as a way to allow small property owners to build a few houses if the law allowed it when their property was purchased," Measure 37 "has opened the floodgates to large-scale development that could not only lead to the destruction of our cherished and natural coastline, but it could destroy the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, protected forests and valuable farmland, if left unchecked," writes Hillsboro Argus Editor Gary Stutzman, urging voters to fix it in November with Measure 49.

Group Files Suit to Block Ballot Title of Oregon's Measure 49
With Oregon's 2004 compensate-land-value-loss-or-waive-regulations Measure 37 facing a November referendum on eliminating its excesses through Measure 49, called by the Oregonians in Action (OIA) property-rights group "the result of a partisan effort by Governor Kulongoski to appease the extreme environmental left of the Democratic party," three property owners and a political action committee have filed federal suit to block the ballot title as unconstitutional.

Rural Summit Speaker Says Greater Public Understanding Needed on Wilderness Designation

"You ask people what a wilderness designation is and they will likely tell you that it is about preservation, but (they) don't know that it also is about limited access," said former California Republican Congressman and House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Richard Pombo at the 20th annual Utah Rural Summit in Cedar City, stressing the need to mobilize locally, educate the public on the issue, and elect leaders who will tackle it on the national level.

"We need to take a look at our local communities and think of what is important for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren."
-- Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards

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