From Mandate to Smart Growth: The Evolution of Growth

From Mandate to Smart Growth:
The Evolution of Growth
Management in the United States
Jesse J. Richardson, Jr.
Department of Urban Affairs and Planning
Virginia Tech
Regional Research Institute Seminar Series
West Virginia University
1 March 2002
• Types of Contemporary Growth Management
– Adequate public facilities requirements
• Manage growth by (1) ensuring availability of public
services; (2) affects location of development through
– Growth phasing programs
• Regulates the location and timing of new development,
based primarily on the availability of public facilities
– Urban growth boundaries
• Line drawn around a city to define the limits of urban
• Rate-of-growth programs
• Hawaii (1961)
state plan
unique in many ways
some dissatisfaction with limited local role
state land use commission decides boundaries of
urban, rural, agricultural and conservation land
– low vacancy rates, high land prices- cause?
• Vermont (1970)
state permitting process for large-scale development
nine regional commissions
statewide goals
permits must be consistent with statewide goals and local plans and
capital programs
failed to produce statewide land use plan
in 1988, they tried again with statewide goals and required local
plan consistency
incentives for local govts to participate: financial assistance, impact
fees, state agency compliance
lots of opposition to 2nd effort;
third try watered legislation
down further
• Oregon (1973)
– Nineteen state goals
– Local comprehensive plans and implementing ordinances must
further these state goals
• Urban Growth Boundaries
– Designed to have enough
buildable land for all housing
needs for next 20 years
– Extensive studies must be done:
population, etc.
– Reviewed every 5 years and
adjusted, if necessary
– High densities mandated
• Exclusive Farm Use Zones
– Large lot zoning required
– Very few uses allowed besides farming
– Residences must be related to farm unless
exceptions process applied
• land conservation and development commission
state-wide planning goals
local govts must adopt comp plans that are (i)
coordinated with each other; and, (ii) in
compliance with state goals
primary objectives: contain urban sprawl and
preserve forests and farmlands
urban growth boundaries
• Florida (1975)
– local govts must prepare
comp plans
– state comp plan
– local govts must adopt
land use maps with
measurable goals, objectives and policies
– comp plans must be consistent with state goals (risk
of losing state funds)
– local govts must develop ordinances that implement
and are consistent with comp plan
– concurrency: cannot grant land development permit
unless public facilities will concurrently be available to
meet the needs of that development
• New Jersey (1985)
– state development and redevelopment plan
– cross acceptance: the comparing of planning
policies among govtl levels to achieve
compatibility between local, county and state
– counties act as coordinating bodies between
municipalities and state planning commission
– growth directed to urban areas and compact
areas in rural and
environmentally sensitive
• Maine (1988)
– 10 statewide GM goals
– all municipalities must adopt comp plans
consistent with these goals by 1996
– voluntary certification process- impact
fees and state funds
– invalidation of zoning ordinance if
no new comp plan
• Washington (1990/1991)
– applies only to certain growth counties
– counties must coordinate plans with
constituent cities
– regional hearing boards for compliance
• Maryland (1998)
– “Smart growth”: Beginning October 1, 1998, the state
will not providing funding for "growth related projects"
except in "Priority Funding Areas" (PFAs)
• Priority Funding Areas:
– Generally, already developed
– Water and sewer a key
– Local governments designate
PFAs, subject to criteria set out
by the state
• Rural Legacy Program
– "…to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry,
and environmental protection … while maintaining the
viability of resource-based land usage and proper
management of tillable and wooded areas through
accepted agricultural and silvicultural practices for farm
production and timber harvests"
– State provides funding for purchase of development
rights, etc.
– Agricultural production (along with forestry and
"natural resources") is one of eight criteria considered
• 5 C’s of Growth Management
– Comprehensive plan
– Consistency
• plan and implementing regulations
• internal
• intergovernmental
– Concurrency
– Coordination
– Cooperation
• Growth management is moving toward
incentives and away from mandates
Mandates are not generally effective Incentives
may be more economically efficient and more
The market has a huge impact on growth
management and should be considered in any
smart growth efforts