Downtown Los Angeles, California – the heartbeat of one of the liveliest cities in the U.S. Over the last 20 years, Downtown L.A. has developed into a major metropolitan hub thanks to new investments in housing, jobs, retail, and public transit. The city is now proposing a Community Benefits Program, which incentivizes the development of affordable housing and encourages the creation of housing for a range of incomes in the Downtown area. Under the program, projects would receive increased development rights in exchange for setting aside a certain number of affordable units.
This is just one example of how attainable housing is being prioritized in communities throughout North America. And not just in the vibrant urban centers like L. A. – the urgency to meet the demand for housing at all levels, but particularly for the lower income bracket, is being felt in towns, cities, counties, and villages from coast to coast. Strategic planning by local governments and collaboration with developers, industries, and other stakeholders is resulting in some very creative and forward-thinking solutions to the problem.
In this month’s edition of Business View Civil & Municipal, we visit eight progressive communities that are making their own plans for short term and long term population growth. Chowchilla, California has a series of residential projects in the works, including a master planned community that when complete will include over 2,000 single-family lots and substantial commercial acreage. And Killingly, Connecticut is getting creative with expanding its housing market, after ordering a Phase 1 environmental assessment on two mills planned for conversion into workforce housing.
In Cibolo, Texas, all new residential and commercial developments will now fit the master plan for trails, making sure everything connects. They have dedicated parkland credits that developers can receive by donating green spaces. Meanwhile, Snellville, Georgia – one of the first suburbs of Atlanta – is completely transforming the look of the city center to include a downtown that will not only bring people together for events and recreation, but also provide diverse, mixed-use housing.
North of the U.S. border, a quartet of communities in Ontario has lots of positive news to report on the housing front. First off, the charming small town of Aylmer is considering boundary adjustments to create more space for residential development, with an expectation of a strong building year in 2022.
Malahide Township is focusing on future growth by unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit. If you’re looking to start a business, this is a great place to do it. And the municipality of Plympton-Wyoming is doing some comprehensive planning of its own, as the residential development boom is inspiring a similar boom with businesses downtown.
A popular tourist destination on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay, The Town of The Blue Mountains believes their Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, official plan, and transportation plan are essential to the continued prosperity of the town – for visitors, residents, and all those who make the wise choice to live there in the future.
I hope you enjoy the cross-countries tour and find some inspiration for the community that you call home. Cheers!
Editor in Chief
Lorie Lee Steiner