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  LGC Reports - September 2013
October 10, 2013

Did you know that traditional downtowns produce far more revenue per acre than big box stores?

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  Vol. 34 No.9, September 2013                                                             www.lgc.org

In This Issue:
 * LGC Organizes Parklet Tour for Sacramento Policymakers and Other Stakeholders
 * LGC Takes Joe Minicozzi On The Road To Evaluate Fiscal Health of San Joaquin Valley Communities
* LGC Staff Watch - Jenny Woods, Project Manager
* What's New?  LGC Resource Center
* Upcoming LGC Events
*  LGC Hosts First California Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Summer 2014
* New Partners for Smart Growth Conference 2014 Update  

LGC Organizes Parklet Tour for Local Sacramento Officials: Over the past eight years a relatively new design concept has popped up in cities across the country - parklets. A parklet is a term used to describe the conversion of on-street parking spaces into new public spaces for seating, greenery, and places to gather. With the emergence of the first parklet being created in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, and later institutionalized by San Francisco with the first parklets program, parklets have begun to pop-up throughout the world with Sacramento being one of the latest cities to embrace the parklet revolution.

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Policymakers, business owners and other interested stakeholders experiencing the parklet pop-up revolution!

On August 29th, the LGC organized a parklets Tour for a delegation of Sacramento policy-makers, property and business owners, developers, and other interested stakeholders hosted by City of Sacramento Council Members Steve Cohn and Steve Hansen. The group toured the E Street Lofts Parklet in Davis and met with the owner and a representative from the City's Community Development Department who shared implementation steps and strategies for garnering support. Next, the group headed south to meet with city of San Francisco staff to discuss their renowned parklets program and a participate in walking tour of three parklets around Valencia Street. The parklet revolution may soon be expanding- the City of Sacramento is developing a pilot program to bring parklets to the City of Trees. To view pictures from this recent tour, check out the Local Government's Facebook page.

The Parklet Tour took a delegation of policymakers, business owners and other interested stakeholders to stops in Davis and San Francisco to see the growing parklet pop-up revolution! 

This tour was supported by a Leadership for Healthy Communities grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, contact Shani Alford at (916) 448 - 1198 ext. 330.

LGC Takes Joe Minicozzi On The Road To Evaluate Fiscal Health of San Joaquin Valley Communities: The population of the San Joaquin Valley is expected to continue to grow from 3.9 million in 2010 to 7.4 million in 2050 - the highest growth rate in California. Decisions made today on how land is developed over the next 20 to 30 years to accommodate this growing population will provide long lasting impacts on the fiscal health of cities and counties as well as the quality of life for residents.

To further explore the impacts different types of development have on a local government's bottom line, the Local Government Commission partnered with Joe Minicozzi from Urban3 and the Council of Infill Builders to evaluate the tax revenues generated by existing developments in six San Joaquin Valley cities - Modesto, Turlock, Merced, Fresno, Clovis, and Visalia. We discovered that compact, mixed-use developments pay better dividends to local governments than low density, suburban development when compared on a basis of tax revenue generated per acre. For example, the 12-story Guarantee Savings Building located in downtown Fresno generates $118,935 per acre in property tax revenue and uses just a fraction of an acre (0.17 acres) compared to Fresno's River Park Shopping Center, which brings in just $7,987 per acre, yet consumes nearly 81 acres! A summary of the results from all six cities can be found here.
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The LGC took Minicozzi and his analysis on the road and most recently wrapped up a series of events in the Cities of Clovis, Fresno and Visalia. The events in each city convened residents, business owners, property owners, planners, elected officials, county representatives, and others to hear about Minicozzi's work and engage in discussion on how to sustain and enhance the fiscal health of cities and counties. Local perspective and examples were also highlighted, including a panel of local developers and real estate professionals in Visalia sharing some of the barriers they face in developing in downtown, such as the cost of retrofitting historic buildings to meet today's building code and slim profit margins that are unable to attract private investors. The events in Fresno and Clovis featured examples from the San Joaquin Valley of communities evaluating the fiscal impacts of different growth scenarios and using the results to make more informed growth decisions. A special highlight from these events was hearing from Clovis Mayor Ashbeck and Fresno Mayor Swearengin regarding the opportunities and challenges they see for cities in moving toward smarter growth and new development types that would measurably provide greater long-term fiscal sustainability.

More about the events held in the six San Joaquin Valley communities and presentations available for download can be found here

Additional LGC resources on the economics of land use decisions and how it affects a local governments bottom line can be found here.

 staffLGC STAFF WATCH - News from the Field

Jenny Woods, Project Manager

big box 4Jenny Woods is a Project Manager at the Local Government Commission. Her work focuses on assisting local governments to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions. She also supports regional climate adaptation efforts and helps local leaders understand the economic impacts of development patterns.

Here are a few items that Jenny is excited to share with you from her most recent work:

  • Did you know that lighting represents 15% of energy use in homes? Using more efficient lighting can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50-75%! Learn how you can encourage efficient lighting and increase energy efficiency in your community by checking out our recently completed fact sheet about Practical Energy Efficiency Strategies for Local Leaders.
  • Recent research has found that compact, mixed-use patterns of development can improve the bottom line for cities and counties by increasing revenue; reducing costs; and reducing health, resource and environmental impacts. You can learn more about the economic impacts of development by visiting our Economic Impacts of Development Patterns webpage here
  • LGC, through Resilient Sacramento, recently helped organize an event in Sacramento that brought together leaders to explore regional vulnerabilities and begin to develop recommendations to better prepare for climate impacts. Resilient Sacramento is a new collaborative of Sacramento region organizations and communities that aims to share knowledge and expertise in building resilience. 

In her free time, Jenny enjoys cooking and baking for anything from family dinners to large catering events, spending time with family and friends, travelling and bicycling. 

What's New?  LGC Resource Corner

LGC Factsheets on Understanding the Economic Impacts of Development Available for Free Download!

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The Local Government Commission developed this fact sheet to provide local governments in California's San Joaquin Region a better understanding of the range of economic impacts of development. Specifically, recent research in the San Joaquin Region and around the country has found that compact, mixed-use patterns of development can improve the bottom line for cities and counties by increasing revenue, reducing costs and reducing health, resource and environmental impacts.  Download the factsheet here.

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Local Government Commission partnered with Urban3 and the Council of Infill Builders to evaluate the property tax revenues generated by existing developments in six San Joaquin Valley cities - Modesto, Turlock, Merced, Fresno, Clovis and Visalia. The evaluation shows that compact, mixed-use developments pay better dividends to local governments than low density, suburban development when compared on a basis of tax revenue generated per acre. Results of Urban3's analysis are captured in the Valuing Downtowns Fact Sheet (PDF) and were also highlighted at past events in each of the six cities.  Download the factsheet here

EventsUpcoming LGC Events

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LGC Hosts First Callfornia Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Summer 2014: The Local Government Commission is organizing the first California Adaptation Forum August 19 - 20, 2014 in Sacramento.

Climate change will have widespread impacts on California's economy and the environment, putting California's unique and valuable natural treasures and resources at high risk. With the enactment of AB 32, the California Warming Solutions Act of 2006, California has moved to the forefront of critical global action that will be necessary to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prepare adaptation strategies for the significant climate changes that are coming.

This forum will build off of the successful National Adaptation Forum that was held in Colorado in 2013, where many California leaders were in attendance.  This only emphasized the need for a Califormia-focused event to compliment the biennial National Forum.

Successfully preparing for climate change will require strong collaboration and support from all public entities and private stakeholders that represent California's diverse economy.  Taking steps now to prepare and adapt to climate change will help protect public health and safety, our environment and our future.

Stay tuned for more information coming soon at:  CaliforniaAdaptationForum.org. For more information, contact Kate Meis at kmeis@lgc.org.


12th Annual 
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Building Safe, Healthy, Equitable 
and Prosperous Communities
February 13-15, 2014
2014 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference 
Registration is Launching with Early-bird Rates!

Conference registration opens on October 7th for the 13th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, which will be held on February 13-15, 2014 in
Denver, CO. 

Early-bird rates are available now through November 24th. 

Register now at www.NewPartners.org!

The multi-disciplinary program will include eighty sessions - plenaries, breakouts, and implementation workshops - and features cutting-edge policies, programs, and projects, as well as strategies and implementation tools that address the challenges of implementing smart growth development.

Conference sessions will focus on issues such as: financing smart growth and capacity-building; successful partnerships for sustainable communities; creating healthy economies; fostering entrepreneurial innovation and local job creation; community resiliency and energy independence; regional transportation systems and equitable TOD; improving water quality; crime prevention and smart growth; healthy food access; local and regional and food systems planning; engaging youth in smart growth planning; emerging fiscal impact tools; promoting equitable development and environmental justice; providing affordable housing choices; and much, much more!

Tours of Model Projects
The program includes fourteen exciting optional tours featuring smart growth development projects from around the region - by bus, light rail and by foot! 

Two Exciting Half-day Conference Workshops Planned
Attend the dynamic Equitable Development: Smarter Growth through Environmental Justice workshop that will be held on Thursday morning, February 13th.  Equitable development, smart growth and environmental justice all aim for development that creates healthy and vibrant places. This interactive workshop will highlight innovative ideas and resources that communities are utilizing to create more synergy in planning, resulting in safer, healthier, and more equitable and prosperous communities. Pre-registration and a $25 fee are required. 

Come a day early and attend the Advancing Healthy, Equitable Food Systems: Building Capacity, Partnerships & Resources pre-conference workshop, on Wednesday afternoon, February 12th. This workshop will provide an interactive
learning experience exploring local and regional food systems through the lens of smart growth. The program will emphasize building the capacity of local governments to engage in food system development, including processes and strategies leading to environmental and policy change at the local and regional level. Representatives from community-based organizations, planners, local elected officials, businesses and others will share how they are forging partnerships and identifying resources in efforts to increase access to healthy, affordable food for all while creating economic opportunities and promoting responsible land use. Pre-registration and a $35 registration fee are required. 

The LGC is pursuing continuing education accreditation for several sessions for AICP planners, architects, and landscape architects. 

Hotel Accommodations
The host hotel for this exciting event is the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. The deadline to receive the group room rate of $154 (single or double occupancy) is January 10, 2014. Make your reservations now by calling 1-888-421-1442 and indicate you are attending the New Partners Conference. 

Follow the Conference:

Visit the New Partners Conference website!                                                                 
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A membership service of the Local Government Commission. 
For questions or comments, contact lgc@lgc.org or 916-448-1198.

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