WGXC-90.7 FM

Smart Growth is the law, now

Feb 21, 2011 6:48 am
The shift in tone from suburbia to exurbia, and homeowners' returned wish to be able to walk to stores, libraries and other municipal services, is the subject of an increasingly powerful state agency, Empire State Future, in charge of a new state law, the New York Public Infrastructure Policy Act. Kathy Kahn of HV Biz has a story on how ESF Executive Director Peter Fleischer is now saying that the state’s going to force more municipalities to think twice when it comes to planning infrastructure projects within their borders. Kahn reports how Fleischer recently outlined what the new law will do to help increase municipalities’ desire to think “smart” in order to qualify for funding, directing 10 state agencies, authorities and public corporations – from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Environmental Conservation – to screen infrastructure programs to stop sprawl and to rate, on the basis of benefit, whether a project is considered a smart investment or one that will contribute to the problem. "While Fleischer said some areas of the mid-Hudson region would remain rural by nature, towns and villages that are growing in population must find ways to make those expanding communities more pedestrian and public transportation friendly," Kahn writes. "The Public Infrastructure Policy Act will require municipal planners to justify to the state agencies encompassed by the legislation to deem them worthy of funding based on their planning." The law was signed in September, 2010.