Questions and Answers About Vision Council
Discourse on the Vision Council
ACTING AS ONE
In 1950 the typical family in the Kalamazoo area had an annual income of $39605.
By 1990 the typical family's income had risen to $389397.
Kalamazoo area real income growth (adjusted for inflation) = 113%
National metro area real income growth (adjusted for inflation) = 128%0
New economic rules: (per Jim Gollup)
Regional collaboration = regional advantage = competitive industry clusters = regional prosperity in growing global economy
Fragmented regions = fragmented societies
Michigan's fragmented public institutions:
1,859 total (7th greatest number)
587 school districts (8th greatest number)
Michigan is a "small box" state governmentally.
Michigan's society is highly fragmented (as measured by 11 metro areas)
Housing segregation index 70 (worst)
School segregation index 75 (worst)
City/suburb income ratio 75% (3rd worst)
City "fair share of poverty index" 202 (4th worst)
Michigan is a "small box" society.
Kalamazoo region illustrates the two major factors that have defined urban growth patterns in America's metro areas:
From 1960-90 the Kalamazoo region had a modest rate of population growth and high rate of land development,
In 1960, Kalamazoo urbanized area contained 117,000 residents in 42 square miles of urbanized land.
By 1990 Kalamazoo urbanized area contained 164,000 residents in 85 square miles of urbanized land.
Urbanized population grew 40% while urbanized land grew 102%.
Urban sprawl consumed land 2 1/2 times as fast as growth rate of urbanized population.
Area residents increased per capita consumption of land by 44%.
The First Rule of Urban Sprawl:
The greater the rate of sprawl (relative to population growth), the greater the rate of abandonment of core communities (i.e. central cities and many older suburbs).
The Second Rule of Urban Sprawl:
The greater the imbalance between new households and new housing, the faster older housing is made economically obsolete.
A city's traditional defense against abandonment is to be elastic" through annexing new development or consolidating with suburban areas.
Moreover, decline is not limited to City of Kalamazoo.
Many older suburbs, especially as they become built-out, are in relative decline as ungoverned sprawl continues to develop "greenfields" communities on the regions' edges.
"Today's winners become tomorrow's losers."
The Key to Regional Political
Coalition: Central Cities and Declining Suburbs*
Local governments, in theory, have authority to act on
1) regional growth management,
Local governments almost never negotiate voluntary compacts on such tough issues in Michigan or anywhere else.
WHERE MAJOR REFORMS HAVE OCCURRED, STATE LEGISLATURES MADE IT HAPPEN.
Central issue is not legal but political.
How can a sufficiently broad-based coalition of interests be organized to secure from Michigan legislature regional reform laws addressing urban sprawl and its negative effect on:
1. older communities (central city and
Components of successful coalitions elsewhere
environmentalists (e.g. 1,000 Friends)
agricultural groups (e.g. Farm Bureau)
central city officials declining suburb officials taxpayer groups in declining areas chambers of commerce religious coalitions and leaders public transportation advocates neo-traditional architects/planners fair share housing advocates inner-city activists (e.g. community development corporations)
Controlling Urban-Sprawl through Growth Management
1. Comprehensive land use planning
2. Coordinated transportation planning
3. Coordinated utilities/other
4. Areawide farmland/open space
Voluntary Comprehensive Land Use Planning
Best practices: Lancaster County, PA (since 1993)
Approach: vigorous county planning commission coordinates municipally-adopted plans
Progress: 22 townships adopted UGBs; boroughs adopted density targets; most rural townships drew Village Growth Boundaries (VGBs)
1980s (pre-UGBs): county +60,000
people: +77 sq. mi.
1995-2015: county: +120,000 people; + 35 sq. mi,
Statutory Comprehensive Land Use Planning
Best practices: state of Oregon/Portland region
Approach: directly-elected regional government (Metro) develops overall plan with citizens, 3 counties, 24 munis; plan must meet state goals; municipalities must conform but administer local planning and zoning decisions
Progress: UGB in effect since 1979
1980s: urbanized area: +14% population, +11% land
1995-2040: urbanized area: +50% population, +8% land (maximum)
is Urban Growth Boundary?
1. UGB drawn for urban area
a. must accommodate 20 years of projected growth
1. clear designation of residential, commercial, industrial land to develop
2. specific plans for water, sewer, roads, etc.
3. speedy, controversy-free, local approvals
b. "urban growth reserve"' areas designated outside UGB for future study (years 20-50)
2. Outside UGB, land reserved for
a. exclusive farm use exclusive forest use recreation and wilderness lands
b. no zoning for urban development permitted
c., no water, sewer, urban roads, etc.
Eight Reasons To Like Urban Growth Boundaries
1. Pro-industry: within UGBs, Oregon law guarantees new industries controversy-free, fast -track processing of all plans and state and local permits.
evidence: $13 billion in high tech investment in 1996
2. Pro-farming: outside UGBs, farmers buy new land at farmland, not potential sub-division, prices
evidence: Oregon Farm Bureau strong supporter of state law
3. Pro-redevelopment: by refocusing growth inward, UGBs promotes reinvestment in older communities.
evidence: Portland's Albina area: 1991: $1.4 billion; 1996: $2.6 billion
4. Pro-taxpayer: Higher density development saves taxpayer dollars for new roads, water and sewer lines, schools, fire stations, and other public facilities.
evidence: public facilities, services for mixed use residential sub-division are half cost for convention subdivision
5. Pro-homebuyer: smaller lot sizes reduce housing prices through lower land costs and development fees.
evidence: UGB & Housing Rule reduced lot size by 1/3, helped Portland maintain most affordable housing on West Coast (1990: 96)
6. Pro-environment: UGBs protect natural areas, Oregon's farmland.
evidence: Oregon's "exclusive farming use" zoning protects more farms than all farms covered by conservation easements in Eastern USA
7. Pro-energy conservation: controlling sprawl, UGBs reduce automobile dependence and gasoline consumption, promote public transportation
example: in 1995 bond issue for $445 million approved by tri-county voters for light rail system expansion
8. Pro-property rights: UGBs limit land speculation and overbuilding, protect existing residential and commercial property owners' investment
example: metro Portland's political math major land owners: 100's current home owners: 243,000
one result: Oregon voters rejected repeal of state land use law three times
Kalamazoo area's political math major land owners: dozens current home owners: 43,000
Montgomery County, MD has the nation's most comprehensive, anti-poverty housing strategy.
Montgomery County in 1970:
Montgomery County in 1990
The key has been county's Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit policy (MPDU),
Adopted as county ordinance in 1973 (governs 88% of county area)
Requires any housing development of 50+ units (homes, townhouses, apartments) to be
Builders get up to 22% density bonus.
Results after 24 years:
1. 10,000 units of moderate income homes, townhouses, and apartments in high-cost market.
2. County housing authority owns over 1,100 scattered site individual units for "deep-subsidy" families.
a. so scattered that housing authority pays annual dues to over 150 homeowner associations in Montgomery County.
b. 2-6% assisted housing in 16 of 18 planning areas.
3. Resale values appreciated more in MPDU-developments (13%/yr) than in non-MPDU developments (10%/yr.)
What if MPDU policy had been in effect in Kalamazoo County from 1970-90?
From 1970-90 there were 33,634 housing units built in Kalamazoo County.
An MPDU-type policy would have yielded a. about 1,700 "affordable" units, and b. about 850 " deep-subsidy" units primarily in new neighborhoods.
Twin Cities Fiscal Disparities Plan
1. Mandated by Minnesota Legislature in 1971; effective in 1975
2. Covers 187 cities, villages, and townships in 7 counties plus more than 100 schools districts, special districts, etc,
3. Sets 1971 property tax valuation as base.
4. Requires that 40% of increase in commercial and industrial property tax valuation goes into regional pool (i.e. 60% remains with local jurisdiction)
5. Pool redistributed annually by formula based on population and tax capacity
Results by 1995:
1. Pool has grown to $241 million (27% of region's total commercial/industrial property tax collections.
2. 140 net recipients (Minneapolis, St. Paul, blue collar suburbs, rural townships).
3. 47 net contributors (suburban beltway boomers like Bloomington, Eden Prairie).
4. adaptable to changing dynamics - e.g. Minneapolis moved from net recipient (1971) to net contributor (1991) to net recipient again (1995) due to boom and bust of downtown office market
5. 4:1 ratio between richest and poorest community; without pool, 17:1 ratio.