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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sustainable Development Commission

Development Standards Sub-Group

Monday May 11, 2009

4:00 PSA Dewberry

Meeting Notes

 

Attendees

 

Patrich Urich

Beernie Koch

Dianne Cullinan

Warren Knoles

Mike Chilslu

Tomm Arbuckle

Craig Hullinger

 

Hullinger noted that Committee Chairman Ray Lees had to leave town on short notice and could not attend the meeting.  Lees had meet with Pat Landes and discussed sustainable development codes. Her comments are listed below:

The City and Planning Commission will be re-writing the Subdivision Ordinance later this year to address sustainable planning issues. Landes indicated that she would really appreciate the opportunity to work with our group on related issues.  Our professional, community and general experience is valued and we could assist them with several specific initiatives in the works.  The three primary issues are:

1.     Zoning code development for a new industrial classification somewhere between I-1 Industrial/Business Park and I-2 Railroad/Warehouse Industrial to accommodate the needs of a “Sustainable Industrial Technology Park” with distinctive attributes.  There is a specific business retention target in the works right now that could benefit from such a new code/classification which could significantly impact, in a positive way, our community’s land use plan.

2.    Solar Access and Wind Turbines…new codes to more effectively respond to the community’s growing interest in these renewable energy sources.

  3.    Sustainable affordable residences…the City has funding through HUD to subsidize and control the type of construction of new housing for low income residents in targeted areas of the City.  They would like to dictate that sustainable features be built into the homes.  The area of focus is the neighborhood surrounding the new Harrison School.  And, while the City can influence what the builder builds by controlling the dollars, HUD funds won’t pay for the design of such residences.  So, I see an opportunity to possibly collaborate with the architectural/engineering programs at ICC, U of I and/or Bradley to develop designs and plans for the homes.

 

The Committee discussed alternate approaches to developing standards for encouraging sustainable development in Peoria. The consensus of the group was that we want to avoid requiring too many new standards in this tough economy.  The Committee did agree that we could develop a listing of desirable green technology improvements, and encourage developers and governments to implement some of these standards.

 

The committee listed a number of potential “green” improvements that should be encouraged.  These include:

 

Promote more efficient buildings

Use passive solar orientation of buildings

Encourage solar and wind energy systems

Use recycled material in buildings

Recycle building material waste

 

Encourage rain harvesting & irrigation

Support the use of natural landscaping

Employ green roofs

Improve City and County staff knowledge of “green” techniques

Support quality construction for long lived buildings

 

Encourage mixed use development

Support walk to work programs

Encourage development that supports transit

Support efforts to redevelop older communities

Permit Live / Work Space development

 

Support natural open space and parks

Design wetlands, drainage systems, retention and bio swales into parks

Use open surface natural drainage where feasible

Require street trees

Encourage the use of geothermal energy

 

Revisit development requirements, minimizing pavement widths and costs

Update City / County codes to permit and encourage “green” development

Support the development of the local production of “green” technology equipment

Incorporate bikeways and pedestrian paths into new and older developments

 

 

 

 

 

Commission members will examine what other cities have been doing in green development. It was noted that nearby Normal is a leader in “Green” development.  We will discuss a possible trip to look at their new downtown redevelopment.

The Committee discussed the possibility of providing incentives to promote green development. We already have a program in place - Tax Increment Financing can pay for all the items listed in these notes. 

 

Federal Historic tax credits help provide 10 to 20% tax credits for the redevelopment of buildings older then1936.  The Federal tax code also provides a 30% tax credit for “green” energy investments. There is now consideration of a State program that would provide a State tax credit for redeveloping older buildings.

 

The Enterprise Zone does not at present provide abatement for green development, but staff will examine the possible revision of the Enterprise Zone for this use.  The County and City will review the potential of lowering building permit fees to support green development.

 

The Committee agreed to review these notes, and discuss them at the next meeting.


A draft of the Sustainable Technology Park Poster Plan Is attached. More information is available at http://peoria.blog.com/  

 

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