Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: I'm new here; hi! Commercial growth in my rural town

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137

    I'm new here; hi! Commercial growth in my rural town

    Hello, all. I am looking for some help planning uses for the highway commercial zone in my tiny town, with the idea of avoiding common pitfalls. I have never posted here before, I am not a planner, and I apologize if I ask dumb questions, but I am very interested in the subject (I even dream about returning to college at my advanced age - can I go for a degree in Rural Planning?). And, I love my community (I haven't missed more than two or three town meetings in three years or so). Here is the situation: our population is only around 430, but in the last few years ranchers have begun selling off to developers who subdivide for rather pricey custom homes within our boundaries. We are right on the state highway and on a beautiful river, 10 or 12 miles west of the main entrance to a national park, in very scenic Utah desert. There is a booming tourist town at the park's mouth; to our north is the less visited section of the park, and there are many popular hiking and bicycle trails nearby. South and west of us are increasingly larger cities, the largest (50 thousand or so) about 40 miles off and growing like crazy. It seems we are under pressure now to decide which way we are going to grow. Will we encourage development of the haphazard, no-holds-barred character in the towns to our west, or will we emulate the more aesthetically conscious but seasonal tourist town to the east? The planning commission has been directed to amend the old commercial zone to remove residential use, and want to update it. I suggested taking a scientific approach and ended up offering to research which uses would be most intelligent for us to allow in our highway commercial zone in terms of economic value to the town (which is in a bad way financially, due to past official shenanigans). The PC is also working on a new light industrial zone to be created in the hills to our north, where it will not be too visible, so uses that would help our tax base but interfere with our residential areas or with the possible development of tourism could be placed there. This zone is a sort of compromise for opposing viewpoints about growth. Although some residents (and some officials) seem to approve of any commercial development whatsoever, many others are concerned at the possibility of losing our small town, rural character in, say, a sea of car dealerships or wrecking yards or storage units or gravel pits or... whatever. There seems to be general agreement that businesses which do not provide substantial tax benefit to the town should not be allowed in this limited strip of the highway. Thus, ideally I would like to find a list, ordering appropriate commercial uses by economic value (cold cash, rather than more indirect benefits). Any advice, opinions, or suggested resources would be so welcome. Sorry if I’ve given you ten times the info you needed. And, thank you very much for letting me join you here! Maxi

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
    Posts
    3,387
    Quote Originally posted by maximov
    Hello, all. I am looking for some help planning uses for the highway commercial zone in my tiny town, with the idea of avoiding common pitfalls. I have never posted here before, I am not a planner, and I apologize if I ask dumb questions, but I am very interested in the subject (I even dream about returning to college at my advanced age - can I go for a degree in Rural Planning?).
    Welcome, Maxi, from rural central New York State. We love concerned and active citizens here. So jump right in; the water's fine.

    Yes, there are Rural Planning Programs out there For example, there is the graduate program formerly known as Rural, Town and Regional Planning at the
    University of Montana. Or you could do a degree at anywhere else that also offers a good selection of Rural Sociology course.

    [snip]It seems we are under pressure now to decide which way we are going to grow. Will we encourage development of the haphazard, no-holds-barred character in the towns to our west, or will we emulate the more aesthetically conscious but seasonal tourist town to the east? The planning commission has been directed to amend the old commercial zone to remove residential use, and want to update it. I suggested taking a scientific approach and ended up offering to research which uses would be most intelligent for us to allow in our highway commercial zone in terms of economic value to the town (which is in a bad way financially, due to past official shenanigans). The PC is also working on a new light industrial zone to be created in the hills to our north, where it will not be too visible, so uses that would help our tax base but interfere with our residential areas or with the possible development of tourism could be placed there. This zone is a sort of compromise for opposing viewpoints about growth. Although some residents (and some officials) seem to approve of any commercial development whatsoever, many others are concerned at the possibility of losing our small town, rural character in, say, a sea of car dealerships or wrecking yards or storage units or gravel pits or... whatever. There seems to be general agreement that businesses which do not provide substantial tax benefit to the town should not be allowed in this limited strip of the highway. Thus, ideally I would like to find a list, ordering appropriate commercial uses by economic value (cold cash, rather than more indirect benefits).
    Ok, you are definately looking for a lot of information. I'm confident that the Throbbing BrainTM can help you out.

    Here's my contribution to get you started: do a web search on the phrases master plan and comprehensive plan. In a nutshell, these are types of local policy documents that a community can create and adopt to provide the background information and policy direction needed for creating a common vision on how a community will grown and develop. The plan is then used as the basis for action by your governing board, through such tools as regulation (zoning, etc.) and grant seeking.

    Again, welcome. Keep those questions coming. Remember, we're here to help.
    Last edited by SGB; 01 Jun 2004 at 11:50 AM.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    West Valley, AZ
    Posts
    3,894
    Good luck with any future rural planning studies and welcome!
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,036

    Rural Planning

    Take a look at Northern Arizona University for a Rural Planning degree, I hear the program is very good.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    Welcome, and it is great to see you so interested in your community's character. The problem you face is not an easy one to solve. There are many approaches, and they will be very influenced by peculiar characteristics of your community. In that way, it may be very hard to offer you much good advice. I would suggest that you strongly consider approaches that let you mix uses. One of the biggest issues facing resort-type regions is affordable housing for workers. Apartments over stores can go a long way to solving this, raising the value of the property (tax base) and providing better cash flow to the owners to offset season fluctuations. You might also look at ways to expand the commercial district. Rather than line either side of the highway, consider a plaza, or a new commercial street intersecting the highway. Don't forget to look at density. What other uses might help to create a solid, defined core to the community? Public buildings, the Post Office, churches, schools, senior apartments, condominiums, hotels, mixed-use buildings, etc., might all be clustered in your town core to create a destination. A tight, walkable core is going to be far more successful than a lengthy strip, both aesthetically and economically. You might think of places like Jasper, Alberta and Jackson, Wyoming as examples.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally posted by SGB
    Welcome, Maxi, from rural central New York State. We love concerned and active citizens here. So jump right in; the water's fine.
    Thanks! Sorry, I don't know how to reply properly and highlight your quotes.

    Yes, there are Rural Planning Programs out there For example, there is the graduate program formerly known as Rural, Town and Regional Planning at the
    University of Montana. Or you could do a degree at anywhere else that also offers a good selection of Rural Sociology course.
    That program sounds ideal, if a bit far away- I will check it out.

    Ok, you are definately looking for a lot of information. I'm confident that the Throbbing BrainTM can help you out.

    Here's my contribution to get you started: do a web search on the phrases master plan and comprehensive plan. In a nutshell, these are types of local policy documents that a community can create and adopt to provide the background information and policy direction needed for creating a common vision on how a community will grown and develop. The plan is then used as the basis for action by your governing board, through such tools as regulation (zoning, etc.) and grant seeking.
    I will try that tonight. We do have a General Plan, which I like, but the planning commission and council don't always give it a whole lot of weight- they say it was only adopted as an advisory tool (meaning, I guess, its not the 'common vision' it was in 1996). The GP talks about promoting the following uses: housing; some “service and neighborhood commercial activities to meet ...needs ...of local residents”; “light manufacturing that does not adversely impact the Town’s rural environment”; “well-designed, complementary ...motels, restaurants, craft and gift shops and other tourist-serving uses”; “equestrian-oriented development in the rural residential areas”; “permanent open space”to be purchased by the town; land reserved for projected public facility and infrastructure needs;. Finally, it claims a policy to “encourage the retention of agricultural areas and activities to the greatest extent possible”. It calls for a "tiered land use pattern that focuses on expanding out from within the establiched developed area rather than new growth ocurring in outlying areas moving toward the established town center."

    Specifically right now they are rewriting uses for the highway commercial; we currently have three shops aimed at tourists and a (surprisingly nice) RV park. Also, there are two commercial youth treatment centers along the highway (we recently adopted a new group home ordinance which disallows them- and any other group living arrangement which does not contribute sales or service tax to the town- in the precious highway commercial, so they are non-conforming), and it is unlikely more will locate there. The only other interest I have heard in property along the highway has been from developers wanting to build apartment buildings (disallowed by the new ordinance; to mesh with the new group home ordinance, they are removing all residential use from the highway), and from a fellow wanting to put in a 'classic car restoration' lot (in a way it sounded nice- but could it be dangerous?). In the category of Just Talk (so far), we hear about people wanting to put in restaurants and farm markets. I suppose I need to find commercial land use code for other rural towns near national parks?

    You are very kind. Thank you for the welcome, and the advice.

    I made a long reply to this and then lost it somehow. First, thank you all for the welcome and the help, and I can't wait to look into the Northern Arizona program.

    Cardinal, what you say about mixing uses makes good sense but will be difficult in view of the new group home ordinance (which requires "substantial tax base contribution" for any group living arrangement, among other things). Cities around here have had a problem with private commercial youth treatment centers buying out motels and other large builings in once-interactive commercial areas. Since these facilities pay no sales or resort tax, the city suffers, and so do the dynamics of the surrounding commerce areas. We do want a provision for a manager's or night watcvhman's res. in commercial, but to go further might end in more of these large, closed homes, which typically claim protection under ADA and FHA.

    The highway may not end up being our only commercial; the town is now refurbishing the old schoolhouse next to the town hall, three blocks off the hwy; perhaps someday this will again be the center of town. I agree about the strip, but many others don't. If I had solid info about it, maybe I could make a difference.

    They also speak of creating a multi-res zone for apartments and such- maybe they should consider it along the main street I described, instead of out by the industrial area as they are now considering!

    I will see what I can learn about the towns you mention- thanks!

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Welcome, and it is great to see you so interested in your community's character. The problem you face is not an easy one to solve. There are many approaches, and they will be very influenced by peculiar characteristics of your community. In that way, it may be very hard to offer you much good advice. I would suggest that you strongly consider approaches that let you mix uses. One of the biggest issues facing resort-type regions is affordable housing for workers. Apartments over stores can go a long way to solving this, raising the value of the property (tax base) and providing better cash flow to the owners to offset season fluctuations. You might also look at ways to expand the commercial district. Rather than line either side of the highway, consider a plaza, or a new commercial street intersecting the highway. Don't forget to look at density. What other uses might help to create a solid, defined core to the community? Public buildings, the Post Office, churches, schools, senior apartments, condominiums, hotels, mixed-use buildings, etc., might all be clustered in your town core to create a destination. A tight, walkable core is going to be far more successful than a lengthy strip, both aesthetically and economically. You might think of places like Jasper, Alberta and Jackson, Wyoming as examples.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 01 Jun 2004 at 2:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,568
    maximov: I cleaned up your post a bit for clarity, and consolidated them for you.

    You may want to check out some of the threads in the Forum Issues and Help forum.

    Welcome!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Hudson River Valley
    Posts
    48
    I did a web search on planning in Utah and came across EnvisionUtah.org. Are you familiar with the organization? I didn't spend long on the site, but it looks like they may be able to offer you some assistance.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137

    EnvisionUtah

    Quote Originally posted by Main Street Maven
    I did a web search on planning in Utah and came across EnvisionUtah.org. Are you familiar with the organization? I didn't spend long on the site, but it looks like they may be able to offer you some assistance.

    Good luck!
    First, thanks to NHPlanner for cleaning up my mess!

    Maven, after doing some searches inspired by other helpful posts, I spent hours the other day reading through 'tools' I downloaded from EU's website. I got very excited! I also find I am aquainted with someone on their board, and plan to make contact. I'm not sure where this group is politically (anyone know?), but if they are even vaguely extreme I will have to find advice from the other side of the question as well (any suggestions?), if I am to make an impression on our decision-makers.
    I know too little of the basics to recognize telling signs (and I hope it's okay to say such things here)...

    Thank you!

  10. #10

    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    1,371
    You can put together an adequate education in rural planning at Utah State by working with folks in the LAEP Dept. Eastern Washington University and Kansas State also have adequate rural planning programs. I think KSU is somewhat better right now than the others. You might want to talk to the planners at the 5 County AOG in St George. They are not especially progressive, but it would be good to hear what they have to say in response to your questions.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    I think KSU is somewhat better right now than the others.
    Up until the time that they asked me to be a guest lecturer. John Keller is one of the best in the business when it comes to rural and small town planning issues.

    http://www.arch.ksu.edu/jwkplan/

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Below is most of a letter I wrote to a friend in New Mexico. She does community development work on a volunteer basis. A lot of the resources are specific to New Mexico and I don't really have the time to find the Utah equivalent right now. I figured it would give you an idea of what is out there and what kinds of things to search for. If you don't know how to find stuff on the Internet very effectively, bug me next week (by e-mail or PM would probably be best) and I can try to find some Utah-specific resources. I take online classes and have had a class in Internet research. Sometimes an hour or two of my searching the 'Net is worth many hours of someone else's searching. But this is Finals week for me, so I really can't do that right now.

    HTH.

    -----
    Business Incubation in New Mexico
    http://www.edd.state.nm.us/PUBLICATIONS/BIZINC.pdf

    New Mexico Economic Development
    http://www.edd.state.nm.us/

    This Web site is a project of the
    Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT)
    Project of New Mexico's Cooperative Extension Service.
    http://www.nmsu.edu/~redtt/Resources/html/index.html

    El Camino Real Recreation site
    http://www.recreation.gov/detail.cfm?ID=3135

    New Mexico Business Resource Center
    http://www.brc.nm.org/

    New Mexico has a National Laboratory -- they have a mission to work cooperatively with business for economic development, specifically getting new technologies onto the market:
    http://www.lanl.gov/partnerships/pdf/econ_impact03.pdf

    New Mexico Tech Research and Economic Division
    http://www.nmt.edu/~red/
    (Ideally, you want to find a business development center nearby, but state resources can be useful, wherever you are. I cannot remember where you are right now. If you tell me the county etc, again, I can try to tailor some of this more towards local stuff.)

    New Mexico Economic Development Directory
    http://www.ecodevdirectory.com/nmexico.htm

    Corporate Relocation Resources for Metro New Mexico:
    http://www.nmsitesearch.com/resources/resources_6.htm

    Economic Development Directory
    http://www.ecodevdirectory.com/


    That is some general stuff to give you an idea of what is out there. You will want to make a list of existing resources in the area, such as a Small Business Development center (these are in association with a college). You want to particularly target resources that are appropriate to your area. I specifically included a site for rural economic development in New Mexico. You will need to work out some goals and decide what the basis of those goals are.

    My assumption is that you would prefer to promote development from within the community -- to grow the place 'organically' or 'boot strap' it -- as much as possible, combined with attracting business that is of real benefit to the community. I figure you do not really want to promote 'gentrification' -- where the neighborhood goes up in value but it mostly just forces out existing residents who can no longer afford to live there.

    So, a good approach is to promote small business development. Small business is responsible for the majority of employment and job growth in this country. And the federal and state governments make a lot of resources available for that purpose.

    One thing you probably want to capitalize on is tourism, since it is a recently designated historical area. Tourism brings money in from outside and can be a real shot in the arm for a poor area, if handled carefully. It can also be a seasonal business, which has its upside and downside. The upside is that for part of the year, you community is relatively undisturbed and retains its traditional character. The downside is that seasonal businesses only make money for part of the year. So, you may want to specifically address that problem and ways to cope with it in your economic development strategies.

    You will need to think about 'marketing' for your area and its economic development activities -- a slogan, a name, etc. You might want to surf the websites of existing economic development departments to get a feel for how that is approached. Marketing is not the same as advertising. Advertising is one aspect of marketing, but marketing is a bigger picture approach: how are you going to position yourself? What is the identity of the area? What are its existing assets?

    Believe it or not, the fact that it is poor is an ASSET for attracting business: It is 'affordable'. lol. Rents are low, etc. So, you will need to find some demographic data and the like, both for your area and for other areas to have a comparison. Then you can determine that it is "on average, 20% cheaper than...." etc.

    You want to start with a visioning process and set goals based on that vision. If you start with a goal of 'economic development', it is all too easy to go astray and simply start attracting businesses in a way that degrades the community, leads to gentrification, etc. I know you are fighting the NIMBY stuff that has landed there in the past. So, this is your chance to decide what kinds of things you WANT to attract.

    Remind me what county you are in and what big city you are next to and what the official name of the place is. I will see if I can do something more specific. Let me know if you have questions. I am not really an expert in economic development per se but it is sort of a 'hobby' of mine, since I have been reading business articles and books since I was 14 or thereabouts.

    ----
    And another letter to the same friend:

    I tripped across this short article and wondered if New Mexico is one of the states with this program and it is. The website for New Mexico is: http://www.nmepscor.org/
    The national website is: http://www.science.doe.gov/EPSCoR/states1.htm

    Grants for Rural Biz
    States with lots of farms and fields are making more grants available to businesses through a program funded primarily by the National Science Foundation. It's called EPSCoR (don't ask), and is designed to foster scientific research in rural areas. But in 15 states, businesses are also eligible for grants. Rules differ from state to state. South Carolina lets you do virtually anything with its grants, which run between $3,000 and $20,000. Vermont, however, prefers that "companies do those first couple of crucial experiments or buy a piece of equipment," says Christopher Allen, who runs EPSCoR there. Charlotte Gruner of Casper, Wyo., used the $5,000 she received in 2000 to attend a conference for grant writers. The founder of software company Pronghorn Scientific, who has since received more than $1 million in additional federal grants, says, "It's quite a procedure and I don't know if I would have gotten other funding" without EPSCoR's initial help.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 07 Jun 2004 at 3:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Thanks a lot for directing me to KSU; not only does the program look interesting but I found some stuff on the site which is useful to me right now, like model ordinances. When I figure out what LAEP stands for I will check out the other suggestion (j/k, I'll find it).

    My town has a somewhat rocky history with the 5 County Association (they may have been too 'progressive' for our town, lol), but our administration has changed a lot in the last year or two, so maybe it's time to invite them back. Good idea.

    Michele: I bumble around in my haphazard way on the internet, but appreciate your list and your offer. If I can't find enough specifics for southern Utah, I may ask you for help next week. Ace those finals.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Also, remind me next week and I will see what I can tell you about colleges. My husband is military and I researched every planning program and a few economic development ones in the U.S. I am pursuing my Bachelor's in Environmental Resource Management with a concentration in Land Use Planning and Policy through CSU-Bakersfield's online degree program. I attended a condensed 8 week summer program to get my Certificate in GIS (which is normally a year-long program). The Master's program I have picked out caters to working professionals and has a condensed weekend format, where you attend all weekend, 2 or 3 weekends out of the semester, and do prep work and projects in between. They have students as far away as Texas (to the east of here) and Taiwan (to teh west of here). I also know there is an economic development program on the east coast that is geared to a similar format and has students fly in from far away. But I can't remember where or what the name is. I probably still have the link somewhere.

    Being in the middle of nowhere is not a show-stopper for an education. (As a military wife, I have often lived in the middle of nowhere. )

    EDIT: I have a couple of links on my homeschooling site Michele's World that might be of interest to you. Scroll down to the middle of the page where it says "Virtual Campus" and "ASSIST". And, FYI: I went to UC-Riverside for GIS school. The Master's program I picked out is USC's Sacramento Center.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 07 Jun 2004 at 4:42 PM.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    Good old Virgin, UT. Based on the quirky politics of this part of the state, I would say that the Envision Utah toolbox would get very little support, not only from the elected officials, but from the citizens. I am not aware of too many zoning ordinances in Utah that are performance based (regarding tax base generation) and I think that zoning for dollars generally leads to bad developments and sprawl.

    I think that MZ's links would relate to southern Utah, particullarly the Economic Development section. Also check the Governors Office of Planning Budget, the state Community and Economic Development web sites.

    I think that anyway you look at it, Virgin is destined to become a tourist town.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Good old Virgin, UT. Based on the quirky politics of this part of the state, I would say that the Envision Utah toolbox would get very little support, not only from the elected officials, but from the citizens. I am not aware of too many zoning ordinances in Utah that are performance based (regarding tax base generation) and I think that zoning for dollars generally leads to bad developments and sprawl.

    I think that MZ's links would relate to southern Utah, particullarly the Economic Development section. Also check the Governors Office of Planning Budget, the state Community and Economic Development web sites.

    I think that anyway you look at it, Virgin is destined to become a tourist town.

    Hehe, guess you've been here. I DO think many of the people (native as well as new) want to be small-town and leave room for equestrian uses and such, while they also want the stuff we don't have, like gas and groceries. Also, there might be support to keep at least part of the highway near the center of town as walkable and attractive as possible, or so it seems to me. The tax base generation thing- I would have thought such a requirement would encourage businesses that actually do serve the public directly...? Guess it's a good thing I came to this board! I will check all those links, and thank you all.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    I live in one of the more rural counties of the San Francisco Bay Area and we have similar issues. I was at a meeting last week talking about parks and open space and suggested that we need to view our county as "an exporter" of open space, in that people come from more urbanized surrounding counties to use our more countrified spaces but we aren't really making much money off of it. Such resources are often underpriced and it can be tricky to figure out how to protect them and not let them just get used up and destroyed.

    I suggested a two tier pricing structure to charge non-residents a higher fee so that we aren't bearing the majority of the cost while others use up our resources and force us to urbanize more than we want to and more than would really add value, out of the need for money. You might want to look at how feasible it would be to have equestrian and similar uses that are free or cheap for residents but charge outsiders. You should also do a search on things like "eco-tourism", where countries and areas with a lot of natural beauty are developing ways to market their natural beauty as a means to preserve the natural character of the place to some degree.

    EDIT: I took a class with my degree program last year called ECON 370: Economics of Env. & Safety Regulations (And here is the homepage: http://www.csub.edu/onlineprograms/) I really like my degree program. If you already have a bachelor's, you could do their 4 class certificate in Environmental Resource Management. Or just take a few classes that are relevant to your goals and interests. I mention the class because it covered formulas and rubrics for how to price environmnetal assets and compare them to more commercial uses in an economic way so you can argue this stuff with folks who just want more commercial development. (If you do not want to take the class but want to have access to the formulas, I could dig out my textbook. You could get a copy of it and learn just the formulae that you find useful. I am just tossing out resources - it is totally up to you to decide what works for you. I have no personal investment in it. )

    There are some exciting things going on in this county and I believe that both Suisun City (pop.27,000) and Rio Vista (pop. ~ 5,000 -- I THINK) have done some really amazing things in redeveloping their downtowns. But I don't think the full story is really on their websites. I probably have some resources about some of that from a planning workshop I attended last year. Again: bug me next week and maybe I can find some of those resources. (I will chat with you on my birthday. I will not search high and low for resources today. Today, I slack. Later this week, I do schoolwork. )
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 07 Jun 2004 at 7:32 PM.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137

    ecotourism

    Holy Cow, I'd never even HEARD of ecotourism, but my search even brought up children's games about it! I've been hiding under this big red rock too long. I love the idea of calling ourselves exporters of open space.

    Personal crap-of-little-interest-to-most-which-you-may-want-to-skip: I'm not sure if I want to go for a degree or not. The problem is that my interests straddle law as well (I also have thought about law school). I have an ancient BA in psychology (Rutgers College- class of '80). I have my own business, so I have to fit education in around that- online programs, short term seminars, and nearby colleges are therefore of great interest. I might be most happy to take the courses that interest me from various fields, and hope the result will be useful to someone besides me, lol.

    Cheers- you all are great.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Since you already have a bachelor's and you also are interested in law, you should look seriously at the certificate in Environmental Resource Management offered online through CSU-Bakersfield. The two required courses are Environmental Law 1 and Environmental Law 2. You then have two electives from a list of classes in the online degree program, including the environmental economics class I took. That was a very practical class and the project we did for our final had to be on a real world, local issue in our own county. You could use the assigned project to further your goals in your community and do an analysis of the issues you are asking about in this forum.


    EDIT: Just so you do not have to dig for the page on their website, here is the link to the info on the certificate: http://www.csub.edu/erm/certificate.html

    PS: Another class I highly recommend is InSt 435: Negotiation and Conflict Management

    PPS: InSt 435 is a summer class. You could register now and take it this summer. It is an awesome class. I really can't exagerate the value.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 08 Jun 2004 at 4:47 PM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Michele: will you marry me?

    Kidding aside, what a perfect fit that sounds! Off to check it out.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by maximov
    Michele: will you marry me?

    Kidding aside, what a perfect fit that sounds! Off to check it out.
    I have lost track of the number of men that have asked me that in either French or English in the last 18 months. Some of them also said they were kidding. Others said they would move to California to be with me. I will tell you what I told them: I haven't even filed for divorce yet! So I am in no position to seriously consider such a commitment. And, what I said to later proposals: "Get in line". :-P o :-0

    All goofing off aside: Enjoy school.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I have lost track of the number of men that have asked me that in either French or English in the last 18 months. Some of them also said they were kidding. Others said they would move to California to be with me. I will tell you what I told them: I haven't even filed for divorce yet! So I am in no position to seriously consider such a commitment. And, what I said to later proposals: "Get in line". :-P o :-0

    All goofing off aside: Enjoy school.

    Oh, drat, alright. Forgot to mention an obstacle on my end, anyway: I'm a married woman, too. How do you resist those frenchmen?

    The certificate program you sent me to looks so quick and easy to get rolling that I think I may just go for it, and begin taking courses there, right away (!). I can look for other programs of interest at my leisure. This is amazing...

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by maximov
    Oh, drat, alright. Forgot to mention an obstacle on my end, anyway: I'm a married woman, too. How do you resist those frenchmen?
    lol. Oh, good. You had me worried there for a minute. And Frenchmen aren't the only people on the planet that speak French. I know a couple of men that I sometimes practice my college French with. One lives in Morocco where French is the dominant language but it isn't his "first" language. And another who used to live in France but, again, French is not his first language. It is a beautiful language but I'm not that easy.

    The certificate program you sent me to looks so quick and easy to get rolling that I think I may just go for it, and begin taking courses there, right away (!). I can look for other programs of interest at my leisure. This is amazing...
    Anyway: If the certificate program works for you, I guess you will not need to bug me next week about info on college. Now you can just bug me if you want more info on other stuff I mentioned. And "you are welcome".

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    lol. Oh, good. You had me worried there for a minute. And Frenchmen aren't the only people on the planet that speak French. I know a couple of men that I sometimes practice my college French with. One lives in Morocco where French is the dominant language but it isn't his "first" language. And another who used to live in France but, again, French is not his first language. It is a beautiful language but I'm not that easy.



    Anyway: If the certificate program works for you, I guess you will not need to bug me next week about info on college. Now you can just bug me if you want more info on other stuff I mentioned. And "you are welcome".


    Oh, yeah, I remember 'practicing French' with non-French men in college (they were rarely fluent)...

    Okedokee, thanks again!

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,617
    Quote Originally posted by maximov
    ....When I figure out what LAEP stands for...
    From a Utah State Grad -
    LEAP stands for Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
    Their website: http://www.usu.edu/laep/

    Check out Rural Intermountain Planning Program - USU Cooperative Extension
    Their website: http://www.usu.edu/laep/ripp/index1.htm
    Last edited by JNA; 08 Jun 2004 at 8:44 PM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. What is a small town? What is rural?
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 19
    Last post: 02 Nov 2011, 4:50 AM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last post: 27 Oct 2011, 3:46 AM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last post: 19 Jan 2007, 5:38 PM
  4. Commercial growth management
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 22 Aug 2001, 7:01 PM
  5. Small town and rural planning
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 09 Oct 1996, 9:22 AM