Thursday, June 11, 2009

Urban thinking goes into proposed policy shift - Gazette

Discounts recommended for building close to transit

by Margie Hyslop | Staff writer | Wednesday, June 10, 2009

County planners are recommending that developers be offered discounted fees to build a mix of housing and shops near transit lines or basic services in an effort to reduce long car trips and traffic congestion.

The proposal, to be presented to the Planning Board on Thursday, is a step toward crafting a two-year policy to guide growth that the County Council will set in November.

Developments within a half-mile of passenger rail or bus lines could be exempt from fees levied to help pay for transportation improvements.

Developments farther from transit could be exempt from half those fees if they are built within a half-mile of 10 basic services such as a grocery, dry cleaner, library, park or fire station.

1 comment:

Woodside Park Bob said...

This seems like a recipe for disaster. I don't necessarily have a problem with reduced fees for development next to transportation services, etc, (although it seems like a very large area would be eligible for at least some reduction in fees), but eliminating restrictions based on too much traffic and school overcrowding, etc., will make things worse.

Besides, I don't think the fee reductions will have much impact. Unless the fees are prohibitively high to begin with, it will still be cheaper to build in undeveloped areas rather than demolish and re-build in our already developed areas; plus most people are willing to pay more (if they can afford it) for lower density living and green space, so a fee reduction if you decide to live in a higher density area won't matter much.