NEWSREVIEW.pngIssue 29/October 2014

Our mission is to bring together resources to achieve Coeur d’Alene’s vision of a diverse, sustainable community with healthy neighborhoods, a vibrant central city, a strong regional economy, sustainable, superior public open spaces, and quality jobs and housing for all.


Urban Infill - Getting the most out of existing infrastructure

What is Urban Infill?Infill-Opportunity.jpg
Urban Infill Development is the process of developing vacant or under-used parcels within existing urban areas that are already largely developed. Open spaces are "filled in” with new construction.  Urban infill development fully utilizes infrastructure and avoids considering costly service extensions to outlying areas. Sometimes referred to as "land-recycling", urban infill can be a remedy for urban sprawl, and provides an economical use of already existing infrastructure.

The notion of urban infill is not a new idea. Its basis stems from a 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where the concept of “smart growth” originated among a new generation of urban planners, developers, architects, historic preservationists and community activists. Based on the premise that growth and development are inevitable, it seeks to make an intentional effort and provide a comprehensive framework in which the growth can occur.

Urban infill principles are directed at developing sustainable communities that are good places to live, work, raise families and to do business. Smart growth primarily aims to provide residents and communities with increased family incomes, improved access to quality education, stimulating the local and regional economy, and to promote livable, safe and healthy places. Smart growth preserves, develops, and invests in physical resources, and infrastructure.

So, what’s the downside?
In outlying areas, builders have more of a blank slate to work with, whereas infill sites come with a barrage of regulatory, market and aesthetic conditions that the builder must work within. These conditions can create a formula that is resistant to change. Neighborhoods that are targets for infill often have parcels of blighted land scattered among places of residence. Developers must be persistent in order to amass land parcel by parcel, and often find resistance from landowners in the targeted areas. Opponents fear density, and voice concerns that “infill’ will overload city services, increase traffic, pollution and decrease green space.

Positive Aspects
On the up-side, successful infill development programs focus on crafting complete, well-functioning neighborhoods. Infill developments are more compact and less consumptive of land and resources. They offer increased mobility for those who can't drive or prefer not to drive, and is an important part of the formula for minimizing traffic congestion as it provides housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools.

Incorporating mixed-use and multi-functional purposes to a site or building promotes different uses at different times of the day.  Neighborhoods are activated making them more useful and livelier for longer periods of the day and night making it a more attractive, interesting place to live.
Coeur d’Alene’s Midtown neighborhood could not be a more perfect example of a candidate for urban infill. Through planning and insight LCDC has assembled parcels and removed blighted structures in an effort to weave the fabric of a vibrant, walkable, mixed use neighborhood. 

Since the formation of the Midtown Overlay District in 2004, LCDC has invested $2.5 million in Midtown.  At a recent board meeting public comment by long time Midtown residents expressed that through its ups and downs, Midtown is now experiencing the “most progressive period of positive change and revitalization” in its history. 

LCDC acknowledges that urban infill, mixed use developments are not without significant planning and operational challenges. In today’s economic climate getting key players to step forward to create a village center that includes a mix of shops, and affordable residential opportunities is still difficult but not impossible.

In further regard to urban infill locally, LCDC has worked toward land assemblage within its districts since its formation in 1997. Perhaps the most notable was the assemblage of property around city hall that made way for the location of Coeur d’Alene’s award winning, new public library.
Throughout Coeur d’Alene there are other opportunities to reuse and reposition obsolete or underutilized buildings and sites. This type of development is essential to renewing deteriorating neighborhoods and knitting them back together with more prosperous areas of the community.

For more resources on urban infill visit:

Infill development in Plain English: http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/planning/lu/infill.aspx

Infill Development - Strategies for Shaping Livable Neighborhoods:
http://www.mrsc.org/publications/infill1.pdf


North Idaho College awarded $6.4 million grant to train health care professionals

NIC’s record-breaking $6.4 million federal grant to train more health care professionals is great news for the Coeur d’Alene community. In partnership with three other Idaho colleges, NIC will take the lead to meet workforce demands in the health care industry through a collaborative network of training programs.

Other colleges taking part in the program are Lewis-Clark State College, Eastern Idaho Technical College, and Idaho State University College of Technology. The grant awards community colleges and universities around the country funding for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program (TAACCCT).  NIC was the only Idaho College to receive the funding.

LCDC is a comChristy-Doyle.pngmitted partner with NIC, UI and LCSC on the proposed joint use building to be located on the Higher Education Campus.  A hope is that Kootenai Health (KH) can become another stakeholder in the building if some form of health care programming or health care space can be created in the joint use building.  NIC’s grant may play a role in helping to set the table for Kootenai Health being a stakeholder.

Local community voices have long touted the exceptional abilities of North Idaho College’s willingness to create and deliver educational programs designed to meet the needs of specific industries and new technology employers. The project for which the grant was awarded addresses the shortage of a skilled workforce by expanding and improving the ability to deliver education and corresponding student support programs suited for workers eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers program.

Sara-F.png"For America's workforce to be competitive in the 21st century, our workers must possess the skills employers need for their businesses to succeed. That is why employers should partner with educational institutions and government to help develop curriculum and credentialing programs at the local level," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

NIC Grants Coordinator Sara Fladeland and Dean of Health Professions and Nursing, Christy Doyle, were the driving force behind NIC’s success in obtaining the largest award in NIC’s history. “It was their hard work that brought together this collaborative effort,” said Joe Dunlap, NIC President.

Sara Fladeland stated that the grant will be used to pay for the costs of instruction and procuring the equipment necessary to deliver it.


Update on BNSF right of way purchaseBNSF_logo_T.JPG

In our August 2014 newsletter we reported that the city council voted to proceed with a formal request to LCDC to help fund the acquisition of the BNSF right-of-way property. The request was presented at our August 20 board meeting.  A motion by Commissioner Hoskins, seconded by Commissioner Goodlander was carried by the board as follows:

“to approve an amount not to exceed $1,525,000 for acquisition of BNSF r-o-w property located in the LCDC’s Lake and River districts, subject to an acceptable yet to be crafted Purchase & Sale Agreement, with said acquisition amount broken down as follows: Lake District: $750,000; River District: $775,000.”

Gridley_Mike.jpgMike Gridley, city attorney confirmed that the city’s offer was accepted by BNSF and that both parties are working through the terms of the Purchase & Sale Agreement. The closing date of the contract is anticipated to be in December 2014, or early January 2015.

"The city is looking forward to working with neighborhood stakeholders, adjacent property owners and the community to develop the space along the corridor", he added.

 

 

 


 

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Community Profile

Editor's note: As part of the LCDC's continuing commitment to maximize public awareness about community issues and the agency, we offer monthly profiles of community leaders. This month, we feature LCDC Board Member Deanna Goodlander.

DeannaGoodlander.png

Deanna Lee Goodlander

Deanna Lee Goodlander was born and raised in the City of Coeur d’Alene. Her father, Orrin Lee, was the first President of North Idaho College (NIC). She attended NIC, the University of Idaho, and graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Communications. Ms. Goodlander served on the Coeur d’Alene City Council from 1998-2013.

Goodlander partners with her son, Philip, in various business interests, and serves as Vice President for the Lake City Center board. As a board member of Lake City Development, Goodlander chairs the Housing Committee, and serves on the Communications and Acquisitions Committee.

What was your interest in serving on the LCDC Board?
I have always enjoyed my associations with the high quality of people that serve on the LCDC Board that have a sincere interest in making our community a better place. In its beginnings we had a very small amount of funds to work with to try and make a difference. Early partnerships with individuals like John Stone and the Riverstone project were possible because we were able to support the project over an extended time period. The urban renewal process works and does not gamble with taxpayer dollars. With the tax increment financing model, if projects do not produce the projected revenue then the developer is on the hook not the public.

What do you think are the major economic issues facing the community?
As always, we need to be sure we have the ability for job creation. Direct improvements to Downtown, Midtown provide economic growth. McEuen Park is also an economic tool that creates opportunities. When Steve Griffitts at JobsPlus brings business owners with an interest in relocating to Coeur d’Alene they tour our community and are shown The Kroc Center, McEuen Park, and the Cd’A Library all which are projects in which LCDC played a part. They are also show Kootenai Health which plays a big part in our economic development picture.

How can LCDC help?
By continuing to create amenities and facilities that serve our community. The Arts is another piece of the puzzle. Idaho’s state government does not offer a lot of incentives for businesses to move here like other states do, so we must make up for that by showcasing our quality of life. All the public projects contribute to our community’s desirability.

How different do you think Cd’A would be today without urban renewal?
Without urban renewal the library would not have been built where it is today. It’s not just about the space, but the quality of the space. We would not have McEuen Park and all the additional parking downtown. Urban renewal has allowed us to acquire more land to be used for future parking as well.  The Higher Education Campus streetscapes would not have been developed as effectively without urban renewal. The energy created there creates opportunities for future growth. Without urban renewal John Stone would not have risked developing Riverstone, and the Kroc Center would not have been able to meet all the qualifications necessary.

What expertise do you bring?
I was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene; it has always been a hard place to make a living after the downturn in mining and logging. My personal goal has been to make our community a better place to live. I feel fortunate to have been involved in the library project and on the city council. Since my dad’s early days at NIC, I and my family have always had a connection to the community, and a sense of pride in what Cd’A is today.

What message needs to get out about LCDC?
There has been too much misinformation and misleading information by anti-urban renewal opponents.
Especially concerning how dollars are generated and what they do for the economic health of our community. LCDC helps us invest in our future.

What do you see in LCDC’s future?
We will continue to work on parking and Midtown development, as well as the Four Corners project,  the Centennial Trail, and the waterfront properties along Atlas  Road and Seltice Way. Without LCDC we would not have the Centennial Trail as it is today. There is only 7 years left in the Lake District, in the future LCDC will continue making a healthy community, create more parking and improve other properties that improve our quality of life.