A Prescription for TOD

Renata Simril, regional VP for national developer Forest City, describes the financing and policy mechanisms she sees as necessary to bring TOD to cities.

The article excerpts a speech delivered to a Urban Land Institute event last month in Los Angeles:

"According to a Reconnecting America report from 2008, almost a quarter of all renters and buyers will want TOD housing in 2030. L.A. is expected to have a 544 percent increase in demand for TOD housing, or approximately 1.4 million households, by 2030. That compares to 261,000 households in 2000."

"To highlight one example in Los Angeles, the Cornfield Arroyo Specific Plan (CASP) is being undertaken by the Los Angeles Planning Department adjacent to a couple of Gold Line stops. CASP is a great example of the type of collaborative effort that local planning departments can implement. In that project example, the city has taken a large geographic area, looked to rezone, looked to create high density, looked to create a mixed use district that is potentially in the wave of the next development cycle and asked what we could do to support "smart development" and encourage developers to build here. They have gone a step further by working to complete an environmental impact report based upon potential density scenarios that future developers who come into build in that particular area can then tee up and tier off of this master EIR. That will save time and money and the headache of baseless legal challenges."

"Grants are a godsend to developers, both non-profit and for-profit. An example of collaborative effort that has worked in the state of California, notwithstanding the downturn in the economy, is the California Prop 1C bond fund program. This is an example of good funding priorities that help fund infrastructure costs, including parking for catalytic TOD projects in urban core communities, which is the number one cost for the development. Transit oriented development is not just about getting people out of their cars, it's about providing a variety of transit alternatives that reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT)."

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Transit Oriented Development Doesn’t Just Happen!


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