Smart Growth News – September 4, 2012

Top stories:

How Facebook’s Fancy New Headquarters Are Stuck In The Past
The New Republic – August 30, 2012
As shrouded in moss as it might be, the 10-acre campus is fundamentally no different from the tech parks of old: Single-use, completely isolated, and shamefully wasteful of the kind of space that commands such a premium on the other end of the Bay.

Wisconsin DOT broke civil rights rules, U.S. agency says
Journal Sentinel (WI) – September 3, 2012
The state Department of Transportation did not follow federal civil rights rules for at least seven years, a yearlong investigation has found.

The climate bites back
Salon – August 31, 2012
As a wildfire/flash flood cycle ravages the American heartland, ”the climate bites back” may be the 21st century’s karmic rejoinder to the hysterical screams of “freedom!” and “property rights!” when it comes to urban sprawl.

Big boxes at a crossroads
Star Tribune (MN) – September 1, 2012
As big-box retailers close stores in a down economy, municipalities and property owners alike are often stuck with a big box that needs to be filled.

Millennials are slow entering the housing market
The Star Ledger (NJ) – September 2, 2012
The Millennial Generation, those born between the end of the ’70s and the start of the ’90s, have crossed into adulthood. But for varying reasons, they have been slower than others to enter the home-buying market.

Local news:

Mayor makes final push to improve neighborhoods
Press Enterprise (CA) – August 31, 2012
In about three months, Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge will make way for a successor, but he’s hoping that person will carry on some of his initiatives to make the city’s 26 neighborhoods better places to live.

Mass. remains home to toxic sites
Eagle Tribune (MA) – September 2, 2012
Brownfields redevelopment has been a boon for developers ever since the 1998 passage of the state’s Brownfields Act. The act provided financial incentives and liability relief for cleanup projects.

Demolition of Shell station part of Palmetto’s revitalization efforts
Bradenton Herald (FL) – September 1, 2012
In its revitalization efforts, Palmetto has also submitted plans to the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization requesting funding assistance for projects that will enhance vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist mobility along the U.S. 41 corridor.

Chevy Chase building plan draws residents’ ire
Washington Examiner (DC) – September 3, 2012
A proposal to turn a small Chevy Chase shopping center near the Beltway into an urban town center resembling downtown Bethesda or Old Town Alexandria has alarmed many of the area’s roughly 10,600 residents.

Bossier City may revise its architectural standards
Shreveport Times – August 30, 2012
Stricter architectural standards like those being discussed in Bossier City could add 20 percent to 30 percent to the cost of a commercial building frame, according to Sam Marsiglia, executive director of the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).

Request made for WisDOT to consider high speed rail
ABC Affiliate WXOW (WI) – September 1, 2012
The city of Eau Claire is part of a group asking the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to consider an Eau Claire rail line for high speed rail. The request is to include the line as part of an ongoing environmental impact study currently being done by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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