Infill and Redevelopment is considered smart, fiscally responsible and sustainable for many reasons. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, infill and redevelopment conserves resources by reinvesting in existing infrastructure and rehabilitating historic buildings; promotes walkable neighborhoods that are near necessities and amenities, thereby making multi-modal transportation options more feasible; promotes a diversity of housing types, thereby meeting the needs of all citizens; creates economically competitive communities that create business opportunities and strengthen the local tax base; and protects our health and natural environment.
While the benefits of infill and redevelopment are clear, it can also be difficult and costly to developers because of the unique challenges it poses. Because it is critical to the health and sustainability of our community, creation of an incentive program has been a long-standing recommendation of policy makers and the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.
In order to preserve and improve our quality of life and make our city work for all our citizens, we must facilitate appropriate infill and redevelopment. Doing so makes it easier and more likely that blighted, underutilized and vacant land will be reclaimed for commercial, residential and industrial uses—improving public safety and real estate values in our city, while also providing for more affordable housing and a variety of economic development opportunities.
We applaud the administration and Commissioner of Planning, Preservation and Development Derek Paulsen for proposing creation of a Public Infrastructure Fund. The Fund will provide monies to assist with the cost of construction of necessary public infrastructure—such as sanitary sewer, public sidewalks and public roads. If properly administered, the Fund can leverage private investment to create jobs, increase affordable housing and provide much needed improvements to neglected areas of our community—a win all around for our community and quality of life for all our citizens.
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