Proposal on Smart Planning

The Rebuild Iowa Office has developed a proposal on developing a statewide, integrated planning system titled Recovering from the Storms, Planning for the Future: A Safer, Smarter, Stronger Iowa.

Based upon proposed Iowa Smart Planning Principles, this document outlines a framework for a local, regional and statewide planning process, including a Plan of Action with comprehensive, priority strategies.

Proposed Iowa Smart Planning Principles

The following Principles are not listed in order of priority:

Ensure Stakeholder, Community and Regional Collaboration in Development Decisions

  • Engage in the development and implementation of local, regional, and statewide plans that have broad public support.
  • Encourage involvement of all interested citizens and stakeholders in planning processes and ensure coordination between communities and jurisdictions to reconcile conflicts.
  • Create and implement a meaningful public outreach and participation strategy to ensure the public’s voice is incorporated in planning processes.

Advance Equity: Predictable, Fair and Cost Effective Development Decisions

  • Individuals, communities, regions, state and federal government have shared responsibility to promote the equitable distribution of development benefits and burdens.
  • Make regulatory and permitting processes for development clear, predictable, coordinated, and timely to ensure predictability.
  • Ensure that local plans and implementation steps are consistent with all of Iowa’s Smart Planning Principles.
  • Incorporate internal, horizontal, and vertical consistency between plans and associated regulations.
  • Consider the long-term costs and benefits to the State of Iowa, local governmental units, and future generations.

Promote Clean Energy Production and Increase Energy Efficiency

  • Maximize energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels.
  • Iowa should retain its position as a leader in renewable energy production.

Increase Diversity of Job and Business Opportunities

  • Improve access to education, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Support the growth of a diversity of local businesses and jobs.
  • Attract businesses and jobs to locations near existing housing, infrastructure, and transportation options to ensure business owners and employees can access resources, reduce travel time, and improve quality of life.

Concentrate Development and Mix Land Uses

  • Facilitate the revitalization of established town centers and neighborhoods by promoting development that conserves land, protects historic resources, promotes walkability, and integrates uses.
  • Encourage remediation and reuse of existing sites, structures, and infrastructure as a priority over construction in undeveloped areas.
  • Development should occur first where infrastructure already exists or can be provided in an efficient manner.

Expand Diversity in Housing Opportunities and Choices

  • Support the construction and rehabilitation of homes to meet the needs of people of all abilities, income levels, and household types.
  • Build homes near jobs, transit, and where services are available.
  • Promote a variety of residential densities and housing types, and encourage preservation of existing housing stock.
  • Foster the development of housing in a way that is compatible with a community’s character and vision.

Foster Distinctive, Attractive Communities with a Strong Sense of Place

  • Craft a community vision and set standards for development and construction which respond to local values and architectural distinctiveness.
  • Such communities are interesting, unique, and foster the types of physical environments which support a cohesive community fabric.

Protect, Preserve and Wisely Utilize Natural Resources and Working Lands

  • Protect, preserve, and restore environmentally sensitive lands, natural resources, agricultural lands, and cultural and historic landscapes.
  • Increase the quantity, quality, and accessibility of open spaces and recreational opportunities.
  • Construct and promote developments, buildings, and infrastructure that conserve natural resources by reducing waste and pollution through efficient use of land, energy, water, and materials.
  • Encourage the conservation of productive agricultural lands and discourage incompatible uses.

Incorporate Green Building and Infrastructure Design

  • Developments should incorporate green building concepts, including consideration of lot siting; connectivity to surrounding development; water conservation; energy efficiency; and utilization of reused, recycled or renewable materials.
  • Promote development and implementation of green infrastructure best practices, including green solutions for storm water management.

Provide for a Variety of Transportation Choices

  • Maintain and expand transportation options that maximize mobility, reduce congestion, conserve fuel, and improve air quality.
  • Prioritize rail, bus, shared-vehicle and shared-ride services, bicycling, and walking.
  • Ensure transportation options are integrated and consistent with land use objectives.

Iowa Smart Planning