Pima County, Ariz. (Nov. 17, 2011) – Pima County’s Development Services Department is the winner of one of 15 smart-growth technical assistance planning grants awarded by Smart Growth America, in Washington, D.C.
Pima County is the only Arizona winner.
Pima County Planning Director Arlan M. Colton said the grant will provide the county with all-expenses paid technical assistance over one or two days to begin a “smart growth audit” of the County’s zoning code.
The goal is to reduce barriers to – and create opportunities for – smarter, more efficient and sustainable growth. Pima County’s zoning code covers county land outside cities and towns.
“Our zoning code was last overhauled in 1985 and has been updated many times since then, but it is still fundamentally based on a sprawl-inducing land-use pattern that was popular in 1952 when zoning was first adopted by the county,” Colton said.
“Smart growth strategies can ultimately help boost the local economy, make more efficient use of land and infrastructure and improve the quality of life,” he added.
Smart Growth America helps with coalition building, policy development and research to help communities find local solutions to help bring smart growth practices to quality-of-life projects, such as providing more sidewalks, building housing near public transportation and creating neighborhoods, while protecting the environment.
The Smart Growth grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainability Program. It provides targeted assistance to communities tackling development problems.
The winners, chosen from about 90 entrants in 34 states, were selected for their “strong interest in and need for smart growth tools,” Smart Growth officials said.
In its application, Pima County demonstrated “a commitment from local business, community and political leaders to implement smart growth solutions.”
Among the other communities awarded a Smart Growth grant are Derry Township, Penn.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Tacoma, Wash.; New Orleans, La.; and Greer, S.C.
To read more about Smart Growth America, go to www.smartgrowthamerica.org.