Conroy: Smart Growth Initiatives Gaining Momentum in Alabama
March 13, 2004 --
differently as smart growth, sustainable development and long-range
planning, but most call this week's actions taken by the Alabama House
of Representatives as nothing more than good old fashioned common sense,"
said House Speaker Seth Hammett.
House Bill 309 by Representative Bill Dukes and House Bill 116 by Representative
Terry Spicer were supported and passed this week in Montgomery.
"Both are considered smart growth initiatives as they encourage economic
development while protecting the special places that Alabamians have
come to love and appreciate," said Pete Conroy, director of Jacksonville
State University's Environmental Policy and Information Center and chairman
of Hammett's Smart Growth Working Group.
House Bill 309 makes long overdue, technical improvements to the state's
municipal planning code. House Bill 116 allows for the cleanup and development
of old industrial sites and other "brownfield" properties that might
have been contaminated or abandoned.
"This legislation marks an important milestone in our State's understanding
of smart growth," said Larry Watts, executive director of the Birmingham
Planning Commission. "We now hope that the state Senate and governor
will see these initiatives as tools that will help our communities to
be as friendly and profitable as possible," he continued.
The Alabama Smart Growth Working Group has supported another legislative
initiative that establishes a state mapping council. It assists counties,
municipalities, business and conservation leaders to make coordinated
decisions through the use of satellite based imagery and Global Positioning
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