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The valley starts looking to Smart Growth as a regionalizing tool

Dec 22, 2010 9:07 am
What's involved in the state’s Smart Growth Policy Infrastructure Act, the bill signed into law late last summer, and enacted at the end of September, which requires state agencies that are funding projects to meet 10 goals aimed at focusing development around already existing infrastructure? "Smart Growth is an attempt to balance in local and state planning the interests of job creation, environmental stewardship and social equity,” noted Paul Beyer, director of Smart Growth of the Governor’s Office, at a regional conference on the act, and how a region such as the Hudson Valley can benefit from it, held in Fishkill earlier this month. “That’s the key to the movement, to balance those three aspects of community planning.” The Act, Beyer added, is intended to address sprawl by requiring certain state agencies to approve, undertake and fund infrastructure projects in a manner that is consistent with ten smart growth principles aimed at focusing development around already existing infrastructure. According to an HV Biz story on the recent conference, which tended to stay focused on the parts of the valley to Columbia and Greene's south, reporter Jim Gordon noted how, "the Hudson Valley with its centralized towns and city centers, hamlets and railroad lines and existing highways is ideally positioned to take advantage of the new law. It requires key state entities, including the Department of Transportation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Department of Education, and the Empire State Development Corp. to focus their infrastructure spending in developed areas. But," he added, "the potential advantages of smart growth for the Hudson Valley are diluted by the sprawling nature of the region, with cities from Yonkers to Kingston and towns from Dobbs Ferry to Rhinebeck, spread among five counties, all competing for increasingly scarce municipal resources and investment funds." And that's NOT counting in Columbia and Greene counties. Or Westchester, it seems... For the full story click by Gordon, a stalwart regional reporter who will be contributing to WGXC coverage once we're on the air, click HERE...