Fall 2010 Cornerstones

1. November 2010 Homes Become Sustainable Through Building Practices Better Living Taking a Closer Look at Environments Inside and Out ..............3 Sustainable…
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  • 1. November 2010 Homes Become Sustainable Through Building Practices Better Living Taking a Closer Look at Environments Inside and Out ..............3 Sustainable Communities Defining sustainable communities is to make sure we grow in a way to protect difficult because there are many ways to these things. According to Bruce Chatteron, Housing and characterize the term depending on who planning and development services Transportation: you ask and where they live. In essence director for the city of Boise, people are Making a Connection sustainable communities provide a place starting to understand that there are is Key to Planning ........4 where people want to live and work, and practical reasons for building sustainable communities that meet the diverse needs communities, which go beyond the so- of its residents not only today, but for the called green movement. future. There are several emerging topics of Planning for Growth interest that are spurring collaboration and “Really, the underlying idea is it Harmoniously helping to shape future plans of building A Holistic Approach to more sustainable communities across Idaho. gives us a chance to build and Community Planning ....6 The idea of sustainable communities was live in high-quality communities derived from other principles such as smart that will last over time.” growth and green building, which have — Bruce Chatterton, planning and Housing Developments been around for some time. Rachel Winer, development services director, city of Boise Statewide ............................ 7 the executive director for Idaho Smart Growth, said “Smart growth principles such Programs and Services Updates... 8 as mixed land uses, providing a variety of The economic recession has brought the transportation choices, and creating a range importance of planning methods and Achieving a Lifelong Dream....... 9 of housing opportunities and choices, are the evaluation of a communities’ lasting Community Involvement.. ....... 10 all tools to get to sustainable communities.” vitality to the forefront. Communities She said Idaho is defined by place, so are addressing items such as housing, Calendar of Events.................11 transportation, environmental impact, whether it’s the ranches, farms, mountains, or other aspects defining Idaho, we need …continued on page 2Market Trends: SustainableCommunities; What Does it Mean?It seems that no matter who you talk to, the term sustainable communities meanssomething different. While one person may focus more on the environmental impact,either from a green building or conservation perspective, others may focus more onhousing, transportation, economic development, or even yet another aspect ofsustainable communities.To better understand the topic of sustainable communities and illustrate the widerange of thoughts on the subject, we asked industry professionals statewide to sharetheir perspective of “What ‘sustainable communities’ means to them.”“To me it means partnership. We should all consider things we are involved with in our community from a partnership perspective rather than just an individual perspective.” – Leland Jensen, President, Eastern Idaho Homebuilders Association, Idaho Falls …continued on page 5 Idaho Housing and Finance Association is expanding housing and funding opportunities statewide.
  • 2. Focus: Sustainable CommunitiesTaking a Closer Look at Sustainable Communities…continued from coverand economic development in an “Having these agencies from different evaluating what the transportationinterconnected manner to help produce cultures coming together in an needs actually are. They are doing thismore sustainable communities by integrated way to create joint programs by reaching out to organizations for thedeveloping jobs and services that are is unprecedented, so the outcome of elderly, schools, and housing authoritiesreasonably close to homes. According the partnership is yet to be seen,” said to understand what the transportationto Lee Jones, regional public affairs Chatteron. Jones explained that in the and scheduling needs are.officer for U.S. Department of Housing past affordable housing was built by Other parts of the state are showingand Urban Development (HUD), this developing wherever land or roadways signs of planning in an interconnectedcreates more affordable transportation were available, and the impact on manner as well. Driggs and Victoroptions, and saves people time and the economy or environment wasn’t in Teton County experienced themoney. This is good for the economy necessarily considered. This method highest per capita growth for theand the environment and decreases our unintentionally built homes in one part Greater Yellowstone region just a fewecological footprint. of town while the places people worked, years ago, but took a step back and reevaluated their planning methods when the economy slowed and projects ECONOMIC “It is good to see the stalled. They are now working more HOUSING closely together. “Both cities working DEVELOPMENT interconnectivity of together to plan in concert for growth SUSTAINABLE planning on the helps make sure the choices they make today don’t limit the choices for COMMUNITIES local level.” future generations,” said Jan Brown, the executive director of Yellowstone — Jim Deffenbaugh, TRANSPORTATION Business Partnership (YBP). YBP, a ENVIRONMENTAL executive director, IMPACT nonprofit organization, has been Panhandle Area Council working towards more sustainable communities in the Greater Yellowstone area since 2001. YPB led a team to The Obama administration introduced an shopped, attended school, and other Interagency Partnership for Sustainable things were spread all throughout create the first regional rating system Communities asking the Department other parts of town, so sometimes affiliated with the LEED Green Building of Transportation (DOT), HUD, and the everything they needed to do could Rating System, which makes economic Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be twenty minutes or more away and environmental sense for the to work together in an “all-hands-on- from home. According to Jones the Yellowstone-Teton region. According deck” approach in planning for growth. Partnership is trying to offset this by to Brown, Pocatello was the first“The purpose of these agencies working encouraging neighboring communities city registered as a pilot sponsor to together and considering items in an to work together on future planning. demonstrate how each prerequisite and interconnected manner is to take away The grant programs stemming from the credit can be practically achieved on the some of the limitations that are created Partnership are producing collaboration ground. Brown anticipates that once the by considering items individually, and by requiring participation from a system is vetted across a wider audience broaden the possibilities of outcomes consortium of local governments to and proved in concept with developers for communities,” said Scott Frey, ensure a variety of opinions are obtained. and local governments; they will be able transportation planner for the DOT’s “This allows them to begin to reach some to procure more federal funds towards Idaho Division of the Federal Highway consensus on where and how they want their sustainability efforts. Administration. According to Jones, the to grow,” said Jones. Fostering the idea of collaboration and effort is shaping federal policies and “It is good to see the interconnectivity planning for growth by considering provides federal support to encourage of planning on the local level,” said housing, transportation, environmental building and planning that produces sustainable communities. While the Jim Deffenbaugh, the executive director impact, and economic development in Partnership is in its infancy, these for the Panhandle Area Council, one an interconnected manner could build agencies have launched several grant of Idaho’s six Economic Development stronger, more sustainable communities programs for millions of dollars that are District organizations. According to for Idaho. This issue of Cornerstones designed to support their efforts. “We are Deffenbaugh, public transportation looks more closely at how housing and laying out the blueprints, but the people is just one of the areas beginning to transportation are connected, and how in the communities, on the ground, are plan on a sustainable level in northern incorporating green building methods the ones that know what is needed to Idaho. Rather than local transportation not only impacts our environment, make it work and will help define the providers making plans based on what but produces homes with more lasting, outcome,” said Jones. they want, the providers are better sustainable values. n2 November
  • 3. Homes Become Sustainable ThroughBuilding PracticesThe concept of sustainable building incorporates a variety of because they were near existing development and communityfactors, but ultimately sustainable buildings provide better resources. High-efficiency water conserving plumbing fixtures,quality living environments inside and out, last longer because an ENERGY STAR advance light package, and ENERGY STARthey are more durable and adaptable, and cost less to maintain appliances are just a few of the items that help keep tenant’sbecause they are more efficient. The methods used to build energy costs low. And low energy costs are just one benefit. “Thesustainable homes increase the longevity of the properties and durability of the development is increased because of the high-lead to better quality of life for residents. Both single-family quality materials,” said Claire Casazza, director of developmenthomes and multifamily developments can benefit from this for Thomas Development. The company uses environmentallypractice, and builders in Idaho are incorporating these building preferred products in the construction of the developments,concepts to the advantage of Idaho citizens. which means products must be produced within 500 miles of theMeadow Ranch development in Coeur d’Alene,a 55 and older active adult community,provides quality single-family and townhomes close to necessary amenities. Thesehomes were built from the ground up withsustainability in mind. All the framing forthe homes is done off-site in a factory solumber isn’t sitting outside in inclementweather. This process also allows the homesto be built much more quickly so theyhave less exposure to the elements. Whilethe home floorplans vary, each of thesehomes incorporates features that help theenvironment and ensure the home will standthe test of time. Low-flow toilets; droughttolerant irrigation systems; and energy-efficient windows, doors, and light fixturesare just a few of the items that ensure thehomes are as efficient as possible. In addition,residents benefit from lower utility costs.The benefits of efficiency aren’t seen only in the final product,but quality of life is also a factor for people purchasing thesehomes, said Dennis Cunningham, president of Active WestDevelopers & Builders, the developer of Meadow Ranch.The development is located near a grocery store and medicalfacilities, and is just a quarter mile from North Idaho CentennialTrail, a multi-use recreational trail system. Benefits beyond theproximity to local services are what one resident is lauding abouthis home. “I had a gentleman who told me his eyes didn’t wateras much and that he breathed better after being in his home forjust two weeks,” Cunningham said. The resident attributes thatchange to the quality building materials, such as no VOC paintsand carpet padding and adhesives with low formaldehyde. Above: Homes in Meadow Ranch developmentResidents in two new multifamily developments in Eastern Idaho Below: A resident’s kitchen in the Meadow Ranch developmentare also benefiting from sustainable design and constructionprocesses. Rosslare Senior Apartments in Idaho Falls and site, reducing the pollution that occurs during the transportationCardona Senior Apartments in Chubbuck both recently received process. Thomas Development incorporates green building intoPlatinum Certification through the USGBC LEED for Homes all its affordable housing projects, a decision made in 2006.program, the first two multifamily developments to achieve “LEED has become the construction and quality benchmark forthis in Idaho. Thomas Development Co., the developer of Thomas Development projects,” Casazza said. “It felt like it wasthese projects, included several elements to make these projects the right direction to go in reducing our footprint and cuttingsustainable. Like Meadow Ranch, site locations were selected down waste.” …continued on page 5 Cornerstones 3
  • 4. Focus: Sustainable CommunitiesHousing and Transportation:Making a Connection is Key to Planning You may choose to live in an urban area because use neighborhoods that combine residential and commercial you enjoy the diversity and convenience associated uses including businesses, shopping, parks and activity centers, with the city and you enjoy the ease of low-cost, schools, and medical centers. The goal is for people to drive less, effective transportation. You may choose to live and walk and bike more. “This benefits everyone,” she said. in a more rural location because you enjoy the “Less driving saves fuel, saves the environment, and creates peace and privacy of being outside the city and sustainable lifestyles and living patterns. If we can change you feel the lifestyle outweighs the additional people’s behavior, then we can change circumstances; what will transportation expense. Whatever your location change behavior is options.”preference, transportation is a part of the home buying decision- The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idahomaking process. Generally, housing prices tend to be lower the (COMPASS), an association of local governments workingfurther you get from the city, core areas, and job centers. Also, together to plan for the future of the region, develops a regionalliving outside the city causes a person to drive further to get to long-range transportation plan, Communities in Motion, for Adawork and that person spends more on transportation. Increased and Canyon Counties. An update to the plan was just completed,transportation costs offset the lower home prices. Several local and work will soon begin on the next update. While the focusgroups are partnering to take a closer look at the link between of the plan is transportation, interrelated uses are taken intohousing and transportation. consideration to make the plan as robust as possible. To this end,Increasing fuel costs have made neighborhoods close to COMPASS is working to expand and strengthen its partnershipsemployment centers, shopping, and other amenities more with a number of local and regional organizations. Some of these, such as the Departments of Environmental Quality, Healthdesirable as people strive to reduce driving distances and and Welfare, Valley Regional Transit, and city and highwayexpenses. The 30th Street area in Boise is one neighborhood districts, and county governments are members of COMPASS;being planned with that in mind. The city of Boise has developed others, such as Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA),a 30th Street Area Master Plan in cooperation with the Ada Sustainable Community Connections of Idaho, Boise City/AdaCounty Highway District (ACHD), neighborhood members, and County Housing Association, and Idaho Power representother stakeholders. The development area is expected to include new mixed-use activity centers, new housing, employment, andshopping opportunities. Kathleen Lacy, project coordinator for Currently, there are many different plans developed for thethe city of Boise on the project said this type of development area: transportation, housing, economic development, andis definitely a trend for the future of Boise. Lacey said the city’s more. Amy Luft, communication coordinator for COMPASSnew Comprehensive Plan sets a 20 to 25 year vision for policies, said the Communities in Motion transportation plan will pullgoals, and objectives for development. The plan includes mixed- together all the interrelated elements so that they will function TH DEWEY ERO GRACE CLITH 30th Street Plan VINE IRENE Proposed Land Use Map Amendments 30th Street Plan ER 27 th OV RA BELLA CL Land Use Map Use Map Amendment 30th St. Land Amendment RIVIE HAZEL ST AT Commercial The city of Boise has developed a 30th Street Commercial RI E VI HERON Mixed Use Area Master Plan in cooperation with the Ada ER A LEMP Mixed Use Open Space County Highway District (ACHD), neighborhood SE DA EL RO RE VI JO S LI Open Space Features Major Water members, and other stakeholders. ED S RD AM GO AN 30th St. Project Boundary nd HARRISON S Major Water Features 32 O DI The development area is expected to include st NG Street Centerlines 31 15TH 30th St.CLASS Boundary Project th new mixed-use activity centers, new housing, 30 STREET th 29 W HESTER INTERSTATE employment, and shopping opportunities. ILL th 8 Street Centerlines OW STEWART ROSS 2 PRINCIPAL ARTERIAL BA R REGAN InterstateARTERIAL MINOR 28 th th WOODLAWN RURAL ARTERIAL Principal Arterial 37 29 th th RESSEGUIE MAJOR COLLECTOR 36 th Minor Arterial LOCAL 35 MADISON th Local 30 th 29 th 28 th 27 th 34 JEFFERSON ST AT E TH BANNOCK 30 th IDAHO MAIN FAIRVIEW Created by the Comprehensive Planning Division Boise Planning and Development Services Department ! Created by the Comprehensive Planning Division March 11, 20094 November Boise Planning and Development Services Department March 11, 2009 Downtown
  • 5. Market Trends …continued from cover “To me it is important to realize that there can’t be one model, or a national model, of what sustainableas one cohesive system. That is, transportation will be planned communities means because it will be different in everyin light of needs relating to housing, economic development, region. It is an issue communities need to deal withlocal food systems, etc., and vice versa. As an example, the plan locally, based on the resources available to them.”will address the issue of low- and moderate-income housing, – Pat Barclay, Executive Director, Idaho Council onits relationship to job centers, and the need for an adequate Industry and the Environment, Boisetransportation system to get those individuals to and from work. “A sustainable community is a community practicingLuft said, “To truly be sustainable, all long-range planning needs sustainable living and development. This is ato be conducted in light of other issues. For example, we want community that is reproducing its population and usingto make sure plans for increased transit coincide with plans for resources in a way that meets the community’s currentaffordable housing. The goal for the partnerships is to ensure needs while preserving the environment so that thesethat all planning is happening with an awareness of what others needs can continue to be met in the future.”are doing and what their needs are.” – Joe Herring, President, Region IV DevelopmentA similar group of partners is also working together to prepare Association, Twin FallsState Street/State Highway 44 from the capitol to Middleton to “The concept of sustainable communities provides forfunction as a multi-modal corridor, supporting several modes consistent continuity and growth in a community.of transportation such as cars, buses, walking, and biking If developed correctly sustainable communities providewith equitable, affordable housing options and accessible for consistency in every economic environment.”employment. The group will be exploring funding options, – Darsi Johnson, Acting Chair, Pocatello Developmentincluding possible grants such as the Community Challenge Authority Commission, PocatelloGrant offered by the U.S. Departme
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