Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Parkway & Regional Planning

The American River Parkway, as a natural resource of great importance to the entire region, has long needed regional planning expertise.

That however, has not been available, and with the bad luck our region has had with regional planning, here is an interesting concept in an article on regional planning from Planetizen: The Planning & Development Network.

Privatization: The Future of Regional Planning
United States Op-Ed Urban Development & Real Estate
17 October, 2005 - 7:00am
Author: David Renkert

Can property owners succeed where regional planners have failed? David Renkert argues that private property owners are in the best position to create, implement, and manage land use regionally, which could evolve the role of planners into liaisons between empowered property owners and the greater public.

Privatization: The Future of Regional Planning

Regional plans have basic flaws that prevent successful implementation. In most states, plans have little to no legal force, they can be relatively easily changed, and they must be implemented parcel-by-parcel, project-by-project. Add on top of that the fact that these plans, whose lifespan could be measured in decades, are supposed to weather political change and roller coaster funding cycles, and you can be nearly assured of their failure.

When was the last time you saw a property owner involved in a planning meeting that didn't specifically address the owner and the owner's property? The public, property owners in particular, have grown apathetic to planning. They know that a few years down the road "something" will change and any decision made today will simply be decided again later.

The lack of certainty and predictability regional plans offer is driving many property owners to find their own solutions. People today are educated and empowered as never before. Anyone with internet access can find and communicate information about issues that affect them. Satellite imagery and simple GIS capabilities are now available to nearly everyone with the ability to push a button.

In suburban Washington, D.C., property owners are forming groups to sell en masse to developers attracted to redevelopment opportunities. Not far from Atlanta, property owners created their own land use plan covering over 43,000 acres. Outside of Chicago, farmers pursue specific plans together to ease acquisition of development entitlements. Landowners and land trusts around the country are working together to protect open space and critical natural habitats and resources privately

For the rest of the article: