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Stimulating Infill and Brownfield Development in the Land-of-Sky Region

Land-of-Sky Regional CouncilLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimerreceived EPA funding in 2005 as part of the Smart Growth Brownfield grant program. This program supports community efforts to integrate smart growth principles and practices into brownfield redevelopment efforts. The funding helps communities examine the regulatory climate for redevelopment of brownfield, infill, and vacant properties.

In this project, Land-of-Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) analyzed the barriers to infill and brownfield redevelopment in its four-county region in western North Carolina and proposed a set of possible policy solutions for overcoming the barriers identified during the analysis.

Key findings

The analysis of the barriers to infill and brownfield redevelopment included discussions with stakeholders such property owners, developers, the finance community, neighborhood groups, city staff, and local decision makers. The most prominent barriers were (in order of importance):

  1. The need for leadership to proactively plan and zone areas for redevelopment and to make strategic investments in infrastructure and public services. The region has a number of good plans and needs to focus on implementation of the plans.
  2. Current zoning is typically not appropriate for the type or intensity of development to make development feasible.
  3. Land assemblage and acquisition and the current development pattern.
  4. Lack of financial incentives to encourage infill development.
  5. Obtaining financing for mixed-use projects and brownfield redevelopment projects is difficult.
  6. Neighborhood opposition to higher density and infill development.
  7. Approval and permitting processes are inconsistent, inefficient, and lengthy.

The study, Stimulating Infill and Brownfield Development in the Land-of-Sky Region (PDF) (26 pp, 1 MB, About PDF) discusses each of the barriers and presents a set of solutions that could be adopted as policy. In addition, the study shows how some of the municipalities in the Land-of-Sky region have already moved towards improving the regulatory climate for infill and brownfield redevelopment.

In April 2007, LOSRC sponsored a conference in Asheville, North Carolina, called "Paths to Redevelopment." LOSRC presented much of the analysis from this study and used it as an organizing structure for the conference. Click here for more information about the conference and to see conference presentationsLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer.

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