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Useful Community Development: What's New

Here are the most recent important changes to our website, including new articles, visitor questions, and editors' answers. You'll also find links to significantly revised pages and time-sensitive or short items we want to bring to your attention. Sometimes we also add short items of interest, especially time-sensitive notes about conferences, webinars, or seasons.

Conditional Use Permit Did Not State Hours of Operation

Visitor Question: There is a building that is on property that is zoned residential and is surrounded by residentially zoned property. The city does not

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Mixed-Income Housing Promotes Exciting Neighborhoods and Social Equity

A mixed-income housing stock strengthens our social contract. A mixed-income neighborhood accessible to young people adds vibrancy to street life and can add new energy to civic life.

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Do big streetscape projects bring maintenance headaches

Visitor Question: I'm on the board of a business improvement district. Several of our board members want to see a major revamp of our streetscape, including

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Clean Your Streams Day 21

Visitor Story: In September 2017, Partners for Clean Streams hosted the 21st Annual Clean Your Streams Day in Northwest Ohio. This program is a concentrated

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Green Communities: Municipal Steps To Sustainability

Green communities can improve local quality of life while addressing climate change, saving energy and materials, preventing water pollution, reducing the energy and pollution aspects of travel, and making new development more sustainable.

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Should Family Farm Zoning Have Been Revealed

Visitor Question: Neighbors are claiming a property was sold to them without being told it had a family farm designation, and now they want to break the

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Smart Grid: What It Is and Why Your Community Should Care

With so much talk about community resiliency right now, community leaders need to become aware of the future smart grid and how it might impact the frequency and duration of crippling power outages, as well as how to engage with utilities on this topic.

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Sound Annexation Policy Meets Multiple Good Planning Objectives

Annexation may be a tool to reduce the likelihood of future blight, to bring zoning and subdivision regulation consistency throughout a growing urban area, and to help control sprawl and random growth. This article includes a sample policy and discussion of resident role.

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City Planning with Kids Is Unpredictable But Rewarding

City planning with kids involves the ultimate stakeholders in deliberating about the community's future. It also can produce candid comments, lucid perceptions, and truth telling episodes unlikely with adults.

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Higher Education and Economic Development Can Partner for Job Creation

An institution of higher learning contributes substantially to the economic base of a city. But a community can rev up that link between higher education and economic development. Here’s how.

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Retail Attraction Especially Fruitful if Mom and Pop Stores Dominate

Retail attraction strategies to fill your business districts with just the right mix of stores to fit your community can be a challenge. Personal outreach and solid research are needed.

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Manufactured Housing Advantages and Disadvantages to Communities

Manufactured housing, formerly known as mobile homes or trailers, may help meet affordable housing policy goals but raises concerns about community appearance, small town character, and rural neighborhoods.

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Waterfront Redevelopment Rewards Are Worth the Hard Work

Making your waterway a focal point and activity hub instead of a grungy back door to the community can really boost your economic development potential. Waterfront redevelopment requires careful planning.

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Transfer of Development Rights a Potent Tool for Targeting Growth

A transfer of development rights from agricultural land to more urban land is a fair, private transaction helpful in preventing sprawl. Page discusses pro-con analysis of this technique.

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Thoughtful Neighborhood Publicity Supports Housing Reinvestment

Positive neighborhood publicity, preferably generated free, creates positive impacts on property values, ability to attract investment and businesses, grant funding, and city services.

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