Investment Level 1
Investment Level 1 Areas are often municipalities, towns, or urban/urbanizing places in counties. Density is generally higher than in the surrounding areas. There are a variety of transportation opportunities available. Buildings may have mixed uses, such as a business on the first floor and apartments above.
Investment Level 1 Strategies:
In Investment Level 1 Areas, state investments and policies should support and encourage a wide range of uses and densities, promote other transportation options, foster efficient use of existing public and private investments, and enhance community identity and integrity. Overall, it is the state's intent to use its spending and management tools to maintain and enhance community character, to promote well-designed and efficient new growth, and to facilitate redevelopment in Investment Level 1 Areas. These areas would be a prime location for designating "pre-permitted areas" to help steer development where the citizens are most prepared to accept it.
Decisions about investments and policies should be based on these principles:
Agriculture: Promote urban-forestry initiatives, farmers' markets, the sale of local agricultural products in traditional grocery stores, restaurants, as well as public and private institutions. Foster and promote efforts to expand public knowledge of agriculture, particularly animal agriculture. Further the Department of Agriculture's consumer protection efforts in support of sustainable economic development. Promote the use of nutrient best management practices (BMP) in the urban/suburban setting in support of improved water quality.
Economic Development: Focus new and expansion projects on facilities or sites located in Level 1 and Level 2 Areas. Also, promote the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Consider providing enhanced incentives to those projects that select locations in Level 1 or Level 2 Areas.
Work with communities, property owners, federal and state agencies and developers to identify and promote the redevelopment and reuse of underused, abandoned, or "brownfield" sites, in a manner consistent with the Investment Level 1 and Level 2 Areas' character and needs. Aggressively seek alternative funding for development/ redevelopment projects in Level 1 and 2 Areas.
Education: It is the goal of the state Department of Education (DOE) to direct new school construction to areas that will integrate school facilities into the communities and neighborhoods they serve. DOE recognizes the integral role of educational facilities within communities. As such, DOE seeks to assure that residential growth that generates additional demand on educational facilities is managed and planned with adequate educational infrastructure in mind.
- Where possible, retrofit and renovate older schools that still serve the community in the general proximity.
- Assure adequate civil infrastructure availability to accommodate current and future educational facilities.
- Assure transportation-system connections and availability to support multimodal access within the community, to include, but not limited to, walk paths, bike paths, and safe pedestrian grade crossings.
- Assure transportation system adequacy to accommodate bus and delivery-vehicle traffic to current, planned, or potential educational facilities.
- Provide recreation and athletic facilities and opportunities to the communities served.
Housing: Support the development of a broad mix of housing options to meet the needs of people of all abilities, income levels, and housing types. Coordinate the provision of housing with the location of jobs, transit, services, and infrastructure. Take advantage of quality design to create attractive areas that maximize quality of life. Housing, particularly multi-family, should be compatible with a community's character. To buffer market forces that can result in displacement and to protect public investment, use incentives and programs to ensure long-term affordability in new construction and preserve affordability in existing housing.
Emphasize infill and redevelopment of vacant and under-utilized parcels within developed areas. Successful infill can provide additional density in a manner that fits the existing context and maximizes the use of existing public infrastructure. Promote rehabilitation of aging housing stock to improve existing communities.
Level 1 Areas are experiencing the impacts of the foreclosure crisis through increased and longer-term vacancies and abandoned homes. This is particularly acute in areas that were already struggling. Utilize collaborative measures to restore and improve these existing neighborhoods through a variety of acquisition, code-enforcement, rehabilitation, and community-development measures.
Natural Resources and the Environment: Focus on existing water and wastewater systems for improved efficiency, enhanced water-quality management, and additional capacity for redevelopment and infill. Support development and maintenance of recreational and open-space facilities, including urban parks and recreational areas, waterfronts, and interconnectivity through greenways, bikeways, and so forth. Provide grants and funding for water and wastewater, parks acquisition and development, greenways and trails, recycling, brownfields, and "green building" incentives.
State Facilities and Investments: Investment Level 1 Areas are priority locations for new public uses and expanded existing uses. State investments in public facilities, such as libraries, courts, and health-care and public safety buildings, should be strategically located to foster community identity and vitality, and complement the historic character.
Transportation: In Level 1 Areas the state's first priority will be for preserving existing facilities and making safety improvements. Level 1 areas will also be its highest priority- for context sensitive transportation system capacity enhancements ; transit -system enhancements, ADA accessibility, and for closing gaps in the pedestrian system, including, the Safe Routes to School projects. Additionally, Level 1 areas are a first priority for planning projects and studies, bicycle facilities, signal-system enhancements, the promotion of interconnectivity of neighborhoods and public facilities. Additionally, street design and access should be compatible to the context of an area.