Smart Growth Technical Assistance Overview
Background on Grant
The Broward Regional Health Planning Council was awarded a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to create healthy and safe places in Broward County. CDC awarded 61 grants nationwide to create healthy and safe places. The Broward Regional Health Planning Council formed TOUCH, Transforming our Communities Health. TOUCH is a collaboration of 20 community organizations and 10 coalitions that has supported efforts to reduce health disparities and improve the health and well being of the residents of Broward County. Smart Growth Partnership was one of the community organizations involved in the TOUCH initiative. CDC selected 10 of the 61 grant initiatives for national evaluation and TOUCH was selected. All the work and initiatives developed and achieved in Broward County were documented on a National level.
The Smart Growth Partnership’s goal is to help each city in Broward County to be recognized as a Smart Growth Healthy City. The awarded grant provided technical services to local cities committed to implementing Smart Growth and Complete Street Policies. These policies create healthy, livable, walkable communities that are being embraced throughout the country.
Applications for technical assistance were distributed to each city in Broward County. Several cities responded and expressed a desire to implement smart growth policies by requesting technical assistance through the Smart Growth Partnership. Cities that applied for this assistance are:
Resolution Purpose and Request
The Smart Growth Partnership worked with city staff to present resolutions that support the principles for Smart Growth. The purpose for these resolutions is for the elected officials to support the technical assistance provided and for The Smart Growth Partnership to focus on cities that are committed to being a Smart Growth City. It was necessary for the technical assistance to be focused on cities that believe in the importance of this initiative.
Type of Technical Assistance
Smart Growth Partnership provided the following four services:
- Educating Staff & Community on Smart Growth & Complete Streets
This assistance involved presenting to local boards (advisory, commissions, planning) to educate on smart growth principles. It also included staff level training on understanding smart growth policies. The Smart Growth Partnership tailored this assistance for each city to meet its specific needs.
- Drafting Resolution to Support both Smart Growth & Complete Streets
The Smart Growth Partnership requested cities without resolutions in support of this initiative, adopt a resolution. The Smart Growth Partnership drafted a model ordinance and provided background information and an editable version of the resolution that could be tailored by each city.
- Audit of City Policies
The Smart Growth Partnership used a national audit tool, developed by Smart Growth America to evaluate each city’s existing policies (land development regulations). This audit tool identified the rules and regulations in each City that supported or blocked smart growth. It also showed the gaps in the regulations where a lack of standards may have been hindering smart growth development. The documents evaluated include the following:
- Zoning Code/Regulations
- Subdivision Regulations and Ordinances
- Overlay District Regulations
- Special Use District Regulations
This tool was not intended to “grade” a city’s performance; it was intended to identify areas for improvement. The major categories evaluated were transportation and land use. The two categories were:
1. Connectivity and Circulation
The goal was to provide a variety of transportation choices and to create walkable neighborhoods.
2. Land Subdivision, Zoning and Services
The goal of Mixed Land Uses was to create a range of housing types, strengthen and direct development towards existing communities, encourage compact building patterns, encourage community collaboration, foster distinctive attractive communities, and make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective.
Develop/Adopt Zoning Regulations
1. Policy refinements identified in the Audit of Policies assistance
The Smart Growth Partnership provided a list of recommended policy changes that support Smart Growth Policies from the Audit. If the City desires to make the identified modifications, Smart Growth Partnership can continue provide the needed text refinements for adoption consideration.
2. Developing new Zoning Regulations
Some cities have identified regulations that were in the drafting/development stage or identified the need to create a new zoning category to meet mixed use standards.
Click here to see a template of the Audit: Audit of Policies (PDF format)
The technical assistance for this service was specific to each city. Smart Growth Partnership can develop an entire ordinance with staff’s participation and assistance, review and make suggestions to improve staff and/or additional consultants drafting of smart growth policies. The Smart Growth Partnership will attend, present and or support staff during hearing/adoption phase as well.
For more information on how the Smart Growth Partnership can assist your city with encouraging smart growth principles contact firstname.lastname@example.org