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Thread: Growth boundaries

  1. #1
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    Growth boundaries

    I am doing a report for my urban policy class on urban growth boundaries. I am focusing on Portland’s boundary because that is the only city in the US that I know of that has a real one. Could any of you tell me about cities that have growth boundaries are something similar, or maybe even cities considering boundaries. I also wouldn’t mind hearing about non US cities with growth boundaries. Any info would help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Sydney had growth boundaries through the 1950's and early 60's but abandoned them as unaffordable. They were to be given force as 'Green Belts' under the County of Cumberland Plan. I couldn't find a useful link for you but there is a publication on the DIPNR web site that would tell you more about, if you can track it down:

    Planning Sydney’s Future. Traces the history of various plans that have guided Sydney’s growth, 1988, Prepared by Peter Spearritt & Christina DeMarco, Published by Allen & Unwin, 150 pages

    This link provides a very simple overview and some rhetoric about the demise of the plan.
    Last edited by Rem; 03 May 2004 at 2:52 AM. Reason: Add link describing Cumberland Plan

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    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Miami-Dade

    is been good so far, but about to fill up and we will see how firm it will hold then.

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    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    The Twin Cities area has the "Metropolitan Urban Service Area" boundary that is administered through the Metropolitan Council. By determining the extent of water and sewer services, they control growth in the Twin Cities. While not quite as draconian as the Portland model, it's probably the most similar example. Some of the Minnesota planners on this forum can probably give you more info. You can check out the Met Council's website here.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by mpodemski
    I am doing a report for my urban policy class on urban growth boundaries. I am focusing on Portland’s boundary because that is the only city in the US that I know of that has a real one. Could any of you tell me about cities that have growth boundaries are something similar, or maybe even cities considering boundaries. I also wouldn’t mind hearing about non US cities with growth boundaries. Any info would help. Thanks.

    Ottawa, ON simply has an "urban area boundary" in its new Official Plan - simply says expansions are only permitted in the five year comprehensive assessment of its urban boundary...

    ...despite the fact that it is currently being appealed by everyone.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    New Jersey has the Pinelands which is sort of the opposite of an Urban Growth Boundary. It's surrounded by urban areas and growth is restricted inside of the lines. http://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/0603lcm.htm

    It's likely that a similar act will be passed in the next 2-3 years that protects a large portion of Northwestern NJ called the Highlands.
    http://www.highlandscoalition.org/images/NJframe.jpg

    NJ had what was called the Big MAP that colored areas red where development was prohibited. Orange where it would be most difficult. Yellow. And of course Green where it would be easiest to get permits. The MAP brought a firestorm from the developer lobby and it was quickly taken down but the rules still exist.
    http://www.state.nj.us/dca/osg/plan/stateplan.shtml
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Growth Boundary

    Take a look at Broward County, Florida (Palm Beach/Miami-Dade). A great example of defacto (also in Regional Comp. Plans & Water Resources Protection Plans) environmental growth boundary (Everglades).

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Just about every urban area in Washington State has one, as required by Washington State Law (called the Growth Management Act). GMA is actually a really good law if you are doing a study on growth boundaries. It details several factors that a municipality should take into account when determining the growth boundary.

  9. #9
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    An important factor in growth boundaries is allowable uses outside the boundaries. Often, they allow fairly small lots that become ranchettes, which are very large lot subdivisions. One of the best ways to assure success is to require that agricultural lands allow agricultural uses, but not residential uses by right.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Baltimore County has an Urban/Rural Demarcation Line that limits extensions of water and sewer service, something like what Minnesota's Met Council seems to do. It helps that Baltimore City owns and runs the huge water and sewer system (including all three main reservoirs) that serves the bulk of the metro area's built-up areas. The outer counties have their own systems of pipes but buy a large portion of their water from Baltimore's system.

    The State of Maryland has Priority Funding Areas, which are areas that get first dibs on any state development money and infrastructure investments, with fewer restrictions than rural lands outside the PFA's. If you want to develop subdivisions outside one of the PFA's (whose boundaries are defined, often rather generously, by the individual counties in their comp. plans), you have to pay out of your own pocket for pretty much everything. At least that was the original intent. I haven't followed it much, so I don't know if the current governor has weakened the program or not.

    Wow, I just looked at Alleghany Co's...it's huge. Not that more than a fraction of that mountainous area will ever be developed; it's a depressed county and kinda desperate for some growth. They must have expanded it recently, I don't remember it being so big.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    We are much like our neighbors in Minnesota. We have Urban Service Areas or Sewer Service Areas that map out an area around the city's perimeter to which sanitary sewer service may be extended. The saze of the area is determined based upon the size and growth of the city, but in reality, is so large that it will take decades to fill, during which time a new boundary will be established so there is ever a concern over availability of land. More than anything else, it really just helps to steer growth in a general direction rather than encourage density.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    We are much like our neighbors in Minnesota. We have Urban Service Areas or Sewer Service Areas that map out an area around the city's perimeter to which sanitary sewer service may be extended. The saze of the area is determined based upon the size and growth of the city, but in reality, is so large that it will take decades to fill, during which time a new boundary will be established so there is ever a concern over availability of land. More than anything else, it really just helps to steer growth in a general direction rather than encourage density.
    Also, some developers simply go around that line, building their subdivisions outside of the sewer service areas by using larger lots and some form of well and septic system, touting them as being 'out in the country' (in fact, I consider the word "country" to be the biggest lie in the real estate development and sales biz).

    Here in the Appleton area, most of the rural land will perculate to some extent, athough many years ago, one county (Calumet) found the positive effects of prohibiting new septic systems in its unincorporated areas and appears to have the gonads to make the rules stick. The rest of the Appleton/Fox Cities metro area is pretty much surrounded with that umbiquitous 'Country Living ring' of outer suburban sprawl development, as are most of the other cities of the state of any appreciable size and economic activity.

    Mike

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Here in the Appleton area, most of the rural land will perculate to some extent, athough many years ago, one county (Calumet) found the positive effects of prohibiting new septic systems in its unincorporated areas and appears to have the gonads to make the rules stick. The rest of the Appleton/Fox Cities metro area is pretty much surrounded with that umbiquitous 'Country Living ring' of outer suburban sprawl development, as are most of the other cities of the state of any appreciable size and economic activity.
    Off-topic:
    It always ticks me off that clean water regulations and the agencies that create/enforce them always target cities - we are obvious sources, although the reality is that our stormwater and wastewater treatment facilities do a very good job of removing pollutants. At the same time, agricultural operations and the sprawling rural subdivisions on septic cause incredible problems, but are held to a much lower standard.
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  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone for your help. I looked up everything you recomended.

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