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Thread: Managing Growth Rate

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
    May 2002
    On the corner of Walk and Don't Walk

    Managing Growth Rate

    Our draft comp plan has identified the "ultimate" size of the town by creating an urban growth boundary and not focus on a specific rate of growth. The Planning Commission decided this ultimate size would be such that the character of the town would be preserved and of such a size that services could be provided in an efficient and economical manner. Now the commission has waffled after some public comment and possibly wants to put a limit on the rate of growth (population). I have been asked to reserach this issue. How do you do it? Limit s/f home permits? Is it legal if there are no issues with capacity of services? How do you calculate the growth in any one year? I have lots of ideas but I need to hear from those of you who maybe have already done something like this. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    Oconomowoc Wisconssin used to limit the number of new home permits every year.

    Hartford Wisconsin used to limit the housing ratio, capping new approvals when townhomes hit 15% of the housing stock, and when mulitple family hit 30% of the housing stock.

    We are currently drafting ordinaces for "holding districts" and "adequate public facilities" requirements.

    State enabling statutes are usually broadly construed to permit such policies to promote public welfare.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Apr 1996
    New Hampshire
    Here's how we manage growth....but only at times when "unusual" growth conditions occur:

    Londonderry, NH Growth Management Ordinance
    "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

  4. #4

    May 1997
    Williston, VT
    Quite a few communities have tried to cap growth rates in one way or another, usually through a cap on the number of residential building permits. I don't know if it is still organized that way, but at one time Boulder, CO actually held all applications for several months, then approved only the best. You might want to check out Boulder's current approach. They have been doing it for years.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Is this state, county, or local planning?

    If it's on the county level wouldn't it be politically prudent to establish a growth center outside of the town growth boundary?

    You would avoid the pressure from developers while not "ruining" the character of the town. You'd essentially be channeling excess growth to a new town nearby. This is along the lines of what goes on in the Pinelands in NJ


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