Fall 2010 Cornerstones - Idaho Housing and Finance

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. Focus: Industry Innovators Planning for Growth Harmoniously When we think of fast paced growth in Idaho, She said the Teton Valley presented some challenges in designing Teton Valley may not be the first thing that comes sustainable developments due to old ordinances and restrictions to mind, but it has been one of the fastest growing such as parking requirements, street widths, and population areas in Idaho. According to the U.S. Census Bureau; density restrictions. Jennifer and her team have worked with from 2000 to 2009 the population of Teton County officials in the cities of Driggs and Victor as well as Teton County increased over 55%. Located on the west slope of the to change some of the restrictions to accommodate the innovative Teton Mountain Range and bordered on three sides by designs and needs of sustainable, conservative developments. mountains; the valley’s natural resources and quality of life are the things driving growth in the area. These are also the very things Engineers at Harmony Design & Engineering strive to integrate that made Jennifer Zung fall in love with the area while visiting the projects they work on with the surrounding landscape, taking friends in 2003. The small town and friendliness of its people, the a holistic approach. The team completed the site plan for the mountains, the public lands and recreational opportunities, and 105-acre Redtail residential neighborhood two miles east of Driggs. the fresh air all enticed her into moving to Idaho. But it was the Through the use of conservation principals they helped preserve growth, and its impact to the environment, that spurred Jennifer wetlands, vegetation, wildlife habitat, and floodplain areas. into starting Harmony Design & Engineering in Driggs. The development consists of 25 residential home sites and 27 estate cabins; all the cabins are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “The motivation ... was to create an for Homes certified. engineering firm that specialized in Harmony Design & Engineering is also the land planner, civil engineer, and LEED consultant for building things that work with our 100 North Eco Park, a 67-acre light industrial environment, in harmony, and thus and residential project incorporating green building, smart growth, and traditional help us to grow in a sustainable way.” neighborhood design. Zung describes traditional — Jennifer Zung, Principal of neighborhood design as ‘how neighborhoods Harmony Design & Engineering were laid out before we were so auto dependent’; this traditional design includes narrower streets, walking access, and live/work buildings that have Jennifer said she loves to design and create things and majored businesses on the ground floor and residences above. 100 NorthRedtail photos courtesy of Harmony Design & Engineering; portrait by Gabe Rogel. in civil engineering because she wanted to eventually become an Eco-Park was a LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot project. architect. “I later discovered that I really liked civil engineering and water resources in particular,” she said. “I was attracted to water Other projects Zung is proud to be a part of include Trail resource issues because of how important water is to life; to our Creek Crossing, a six-acre, mixed-use development with lives and to the life of our planet.” Jennifer has a M.S. in Hydrologic traditional neighborhood design, walking access to businesses Science and Engineering and a B.S. in Civil Engineering. She is a in the development and downtown Victor, and alternative registered Professional Engineer in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. transportation. She is also very excited about the Red Barn She has provided civil engineering services for commercial and project; an 80-acre residential development in Driggs focused on residential developments in Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and environmental sustainability, social responsibility, diversity, safety, Idaho; and directed sanitation and water supply projects in the and the creation of a healthy and friendly neighborhood. Red Philippines as a U.S. Peace Corp volunteer. With over 16 years in Barn includes a five-acre community park that provides public the civil engineering and water resources field she started Harmony access to the scenic Teton Creek as well as storm water retention Design & Engineering in 2005 and received the Idaho Business and floodplain protection. Woman of the year award in 2008. Zung is a LEED Accredited Professional, sits on the board of Central to Harmony Design & Engineering’s core mission is directors for the Smart Growth Coalition of Fremont County, the to provide professional engineering and planning services board of directors for Teton Valley Community Recycling, and is a that respect and protect our natural world; focusing on low- member of the Driggs Design Review Advisory Committee. With impact, environmentally sensitive solutions to help build better her vast experience, she often presents at planning meetings and communities. Jennifer’s partner and spouse, Randy Blough, seminars. Zung said, “The motivation behind starting Harmony spearheads the planning piece. Jennifer said, “This fits well into Design & Engineering was to create an engineering firm that our mission since all pieces of sustainability (social, environmental, specialized in building things that work with our environment, and economic) tie into how our communities are developed.” in harmony, and thus help us to grow in a sustainable way.” n 6 November
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