Politico Magazine recently featured a report on Seattle and the investment the state, city and region around Washington state’s largest city has made in mass transit alternatives. As the article notes, Seattle hasn’t banished cars, nor is it seeking to do so. Instead, it is seeking to create a balanced, multimodal system that can accommodate all forms of transportation. The transitions happening in Seattle can serve as an example for cities across Ohio.
The enactment of the so-called Affordable Homebuilding and Housing Act will subsidize unnecessary urban and suburban sprawl and fuel economically and environmentally unsustainable development across the state of Ohio. At a time when the state has an abundant supply of available housing and the lowest rate of population growth in thirty years, it simply does not make sense to incentivize this dangerous build-up at the expense of local governments. It is for this reason that GOPC opposes these provisions and is urging lawmakers to reject this cookie-cutter policy and leave such decisions up to local policy makers.
GOPC Executive Director, Alison Goebel, met with staff for Congressman Tiberi and Congressman Turner to urge them to maintain critical community revitalization programs in the forthcoming federal budget. Goebel was one of thirty leaders participating in a Hill Day for smart growth groups from around the country.
Programs that have been critical to the stabilization and revitalization of Ohio’s small and large communities are under threat, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG) and HOME dollars, which support everything from greening programs to affordable housing preservation. TIGER grants, the funding source for a number of innovative transportation projects that make Ohio’s communities more attractive and competitive, are also under threat.
Staff in Congressman Tiberi’s office and Congressman Turner’s office both acknowledged the importance of these programs to their districts and the entire state of Ohio.
With more than 45 congressional visits scheduled, GOPC and its peer organizations are hopeful that these invaluable programs remain in place moving forward.
Smart Growth America recently released a new report titled “Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development,” which discusses the economic benefits of smart growth as opposed to traditional development patterns. According to SGA, it is the first to determine a national average for how much communities can expect to save through the use of smart growth strategies.
The report analyzes 17 case study areas, comparing development scenarios within each. The first scenario, “smart growth development,” is characterized by more efficient use of land; a mixture of homes, businesses and services located close together; and better connections between streets and neighborhoods. The second scenario, “conventional suburban development,” is characterized by less efficient use of land with homes, schools and businesses separated and areas designed primarily for driving.
Their findings include the following:
- Smart growth development costs one-third less for upfront infrastructure.
- Smart growth development saves an average of 10 percent of the costs for ongoing delivery of services.
- Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development
Ohio has seen an increase in the adoption of smart growth policies, including most recently in Piqua. GOPC continues to address the need for more smart growth policies throughout the state.