United States
      Environmental Protection
      Agency
      May 2015
www.epa.gov/smartgrowth
     ATTRACTING INFILL DEVELOPMENT IN

 DISTRESSED COMMUNITIES: 30 STRATEGIES
Office of Sustainable Communities
Smart Growth Program

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


Acknowledgments
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Office of Sustainable Communities,
managed the preparation of this report. This report has been subjected to the Agency's peer and
administrative review and has been approved for publication as an EPA document. Mention of trade
names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

Renaissance Planning Group developed much of the research, analysis, and case studies underlying this
report as well as the initial drafts of the report.

Supported by technical assistance from EPA, Mayor of Fresno, California Ashley Swearengin and
Director of the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research Ken Alex co-chaired the Fresno
General Plan Implementation and Infill Development Task Force in 2013. The Task Force identified
most of the strategies detailed in this report. The  Task Force members were some of the brightest and
most experienced practitioners in California and represented the areas of greenfield and infill
development, business management, lending, city planning,  land use and environmental law, transit
and high-speed rail development, public finance, tax credit and other real estate development
finance, and affordable housing.

Contributors and reviewers:

•   EPA Region 9: Scott Stollman
•   California  Strategic Growth Council: Suzanne Hague
•   EPA Office of Sustainable Communities: Geoff Alexander, Matthew Dalbey, Abby Hall, Adhir Kackar,
    and Megan Susman
Cover photo credits:

    •   Front cover, main photo: Heather Heinks, City of Fresno
    •   Front cover, bottom left photo:  Dan Burden
    •   Front cover, bottom middle photo: Gretchen Moore
    •   Front cover, bottom right photo: Mike Bellamente

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


Table of Contents
Executive Summary	1
Introduction	5
  What Is a Distressed Community?	5
  Benefits of Infill	5
  Benefits of Infill Development in Distressed Communities	7
  Challenges to Infill Development in Distressed Communities	8
  Fresno: A Case Study to Encourage Infill in a Distressed Community	10
How to Use This Report	13
Strategies to Encourage Infill Development in Distressed Communities	14
  Building a Strong Foundation	15
     Priorities	16
     Policies	19
     Partnerships	28
     Perception	34
  Paying for Infill Development and Infrastructure	38
     Funding for  Infill Development	38
     Funding for  Infrastructure	45
Appendix A	49
  Self-Assessment Questions for Strategies	49

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


Executive Summary
Since post-World War II, many communities in the United States developed outside city and town
centers, leaving older neighborhoods, traditional downtowns, and central business districts abandoned
and underserved. In the past two decades, many communities have revitalized their central
neighborhoods through infill development—development in a built-up neighborhood, often using
vacant land or rehabilitating existing properties. New development and redevelopment can bring new
housing choices, amenities, services, and jobs. Other communities, however, have been unable to
attract infill development and attain the economic, environmental, health, and quality of life benefits
that accompany it.
EPA developed this report to help local governments overcome    I  infill development occurs in a
obstacles and encourage infill development, particularly in          built-up neighborhood, often
distressed communities. Distressed communities have high          using vacant land or rehabilitating
residential vacancy rates, poverty, and unemployment, which        existing properties. Infill
further compound the many challenges that municipal
governments face, such as limited financial resources. A
distressed community could be a city or a neighborhood or
development can bring many
benefits, including financial
savings for municipalities,
community in a larger, less-distressed city or town. In distressed     '"creased property values for
        .,_.,_,      ,  ^ ,          ^      .   .,.       ,.,,          residents and businesses, easier
communities, the market alone cannot spur significant infill
                                                               travel, reduced pollution, and
development, and the public sector often does not have the               	
                                                               economic stabilization of
financial resources to invest in improving market conditions.         distressed communities.

Infill development can bring several benefits:
    •  Municipalities can save money by promoting development in areas that already have
       infrastructure connected to public services, as opposed to financing new infrastructure for
       greenfield development.
    •  Infill development can raise property values in the surrounding neighborhood.
    •  It can bring residences and destinations closer together, making it easier for people to walk,
       bike, use transit, or drive shorter distances, which reduces  pollution from vehicles.
    •  For distressed communities especially, infill development can help stabilize a community by
       attracting a greater diversity of household income levels, bringing new resources to a
       neighborhood and reducing concentrated poverty.

Distressed communities face challenges in attracting infill development. In neighborhoods where
vacancy rates are high, private developers cannot generate adequate returns on investment to justify
the investment risk. Public incentives and investment could make a project attractive, but distressed
communities usually lack the financial resources to provide them. Even if developers are willing to take
on the risk of an infill development project in a distressed community, they often face difficulty securing
financing because lenders see these projects as risky.  Finally, if existing infrastructure in an infill site
requires substantial improvements, developers might not be willing to develop there.
Executive Summary

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                                                                 Answering the self-assessment
                                                                 questions in this report can help
                                                                 local governments decide
                                                                 whether their community is ready
                                                                 to pursue infill development in
                                                                 distressed communities. Local
                                                                 governments can then use the
                                                                 strategies and tools in this report
                                                                 to help them do so successfully.

Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

Infill in existing neighborhoods can bring environmental and
economic benefits to a community, but it can also disrupt life for
existing residents and businesses, and potentially lead to the
displacement of existing residents and businesses.  It is important
for local governments to listen to and consider the concerns of
people living in priority infill areas as they develop  policies and
programs to attract new development and investment into these
areas. This means giving careful consideration to strategies that
can help longtime residents and businesses stay in  these
neighborhoods, actively participate in planning for infill, and
ultimately benefit from  new growth.

Fresno, California, is a useful case study in identifying strategies and tools to attract infill development
despite serious obstacles. Disinvestment and declining property values across the city's historic core
drained public coffers and constrained tax revenues; contributed to a rise in concentrated poverty and
crime; and detracted from the overall image of Fresno as a good place to live, work, and invest. The
decline of Fresno's central business district and  central historic neighborhoods after World War II
coincided with the city's outward expansion, which consumed a disproportionate share of the city's new
growth and investment. In 2011, the White House designated Fresno to participate in the Strong Cities,
Strong Communities (SC2) initiative, which provides intensive technical assistance and capacity building
to economically distressed cities. Recognizing infill  development as key to the city's goals of revitalizing
downtown and central neighborhoods, the federal SC2 team in Fresno, led by EPA and the state of
California, partnered with the city to convene a  task force of more than 20 of California's leading experts
in development finance, law, public policy, planning, and business. The task force's work, along with the
SC2 team's other experiences in Fresno, informed the strategies in this report.
Figure 1: Downtown Fresno, California skyline. Infill development helps conserve agricultural lands and open space, like some
of the nation's most productive farmland and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada pictured here just outside Downtown Fresno.
Photo source:  Heather Heinks, City of Fresno
Executive Summary

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Strategies to Encourage Infill Development in Distressed Communities

This report organizes 30 strategies into two main categories: foundation and funding.

Strategies in the foundation category refer to critical steps a jurisdiction can take to make infill
development more feasible, such as establishing priorities, policies, and partnerships, and changing
public perceptions. Strategy 1 calls for local governments to  identify specific areas to direct infill
development to before they dedicate time, energy, and resources to implement other strategies
described in this report. Strategy 1 lays the foundation for the strategies that follow.
           Strategy 1: Identify Priority Infill Development Areas
           Strategy 2: Expedite Development Review
           Strategy 3: Set Tiered Impact Fees
           Strategy 4: Ease Parking Requirements in Infill Locations
           Strategy 5: Adopt Flexible Codes
           Strategy 6: Provide Clear Rules for Renovating Historic Buildings
           Strategy 7: Adopt an Adaptive Reuse Ordinance
           Strategy 8: Offer Density Bonuses in Infill Locations
           Strategy 9: Put  Public Offices in Infill Locations
           PARTNERSHIPS
           Strategy 10: Seek State and Regional Partners
           Strategy 11: Identify Key Anchor Institutions
           Strategy 12: Explore Employer-Assisted Housing
           Strategy 13: Engage Philanthropic Organizations
           Strategy 14: Create a Public Sector-Developer Liaison
           Strategy 15: Create a Local Developer Capacity-Building Program
           Strategy 16: Strengthen Code Enforcement
           Strategy 17: Build Complete Streets
           Strategy 18: Create a Business Improvement District
           Strategy 19: Hold Public Events and Festivals in Infill Locations
           Strategy 20: Initiate a Neighborhood Identity Campaign
Strategies in the funding category include some common and innovative federal, state, and local
programs and strategies that can fund infill and infrastructure.
Executive Summary

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
           FUNDING FOR INFILL
           Strategy 21: Enact a Property Tax Abatement Program for Infill Locations
           Strategy 22: Implement a Land Banking Program
           Strategy 23: Implement a Land Value Tax
           Strategy 24: Attract Private Equity
           Strategy 25: Encourage Community Development Corporations
           Strategy 26: Encourage Crowdfundingfor Projects and Businesses in Priority Infill
           Development Areas
           FUNDING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
           Strategy 27: Create a Tax Increment Financing District
           Strategy 28: Establish a Capital Reserve Fund
           Strategy 29: Create Special Assessment Districts
           Strategy 30: Generate Revenue through Naming Rights and Advertising
Appendix A includes self-assessment questions for each strategy to help local governments determine
which strategies are appropriate for their context.

Answering the self-assessment questions should help local governments decide whether their
community is ready to pursue infill development in distressed communities. Local governments can then
use the strategies and tools in this report to help them do so successfully.
Executive Summary

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


Introduction
In the latter half of the 20th century, the United States experienced rapid growth on the periphery of its
urban areas. Overtime, many older neighborhoods, traditional downtowns, and central business
districts were abandoned and today struggle to attract investment. Yet over the last several decades,
many of these central areas have been revitalized as local governments recognized the importance of
revitalizing their core neighborhoods to achieve more robust economic development as well as to raise
the quality of life for their residents.

Development of vacant or underutilized land in previously developed areas, known  as infill
development, has helped bring life back to these areas. Infill development can bring new homes, jobs,
services, and amenities to neighborhoods while using previous public investments more efficiently. But
many communities are still waiting for revitalization to reach their older neighborhoods and
downtowns. They often have distressed economies and real estate markets that left them with neither
the demand nor the  means to develop in these areas. This report describes several strategies that
distressed communities can use to catalyze infill development.

What Is a Distressed Community?
In this report, the phrase "distressed community" refers to a  place with the following challenges:

    •   High rates of unemployment and poverty compared to regional, state, or national averages.
    •   A low-skilled workforce or low rates of educational attainment compared to state and national
        averages.
    •   High residential vacancy rates or weak real estate markets.
    •   Severely constrained fiscal resources at the municipal level and limited infrastructure finance
        tools, such as bonding capacity, to pay for the basic services and functions of municipal
        government.

In distressed communities, the market might not be strong enough to spur significant infill development,
or the public sector might not be able to fund the infrastructure that could help make the market more
attractive. A distressed community can be an entire city or a sub-market in a  larger, less-distressed area.
This report contains strategies that can be useful to  communities of any size, but it is most useful for
communities where the municipal government has few resources to support infill development.

Benefits of Infill
Local governments are promoting infill development for a variety of reasons  related to the economy,
environment, equity, and quality of life.

    •   Infill development makes good fiscal sense.  Developers can typically  use existing infrastructure
       to serve their projects, which is more efficient than extending infrastructure to undeveloped
       greenfields and incurring long-term  maintenance  liabilities. Studies also demonstrate that
       policies allowing more compact, mixed-use development could raise property values and
Introduction

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

        generate more property tax revenue per acre than developing on the periphery, which typically
        less compact.1 Aligning public investments and incentives to encourage infill can also help
        distressed  communities capture more market share of their region's private investment in
        development. This benefit is especially important in the wake of the 2007-2009 national
        recession,  which caused some cities to more closely examine the costs and  benefits of
        continued  greenfield development compared to infill development.

    •   Infill development can bring environmental and quality of life benefits. For example, research
        shows that infill development can reduce driving—and associated greenhouse gas emissions and
        other pollution—by bringing houses closer to daily destinations.2 Closer proximity makes it
        easier for people to walk, bike,  use transit, or drive shorter distances.

    •   Investing in established neighborhoods and downtowns can help stabilize neighborhoods that
        have long struggled with the social problems resulting from concentrated poverty. Concentrated
        poverty can contribute to depressed property values, which in turn can reduce property tax
        revenues in distressed neighborhoods. Infill can attract new investment that results in a more
        balanced mix of incomes within a neighborhood. This, in turn, can attract more businesses and
        amenities, increase the tax base, and help stabilize schools.

    •   Infill development  responds to the nation's changing demographics and market preferences
        by providing more  housing choices. Greenfield development3 dominated the real estate
        market for several  decades. While suburban locations and lifestyles are still attractive to many
        people and are part of a complete spectrum of housing choices, demand for housing,
        employment, and retail in city  centers and historic downtowns is  on the rise. Real estate
        surveys indicate a growing interest for more diverse housing options in vibrant, walkable
        neighborhoods where residents do not need to drive everywhere.4 U.S. Census data indicate
        that these changing preferences are affecting settlement patterns. For example, between
        2010 and 2011, the nation's major cities grew faster than their combined  suburbs for the first
        time since the 1920s.5 A 2011 survey from Builder Magazine indicated that more than half of
        people who had recently bought a home wanted to live closer to  where they worked and
        closer to downtown, and would accept a smaller yard in exchange for more parks and public
        amenities.6 The 2013 National  Association of Realtors Community Preference Survey found
        that 60 percent of respondents prefer a neighborhood with a mix of homes and businesses
        within walking distance, instead of communities that require driving between home, work,
1 Minicozzi, Joe. "Thinking Differently About Development." Government Finance Review. Government Finance Officers Association.
Aug. 2013.
2 Ewing, Reid, and Robert Cervero. 'Travel and the Built Environment." Journal of the American Planning Association 76 (3). 2010.
3 Greenfield development refers to development on previously undeveloped ("green") parcels in suburban or non-urban locations with
limited existing infrastructure and development, (http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/infill greenfield.pdf)
4
 Urban Land Institute. What's Next? Real Estate in the New Economy. 2011. http://www.uli.org/wp-
content/uploads/2012/06/WhatsNextl.pdf.
5 Frey, William H. "Demographic Reversal: Cities Thrive, Suburbs Sputter." Brookings Institution. Jun. 29, 2012.
http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2012/06/29-cities-suburbs-frey.
6 Warrick, Brooke. "Builder Home Buyer Study 2011." Builder Magazine. 2011.
Introduction

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

        and recreation.7 Demographic shifts are also influencing demand for housing in infill locations
        as aging baby boomers seek smaller homes with less upkeep, the Millennial generation starts
        new households and prefers mixed-use neighborhoods with transportation options, and the
        number of single-person households increases.8

Many cities and towns now desire the benefits of infill development, and they are finding willing
developer partners, especially in strong real estate markets. Developers can earn a high return on
investment because they can generally build more on a  smaller footprint than in greenfield
development. However, many distressed cities are competing with jurisdictions with suburban and
exurban sites that might offer developers lower upfront infrastructure costs. If infrastructure upgrades
are needed in infill areas and infrastructure costs are subsidized in greenfield areas, the competition for
private development investment can be  an uneven playing field. It is critical to ensure that regional
infrastructure investment decisions consider full and complete costs, including the long-term
replacement costs that will someday be  needed for new infrastructure. Infill development can increase
costs because developers may have to repair or upgrade aging infrastructure that already exists, but in
other circumstances where existing infrastructure is in good condition, infill can help reduce
construction costs. Distressed communities typically have fewer interested developers due to weak real
estate demand, aging or neglected infrastructure that imposes additional investment risks and costs,
and small and/or irregular parcel sizes.

Benefits of Infill Development  in Distressed Communities
Some of infill's benefits are especially important for distressed communities, which see infill as a way to
relieve fiscal stress and retain younger adults by providing a wider array of housing options. Distressed
communities can achieve these additional  benefits:

    •   Compared to greenfield development, infill development reduces the need to extend
        infrastructure and add services,  which can reduce capital costs for a municipality in the  near
        term and maintenance costs in the long term.9
    •   Compact infill development with a mix of uses yields more property tax revenue per acre than
        spread-out, single-use greenfield development.10
    •   Infill development can help stabilize impoverished or abandoned areas by introducing a more
        diverse mix of households at different income levels.
    •   Infill development provides more choices to meet changing consumer preferences driven by
        demographic shifts.11
7 National Association of Realtors 2013 Community Preference Survey, http://www.realtor.org/reports/nar-2013-community-
preference-survey.
8 EPA. Smart Growth and Economic Success: Investing in Infill Development. 2014. http://www2.epa.gov/smart-growth/smart-
growth-and-economic-success-investing-inf ill-development.
9 Burchell, Robert. W., et al. The Costs of Sprawl—Revisited. Transportation Research Board. 1998.
10 Langdon, Philip. "Best Bet for Tax Revenue: Mixed-use Downtown Development." New Urban News. Sep. 13, 2010.
http://bettercities.net/article/best-bet-tax-revenue-mixed-use-downtown-development-13144.
nWarrick2011.
Introduction

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Figure 2: Infill development is compact development, which helps reduce driving, promotes walking, and typically consumes less land.
Photo source: Mike Bellamente

Challenges to Infill Development in Distressed Communities
Distressed communities face several obstacles to attracting more infill. Weak market demand for real
estate, resulting in low prices and rents, is common. As a result, infill development is not financially
feasible without public incentives or investments in infrastructure improvements. Some common
market challenges are:

     •  Market dilemma: Sometimes, a private developer simply cannot generate adequate returns on
        its investment to justify the risks and challenges. As a result, the local government must
        intervene with an investment or incentive to make the project attractive. Unless an incentive is
        available, the market for infill could struggle to reach a "tipping point" where incentives are no
        longer needed. Most distressed communities cannot afford to make the needed investments,
        but nor can they wait for sufficient market demand.

     •  Risk gap: Developers that are willing to take on the additional risk and invest in an infill project
        could find it difficult to secure financing. Lending institutions are risk averse and might shun
        infill projects because they are perceived as higher risk than similar projects in more affluent
        areas. Once again, the local government might find that it needs to provide incentives to an
        infill project or invest directly in the project to close the financing gap between what the lender
        is willing to provide and other private investment.
Introduction

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

     •  Greenfield-infill relationship: A regional market can absorb only so much growth. The growth
        might happen in greenfield areas, infill areas, or most likely, some combination of the two.
        Development in greenfield locations can absorb market demand that could have gone to infill
        areas, such as downtowns or established neighborhoods. Therefore, market demand for infill
        development can be influenced by a region's balance of greenfield and infill development.

     •  Infrastructure condition: Developers are wary of building in areas where they might need to
        make expensive infrastructure improvements. As the cost of replacing infrastructure increases
        building costs, developers might not be able to get high enough rents or sale prices to recoup
        their investment.

Common public-sector responses to these challenges include funding infrastructure improvements,
acquiring and selling property for redevelopment, and offering financial incentives that require
significant public funds. Yet in distressed communities, these strategies can be out of reach because the
public sector cannot afford to make major investments. For example, many distressed communities lack
access to capital  markets and, as a result, can have long-term public finance constraints that prevent
them from paying for needed infrastructure upgrades, improving public spaces, and cleaning up
abandoned properties or brownfields.12

Local governments might not know how to use different tools or funding resources that could remedy
the market and infrastructure challenges. For example, federal and state governments have funding
programs that can help close the gap between the cost to build and feasible rents and sale prices.
However, these programs are often complex, and funding typically goes to experienced applicants. Local
developers and government staff might not have this experience.

Public perception also affects the market for infill development in distressed communities. A city might
have lost a major employer and could face high unemployment and outmigration as a result. If infill
locations have been neglected or abandoned for a long time, it could be difficult to imagine new growth
or activity in these areas or to envision why these areas would be attractive. These perception issues can
affect the local government's ability to secure financing and could further dampen interest from
developers and retailers.

These challenges affect both supply and demand for infill development. On the supply side, distressed
communities need developers that are willing and able to produce homes, shops, and office space in
infill locations. Enticing these developers might require the public sector to help fill near-term financing
gaps, assemble parcels, clean up a contaminated site, improve nearby amenities such as parks and
streetscapes, or otherwise make infill more attractive. On the demand side, distressed communities
need people and businesses that want to rent or buy space. Demand is affected by many factors, but
local demographics, the economy, income levels, and public perception play important roles. The public
12 EPA defines a brownfield site as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence
or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." For more information on brownfields, see: EPA Brownfields
and Land Revitalization. Basic Information, http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/basic info.htmffplan. Accessed Dec. 3,2014.
Introduction

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


sector and other committed partners can help increase demand in several ways, such as improving
public perception, helping to recruit anchor businesses, and creating location-based incentives for
prospective investors and buyers. Distressed communities will need to consider all of these factors as
they craft approaches to increase both the supply of and demand for infill development.
                  Equitable Development and Meaningful Community Engagement
  This report is focused on strategies that local governments can use to make infill development as viable and
  attractive as greenfield development. Policies that encourage redevelopment and infill in existing
  neighborhoods can bring environmental and economic benefits to a region, but they can also disrupt life for
  existing residents and businesses. It is important for local governments to listen to and consider the
  concerns of people living in priority infill areas as they develop policies and programs to attract new
  development and investment into these areas. This means giving careful consideration to strategies that
  can help longtime residents and businesses stay in these neighborhoods, actively participate in planning for
  infill, and ultimately benefit from new growth.
  Involving residents and stakeholders in decisions about infill and development can help ensure that
  reinvestment is informed and improved by a variety of perspectives, and that it brings the amenities that
  resident's need and desire, and increases the likelihood that new development will bring fair access to new
  opportunities. Meaningful public engagement and involvement can also build long lasting support for infill
  from a broad range of constituents. For developers, this can lead to more predictable development
  processes and reduce costly delays caused by community opposition. EPA's Office of Environmental Justice
  and Office of Sustainable Communities have developed an informational publication that brings together
  smart growth, environmental justice, and equitable development principles and that community-based
  organizations, local and regional decision makers, developers, and others can use to build healthy,
  sustainable, and inclusive communities. The document, entitled "Creating Equitable, Healthy, and
  Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and  Equitable
  Development," aims to build on past successes and offers low-income, minority, tribal, and overburdened
  communities approaches to shape development that responds to their needs and reflects their values. The
  publication provides a brief introduction to a range of different strategies that communities have
  successfully used to improve development outcomes in their neighborhoods.
  For more information on equitable development and other strategies to accompany infill, visit:
  http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/equitable-dev/equitable-development-report-508-011713b.pdf.
Fresno: A Case Study to Encourage Infill in a Distressed Community
Fresno, California, is an instructive case study for identifying and implementing strategies to foster infill
development in distressed communities. Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California, located in the heart
of one of the most productive agricultural  regions in the world. The city faces severe economic and fiscal
challenges, which were compounded by the economic recession. Disinvestment and declining property
values across acres of the historic city core drained public coffers and constrained tax revenues;
contributed to a rise of concentrated poverty and crime; and diminished Fresno's overall image as a
good place to live, work,  and  invest. Moreover, the city has some of the worst air quality in the nation,
making transportation options that could reduce driving a key strategy to help reduce air pollution.
Introduction                                                                                     10

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

Fresno's steady population growth over several decades dramatically expanded the region's footprint, but
not all parts of the city have shared in the benefits of this growth. As in many distressed communities,
Fresno's central business district and historic neighborhoods have been in decline for several decades
as new growth and investment were focused more heavily on areas of outward expansion.
        FRESNO GENERAL PLAN  I. PD
  Figure 3: Fresno General Plan Update. This map shows post-1945 growth (red) and pre-1946 growth (blue).
  Image source: City of Fresno

The city studied several different growth scenarios for its 2035 general plan update and found that
increasing infill development would likely increase tax revenue and reduce infrastructure and service
costs in the long term.13 The city also views infill development as a tool to help solve several other
problems, including:

    •   Steady outward growth of the city's footprint, which is placing stress on infrastructure and
        municipal services.
    •   High vacancy rates in historic downtown office buildings.
    •   Neighborhoods that suffer from some of the nation's highest levels of concentrated poverty.
    •   A workforce challenged by high unemployment and low educational attainment.
    •   A trend of educated young adults leaving the region for job opportunities elsewhere.
    •   Perception of poor safety and school quality in many older neighborhoods and the downtown.
 ' Moody, Jason. Fiscal Impact Analysis of the General Plan Implementation. Economic and Planning Systems. 2014.
Introduction
11

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

Fresno's efforts to attract infill development have faced several obstacles common in distressed
communities. First, fiscal constraints made it difficult for the city to replace and expand aging water,
sewer, drainage, and street infrastructure in older neighborhoods and downtown. Some of the areas
where Fresno would like to encourage infill development also suffer from poor public perception.
Meanwhile, Fresno's residents are accustomed to living in places where they have to drive everywhere,
as a result of decades of outward growth into inexpensive farmland. For example, 50 percent of all land
developed  between 1990 and 2000 in the Fresno region was considered high-quality farmland.14 The
combination of fiscal, perception, and market forces make Fresno a good city in which to test strategies
to promote infill development.

In 2011, the White House designated Fresno as one of seven cities to participate in the Strong Cities,
Strong Communities (SC2)15 initiative, which provides intensive technical assistance and capacity building
to economically distressed cities. SC2 helps cities achieve locally-driven economic development and
revitalization goals through sustained collaboration with teams of federal government staff from different
agencies. Recognizing infill development as a key component to the city's goals of downtown
revitalization, EPA and the state of California partnered with the city to convene a task force of more than
20 of California's leading experts in development finance, law, public policy, planning, and business. The
task force's charge was to identify solutions that were feasible in Fresno's challenging economic and fiscal
environment, as opposed to strategies that would work only in strong markets or where more public funds
are available to support new development.

The task force met three times in 2013.  Its first meeting focused on the challenges to infill development
and included a discussion of the city's economy and potential future drivers of demand for infill
development. The second meeting helped the city identify specific areas where infill development could
work in the near term and where public infrastructure investments could catalyze development.  During
the final  meeting, task force members evaluated the merits of specific infill development strategies. The
task force's recommendations for Fresno were compiled in a report16 and form the basis of many of this
report's strategies for fostering infill in distressed communities. While creating a task force of
development experts is not a strategy in this report, Fresno benefited substantially from this outside
perspective and expertise. The city also  benefited from including state agency representatives in  the
task force to further explore how the city's infill efforts could align with other regional and state goals.
Other distressed communities could benefit from the same approach.
14 American Farmland Trust. "Fresno County Comparison of Plans & Performance."
http://www.farmland.0rg/programs/states/futureisnow/m fresno.asp. Accessed Jul. 9, 2014.
15 For more information on SC2, see: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "Strong Cities, Strong Communities
Initiative (SC2)." http://www.huduser.org/portal/sc2/home.html. Accessed Jun. 4, 2014.
16 The Fresno-specific infill development report is not publicly available; however, many recommendations of the report appear in the
Implementation chapter of Fresno's 2035 General Plan Update. http://www.fresno.gov/NR/rdonlyres/FCF88C7F-4C08-4E04-9ECC-
E97091958D02/0/GPFinall2lmplementationJan202015.pdf.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


How to Use This Report
While there are many success stories of infill and neighborhood redevelopment across the country from
economically thriving regions, this report discusses strategies specifically geared toward helping
distressed communities better position themselves to attract infill development.

These strategies are organized into two  main categories:

    •  Foundation includes strategies related to the priorities, policies, partnerships, and perceptions
       that create an environment that supports infill development. These strategies help reduce the
       cost to developers to build new  infill projects. They also create markets for infill through public,
       private, and philanthropic investments and action and increase the visibility and familiarity of
       existing neighborhoods and infill locations as viable locations for development.
    •  Funding includes strategies to help finance the replacement of aging infrastructure and other
       aspects of infill projects. These strategies will be most effective if they are accompanied by a
       public involvement and community outreach process that engages existing residents in the land
       use and development decision-making process. Authentic engagement can help to ensure that
       strategies are used in ways that make it easier and less costly for developers to build infill
       projects, and increase the likelihood that infill projects deliver benefits for both existing and new
       neighborhood residents.

Appendix A includes self-assessment questions that communities can use to determine if a strategy is
appropriate for their context.
How to Use this Report
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies


Strategies to Encourage Infill Development in Distressed Communities
Developed using the Fresno task force work and experiences in other communities nationwide, these 30
strategies can help distressed communities that want infill development.
           Strategy 1: Identify Priority Infill Development Areas
           Strategy 2: Expedite Development Review
           Strategy 3: Set Tiered Impact Fees
           Strategy 4: Ease Parking Requirements in Infill Locations
           Strategy 5: Adopt Flexible Codes
           Strategy 6: Provide Clear Rules for Renovating Historic Buildings
           Strategy 7: Adopt an Adaptive Reuse Ordinance
           Strategy 8: Offer Density Bonuses in Infill Locations
           Strategy 9: Put Public Offices in Infill Locations
           Strategy 10: Seek State and Regional Partners
           Strategy 11: Identify Key Anchor Institutions
           Strategy 12: Explore Employer-Assisted Housing
           Strategy 13: Engage Philanthropic Organizations
           Strategy 14: Create a Public Sector-Developer Liaison
           Strategy 15: Create a Local Developer Capacity-Building Program
           PERCEPTION
           Strategy 16: Strengthen Code Enforcement
           Strategy 17: Build Complete Streets
           Strategy 18: Create a Business Improvement District
           Strategy 19: Hold Public Events and Festivals in Infill Locations
           Strategy 20: Initiate a Neighborhood Identity Campaign
           FUNDING FOR INFILL
           Strategy 21: Enact a Property Tax Abatement Program for Infill Locations
           Strategy 22: Implement a Land Banking Program
           Strategy 23: Implement a Land Value Tax
           Strategy 24: Attract Private Equity
           Strategy 25: Encourage Community Development Corporations
           Strategy 26: Encourage Crowdfundingfor Projects and Businesses in Priority Infill
           Development Areas
           FUNDING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
           Strategy 27: Create a Tax Increment Financing District
           Strategy 28: Establish a Capital Reserve Fund
           Strategy 29: Create Special Assessment Districts
           Strategy 30: Generate Revenue through Naming Rights and Advertising
Strategies to Encourage Infill Development in Distressed Communities
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies

The first set of strategies can help establish a strong foundation for infill development. These strategies
include setting priorities, setting policy, developing partnerships, or changing public perceptions. The
second set of strategies includes some common and innovative funding strategies. The description of
each strategy includes basic information:

    •  What is the strategy?
    •  Why is the strategy important?
    •  How does the strategy work, and how can it be applied?

Appendix A includes a self-assessment for each strategy with questions that can help a community
determine whether the strategy is appropriate for its context. While the questions are mostly meant for
local government staff and officials, private developers and other stakeholders can also use the
assessment questions to help determine how they can be stronger partners in attracting infill
development. Implementing these strategies typically requires partnerships among government, private
developers, and community organizations. The self-assessment could be a good technique to bring
these parties together to jointly identify the most viable strategies for the community.

Building a Strong Foundation
To make infill development more feasible, local governments need to create a strong foundation that
establishes priorities, policies, and partnerships, and changes public perceptions. Applying a
combination of these strategies can increase both the supply of and demand for infill development.

    •  The priorities strategy helps focus public investment by targeting specific areas.

    •  The policies strategies help local governments adopt new policies or amend existing ones to
       remove obstacles to infill development such as high costs and low market demand.

    •  The partnerships strategies help leverage resources, build capacity, and coordinate efforts.

    •  The perception strategies can rectify negative perceptions of an area, which can strengthen
       demand and reduce the perceived risk for lending institutions.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Priorities
 STRATEGY 1: IDENTIFY PRIORITY INFILL DEVELOPMENT AREAS
                                                                   IORITIES
What?
Local governments should identify specific priority infill development areas before they
dedicate time, energy, and resources to implement other strategies described in this report.
It is critical that local governments involve existing residents in these decisions. This strategy
lays the foundation for the strategies that follow.
Why?
Concentrating investment in priority areas is more likely to produce the highest return on
investment—either financially or in terms of visibility and catalyzing private investment—
than spreading limited resources thinly across the community. Focusing on a small area
yields a cumulative effect that could send positive messages to the public and investors. For
example, one block with three new storefronts or nighttime establishments has a greater
impact on perception compared to the same three new establishments spread among five
blocks. In addition, often the sheer scale of existing developed or underdeveloped land in
need of reinvestment, coupled with significant fiscal constraints, dictate that near-term
actions focus on smaller geographic areas. These areas could have the best development
potential, and targeted public and private investments could signal to the marketplace that
something positive is happening. This, in turn, could strengthen market perceptions and
foster further private investment.
                      Infill Discussion Areas
                      Task Force Meeting 2
                                                                  Older Neighborhoods
                                                                  BRT Corridors
                                                                  Downtown Fulton Mall
                                                                  New Growth Areas
                   Figure 4: The city of Fresno, California's priority infill development areas.
                   Image source: Renaissance Planning Group
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 1: IDENTIFY PRIORITY INFILL DEVELOPMENT AREAS
                                                             IIORITIES
How?
To identify priority infill development areas, a community needs a vision for where and
how it would like to grow and the change it would like to see. Some communities broadly
identify priority development areas and priority preservation areas. Public involvement is
critical to the success of this strategy. The local government can make more informed
and equitable decisions by involving existing residents, business owners, and community
groups early in the process of identifying these areas. Authentic, meaningful, and
sustained community engagement is particularly important in distressed communities,
where existing residents may be hesitant or unable to be actively involved in the
decision- making process because of cultural, linguistic, or other barriers. Linguistic
barriers can be addressed through multi-lingual outreach. Common public involvements
techniques include community meetings, charrettes, social media, and focus groups.
These techniques allow these groups to voice their concerns about problems that may
arise due to infill development,  such as loss of affordable housing and displacement of
existing residents. This knowledge allows local governments to  craft more effective and
targeted policies.
In addition to public involvement, there are several ways a local government can identify
priority infill areas. Some key considerations are presented in Table A-l in the Appendix.
For example, the local government can look for areas that are already attracting growth;
areas with higher than  average  property values, which indicates higher demand; areas
with sufficient infrastructure to support new growth without requiring large investments;
or areas where other public  investments are already being made.
Several funding resources for making these improvements are described later in this
report. However, communities also have several existing streams, such as Community
Development Block Grants (CDBG) and other formula funds that can be directed to
priority areas. For example, Richmond, Virginia, refocused existing community
development funds to improve  distressed neighborhoods.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
  Case Study: Targeting Investment with the Neighborhoods in Bloom Program, Richmond, Virginia
  Richmond's Neighborhoods in Bloom program directs local, federal, and nonprofit funds to distressed
  neighborhoods that are most likely to leverage private investment. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
  summarized the program's approach to revitalizing neighborhoods, which runs counter to how most local
  governments invest their community development funds: "Typically, cities satisfy federal eligibility
  requirements by targeting HOME [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Investment
  Partnerships Program] funds to low-income individuals and CDBG [Community Development Block Grant]
  funds to low- to moderate-income districts. In practice, this means that cities spread CDBG and HOME funds
  somewhat thinly among many low-income neighborhoods, responding as much to political pressures from
  these neighborhoods as to low-income needs. An unfortunate result of this practice is that the critical mass of
  public investment that may be needed to stimulate self-sustaining private market activity in a neighborhood
  may never be achieved."
  Richmond applied its targeted investment approach starting in the late 1990s. The city invested about 80
  percent of its federal housing funds in six- to 12-block sections of six neighborhoods. Richmond also directed
  many of its own capital improvement resources to these areas, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  (LISC) aligned  many of its investments with the city's strategy. Richmond obtained political support for the
  strategy by working closely with community groups, elected officials, and community development
  corporations to select the targeted areas. Richmond also used data on neighborhood condition criteria and
  revitalization potential to inform its selections. The neighborhood condition criteria included vacancy  rates,
  crime, poverty level, homeownership rate, and housing quality. Revitalization criteria included the strength of
  civic organizations in the neighborhood, the existence of redevelopment plans, and market trends.
  After selecting the neighborhoods, Richmond worked with nonprofit partners to buy vacant houses and lots,
  rehabilitate old houses, build new houses, provide down payment assistance and counseling to homebuyers,
  and help owners with maintenance. The city also stepped up code enforcement and increased police patrols in
  the areas. Five years after the program started, the Federal Reserve Bank Study found evidence that it had a
  positive effect on home prices in the targeted  neighborhoods. Housing prices grew 10 percent faster in the
  target neighborhoods than citywide, indicating higher market demand. The program was also cost effective.
  The study's authors noted that the increase in property tax revenue from the neighborhood would pay for the
  program's investments within 20 years.
  As a result of the program's success, the American Planning Association and  HUD selected Neighborhoods in
  Bloom as the 2006 recipient of its Opportunity and Empowerment Award. Each year, this award goes to one
  project nationally that improves quality of life  for low- and moderate-income community residents. Richmond
  cut the program's funding during the 2007-2009 recession as the real estate market cooled and smaller
  developers lost access to credit. However, the program demonstrated its value during the more favorable
  market conditions, and the city  continues to fund it, albeit at a lower level that reflects the weaker housing
  market since the recession.
  Sources: Accordino, John, George Galster, and Peter Tatian. The Impacts of Targeted Public Investment and Non-Profit
  Investment on Neighborhood Development. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Jul. 2005; Adesanya, Ireti. "Carver
  Revitalization Efforts Cut Short." Richmond.com. December 26, 2013. http://www.richmond.com/citv-
  life/article db71ecc8-6904-lle3-829a-001a4bcf6878.html. Accessed Dec. 16, 2014; American Planning Association.
  "Richmond Revitalization Program  Receives HUD Award." https://www.planning.org/newsreleases/2006/apr25.htm.
  Accessed Dec. 16, 2014; and City of Richmond. "Neighborhoods in Bloom." http://www.richmondgov.com/neighborhoods.
  Accessed Dec. 16, 2014.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
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Figure 5: Communities like Richmond, Virginia have concentrated investment in priority areas to produce higher returns on
investment—either financially or in terms of visibility and catalyzing private investment.
Photo source: Ron Cogswell, Flickr

Policies
 STRATEGY 2: EXPEDITE DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
What?
Development review is an important tool for ensuring development proposals are consistent
with a local government's policies and codes. Local governments often set time limits on
each step of their review process. Steps could include a preliminary meeting between the
developer and local government staff, plan review, and a public hearing. A local government
could use expedited development review to shorten the period in which it promises to take
action on qualified proposals.
Why?
Reducing the time for the local government's review process can help developers save
money because the project takes less time to complete.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 2: EXPEDITE DEVELOPMENT REVIE\
How?
To use this strategy, the local government must decide what kind of projects it would like to
encourage and where it wants them (see Strategy 1). Then, it can develop criteria to
determine which projects qualify for expedited review. Criteria might include the amount of
new housing or retail, density, or floor area ratios. The local government should market this
incentive to prospective developers.
San Diego, California, uses expedited permit review to encourage infill development through
its Affordable/ln-Fill Housing and Sustainable Building Expedite Program. Through the
program, San Diego expedites the development review process for projects that increase the
city's affordable housing stock or for infill projects that provide more affordable housing
units than they  replace. The city's policies for expediting permit review are in City Council
Policy #600-27."
 STRATEGY 3: SET TIERED IMPACT FEES
What?
Local governments charge impact fees to developers to offset the cost of new capital
facilities and services for the development. Some local governments set different fee levels
based on factors such as distance from existing infrastructure or services and the scale and
type of development. Using a tiered approach allows a local government to better align the
fees with the anticipated impacts. For instance, the fee might be lower for development
closer to the community's center, where infrastructure is already in place. Some local
governments have applied the same logic to charge lower fees for smaller new homes,
where the anticipated impacts per household could be lower. Another creative approach is
to revise transportation impact fees for new development if the development is  in an area
where people can easily walk, bike, or take transit, which is often the case in infill locations.
Why?
Uniform impact fees throughout a community ignore differences in the cost to the public
sector of providing public services in greenfield versus infill locations. As discussed in the
introduction to this report, infill development typically saves money over greenfield
development because it reuses existing infrastructure such as streets and water and sewer
lines and public service capacity such as police and fire protection. However, infill developers
often need to upgrade the existing infrastructure in addition to paying impact fees, adding to
the cost of infill  development. As with expedited development review, reducing impact fees
for infill areas can make development in those areas more financially feasible.
How?
Communities should first study how the cost of providing services varies by location. This
information can be the basis for a tiered impact fee structure in which infill development
pays lower impact fees than greenfield development.
  City of San Diego, Development Services Department. "Incentive Programs: Sustainable Building Expedite Program.'
http://www.sandiego.gov/development-services/news/archive/ah.shtml. Accessed Dec. 1, 2014.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Figure 6: City Walk Apartments near Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Parking requirements typically assume suburban
conditions where people expect abundant free parking, which are difficult - if not impossible - to meet for many infill projects.
Photo source: Renaissance Planning Group
 STRATEGY 4: EASE PARKING REQUIREMENTS IN INFILL LOCATIONS
What?
Local governments often have minimum parking requirements in their zoning or
development codes based on the square footage or number of housing units in a
development. Some local governments have reduced these standards or switched to
maximum parking requirements in areas where they want to encourage infill development.
Why?
Often, communities set minimum parking requirements based on assumptions for areas with
spread-out, automobile-oriented development patterns. These standards can require more
parking than is needed in more developed areas such as a downtown, where people can park
once and visit multiple destinations or can arrive on foot, by bike, or on public transit.
Reducing parking requirements for infill development reduces the cost to developers by
alleviating the need to build new parking and freeing up developable land for homes, offices,
and other uses that generate a higher economic return. Construction costs can range from
$3,000 for a parking space in a suburban surface parking lot to $35,000 for an underground
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 4: EASE PARKING REQUIREMENTS IN INFILL LOCATIONS
           space in a central business district. These estimates do not include the cost of land or
           operations and maintenance, which can significantly increase these estimates.18
How?
First, a local government should assess its existing supply of parking in infill areas, as well as
current and projected demand. If the local government finds a surplus of parking, it could be
in a good position to reduce parking requirements for new development. However, in some
places, residents and businesses expect dedicated parking even in downtown areas. Lenders
might also require a certain amount of parking. In these instances, the local government
might be able to satisfy market or lender demands through other strategies,19 20 such as:

    •   Shared parking between adjacent or nearby properties with different peak demand
        times. For example, an office building might share garage parking with an apartment
        building because office workers generally park during the day and residents at night.

    •   A district approach where permit holders can  park in any public space.

    •   Parking cash-out, which allows employees to exchange the dedicated parking space
        offered by their employer for cash. The employee typically agrees to walk, bike, or
        use transit instead of driving.
 Expanding other choices such as transit or car sharing. Car-sharing services allow members
 to rent vehicles for short periods without needing insurance. Car sharing works well in
 compact areas where people can reach most daily necessities by walking or transit but
 occasionally need a vehicle for errands or longer trips. Car sharing makes it easier for people
 to own fewer cars or even go without a car, thereby reducing parking demand.
 STRATEGY 5: ADOPT FLEXIBLE CODES
What?
 In this report, "flexible codes" refers to building, zoning, and other development regulations
 that give developers more discretion to build a project that responds to current and
 changing economic conditions while still meeting local standards for safety and design.
 Some types of flexible codes include mixed-use zones, historic preservation and adaptive
 reuse districts, form-based codes21, or expedited zoning review procedures for reuse of
 existing buildings.
Why?
 Codes that specify only exterior form and allow a broad range of uses can allow developers
 to respond to market demand for different uses. If demand increases for one use in the
 future, flexible zoning and building codes allow owners to change a building's use with
  Victoria Transport Policy Institute. "Parking Solutions: A Comprehensive Menu of Solutions to Parking Problems."
http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm72.htm. Accessed Dec. 1, 2014.
19 For more information on these and other strategies, see: EPA. Parking Spaces/Community Places: Finding the Balance Through
Smart Growth Solutions. 2006. http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/parking.htm.
20 Shoup, Donald. The High Cost of Free Parking. Planners Press. 2005 and 2011.
21 The Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) defines form-based codes as "a method of development regulation, adopted into municipal
or county law that emphasizes the physical character of development (its form) and includes - but often de-emphasizes-the
regulation of land uses." The FBCI offers more information in its publication A Step-by-Step Guide to Form-Based Codes available at
http://formbasedcodes.org/blog/education/cmap-guide-to-form-based-codes.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 5: ADOPT FLEXIBLE CODES
           minimal permitting burdens. Flexible codes are useful in distressed markets where demand
           for infill is fairly weak and rigid requirements might scare off potential developers. Adding
           this flexibility to local codes allows developers to be more responsive to near-term market
           demand. For example, a flexible code can allow buildings to be designed to be used for
           commercial purposes when the commercial market is strong and then converted to housing
           when that market strengthens.
How?
Rather than trying to control every element of design, a local government can stipulate a few
major objectives or design features it wants infill development to achieve and let the
developer design a project that meets the objectives. This flexibility can be applied
communitywide or to a specific area  through an overlay zoning district. These efforts often
take substantial time, money, and political will. The local government should consider these
changes while updating its comprehensive plan or community vision. Local governments could
consider forming an advisory committee and seeking zoning code expertise as first steps.
Figure?: Hotel Rehabilitation, Fresno, California. Developers often encounter challenges in converting a historic building to a new use.
Photo source: Renaissance Planning Group
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 6:
 PROVIDE CLEAR RULES FOR RENOVATING HISTORIC BUILDINGS
What?
Developers want certainty; they want the local government to clearly communicate what is
permissible under the code. Encouraging infill in areas with many historic buildings might
warrant specific rules for adaptive reuse22 and perhaps even a separate code or process for
historic structures that identifies the currently acceptable life-safety standards while
supporting creative and economically viable rehabilitation and renovation.
Why?
Developers and investors can be discouraged by real or perceived additional costs and
complications of renovating historic buildings often located in infill areas. A local
government can make these projects more attractive by providing clear guidance and
identifying some common reuse strategies and design features through design guidelines or
demonstration projects.
How?
First, the local government can identify its priority historic buildings for reuse in an infill area
and establish clear rules for development through an overlay zoning district with regulations
that preserve the district's historic character. This step provides clarity for developers. For
current tenants of historic properties, the local government can establish design guidelines
that show how to respect historic features while accommodating business needs such as
outdoor seating, signage, awnings, and landscaping. Design guidelines can be applied in a
district or building by building. Strategy 7 discusses adaptive  reuse ordinances, which also
make it easier to renovate older office or industrial spaces.
 STRATEGY 7: ADOPT AN ADAPTIVE REUSE ORDINANCE
What?
                                                                  'OLICIES
An adaptive reuse ordinance makes it easier to convert older, economically obsolete
buildings to new uses, such as housing, by providing tailored zoning and code requirements
that recognize the differences between reuse and new development. Local governments can
apply an adaptive reuse ordinance in specific zones with concentrations of historic and
underused buildings.
Why?
Developers often encounter challenges in converting a historic building to a new use. They
might find it difficult or impossible to earn an acceptable return on investment if they must
apply standards for new construction to a historic building. For example, in Los Angeles,
prior to the city's adoption of its Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, developers had to provide two
or more parking spaces for each housing unit, which made it nearly impossible to convert a
vacant downtown building into housing.23 An adaptive reuse ordinance applies specifically to
older and historic buildings to make development economically feasible. By making it less
costly to reuse an existing building, communities can increase jobs, housing options, and
retail activity in existing and  distressed neighborhoods.
  Adaptive reuse refers to converting historic and underutilized buildings to new uses that respond to market demand. The City of Los
Angeles has one of the most successful adaptive reuse programs. Information is available here:
http://preservation.lacity.org/incentives/adaptive-reuse-ordinance.
23 Rosenberg, Jeremy. "How Downtown LA Became a Place to Live (without Parking)." KCET. April 2, 2012.
http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/columns/laws-that-shaped-la/how-downtown-la-became-a-place-to-live-without-parking.html.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 7: ADOPT AN ADAPTIVE REUSE ORDINANCE
How?
As a first step, the local government can identify parking, density, design, and/or fire and
safety standards that developers might have difficulty meeting when redeveloping a
historic building and assess which of these standards might be relaxed for infill
development. An adaptive reuse ordinance could, in certain zones, eliminate density
restrictions, reduce the minimum housing unit size, waive parking requirements, and allow
expedited development review.
The city of Los Angeles has catalyzed significant adaptive reuse in downtown Los Angeles
through changes in the city code. The city's Adaptive Reuse Ordinance reduced the
minimum size for apartments and condominiums, waived density standards within the
zones where the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance applies, removed the requirement for
developers to seek height and setback variances for their adaptive reuse projects, and
eliminated requirements for developers to add parking spaces. These changes made
adaptive reuse projects more financially feasible.24 In the 30 years prior to the adaptive
reuse ordinance, downtown Los Angeles added only 4,300 housing units. In the 10 years
following the city's adoption of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, in 1999, the downtown
added at least 7,300.2S For more information, see:
www.t3reservation.lacity.orci/incentives/adai3tive-reuse-ordinance.

What?
Density bonuses allow developers to build at a higher density than is allowed under the
existing zoning code. This is typically allowed in exchange for a community benefit, such as
a park or affordable housing.
Why?
A density bonus allows a developer to spread the cost of land and other predevelopment
costs among more units or square feet. By adding square feet and/or housing units, the
developer might be able to increase the return on investment from the project. Density
bonuses are also important incentives for developers to provide community benefits, such
as park space or other infrastructure that are often needed in infill areas. Therefore,
density bonuses can bring both the benefits of more people living in the priority infill area
and much needed community facilities and infrastructure to support existing residents and
new development.
How?
Density bonuses can be governed through the zoning code or applied during development
review and approval. They can be effective in areas where the high cost of land is an obstacle
to infill development. Local governments might want to assess the market conditions to
determine if density bonuses will be appropriate and effective. In areas with weak demand for
infill development, developers might not be able to price the finished product high enough to
  The City of Los Angeles. "Specific Plan for the Areas of Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Hollywood Community Redevelopment Project
Area, Certain Portions of the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Community Redevelopment Project Area, and Central Avenue South of
Freeway Number 10 and North of Vernon Avenue." December 20, 2002. http://ladbs.org/LADBSWeb/adaptive-reuse-proiects.jsf.
25 Rosenberg, Jeremy. "How Downtown LA Became a Place to Live (without Parking)." KCET. April 2, 2012.
http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/columns/laws-that-shaped-la/how-downtown-la-became-a-place-to-live-without-parking.html.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 8: OFFER DENSITY BONUSES IN INFILL LOCATIONS
           recoup the higher costs of building at higher densities. In these weaker infill markets, allowing
           greater density is not likely to be helpful. Once existing neighborhoods experience greater
           investment and development activity, density bonuses may become a more useful mechanism
           to encourage infill development and shape such development in a manner that helps meet the
           needs of new and existing neighborhood residents.
 STRATEGY 9: PUT PUBLIC OFFICES IN INFILL LOCATIONS
What?
Local, state, and federal agencies can improve market conditions for infill development by
locating their offices in priority infill areas. They have more flexibility than businesses to make
their location decisions based on social, environmental, or other quality of life benefits.
Why?
Public-sector employers can improve the market for infill development by filling vacant
office space or building new offices in priority infill areas. Office workers coming into the
neighborhood stimulate demand for services, restaurants, and homes. Government
employers can also help developers secure financing and reduce their risk by agreeing to
rent or buy space in their projects.
How?
A local government would first assess its own future space needs and determine which
departments or functions are suited to an infill location. It can also determine which priority
infill areas could benefit the most from having a government office—for example, places
where employees would patronize local businesses, provide an audience for local events, and
improve the sense of safety simply by bringing more activity to the neighborhood. Locations
where workers will drive in and drive out and never leave the building are less likely to
stimulate additional investment in the area.
The local government could also contact state and federal agencies, authorities, and
educational institutions that own or lease space in the region to find out what their needs
are and help them find suitable infill locations. The federal government has made siting
federal offices in central business districts and rural town centers a priority, as established in
Presidential Executive Order 13514 for Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and
Economic Performance.26 The General Services Administration (GSA) represents federal
agencies that own or lease space, and would work with local governments to identify
locations that meet federal needs.
 ' Executive Order 13514 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/sustainability).
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Figure 8: Johns Hopkins public-private partnership to redevelop East Baltimore.
Photo source: Anne Ditmeyer, Flickr
  Case Study: Bundling Public and Private Resources: East Baltimore Development, Inc.
  East Baltimore Development, Inc. (EBDI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consortium founded in 2003 to redevelop the
  economically distressed East Baltimore neighborhood just north of Johns Hopkins University. The consortium,
  managed by the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, local businesses, and
  nonprofit groups, plans to spend about $1.8 billion to redevelop an 88-acre area. The 2012 project plan calls for
  up to 2,000 new or renovated mixed-income homes, 122,000 square feet of retail space, an elementary school,
  and nearly 2 million square feet of commercial space, including a new university biotech center. EBDI acquired
  2,000 properties on behalf of the city and helped 750 families and businesses relocate to prepare the site for
  redevelopment. Many residents are expected to return to the neighborhood after the new homes are built.
  The project stoked opposition among some residents concerned that the new development would displace
  people that had lived in the neighborhood for several decades. This is a common concern in major
  redevelopment projects. In response to these concerns, EBDI included affordable housing in the
  redevelopment and provided support to families for five years after relocation.
  While community concerns have presented a challenge to EBDI, the project is a good example of how public
  and private resources can combine to support  infill development. EBDI received public funds from the city,
  state, and federal governments; private funds from Johns Hopkins University and several businesses; and
  philanthropic funds from the Annie E. Casey  Foundation, Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and Atlantic
  Philanthropies. EBDI also received  $22.3 million from HUD's Section 108 program in 2003 to acquire and
  demolish structures and provide services to families temporarily displaced by construction. EBDI is also using
  New Markets Tax Credits, and the  city established a tax increment financing district for the project (see
  Strategy 28 for more on tax increment financing).
  The 2007-2009 national recession  delayed work on the project, but new office space, apartments, and the
  school opened by 2014 and the project started moving forward again.
  Sources: East Baltimore Development Inc. Financial  Information, http://www.ebdi.org/financial information. Accessed
  Dec. 23, 2014; East Baltimore Development Inc. "Forest City New East Baltimore Partnership, 2011 Recommendations."
  March 12, 2012. http://www.ebdi.org/master  plan recommendation. Accessed Dec. 16, 2014; Kilar, Steve. "From 'Middle
  East' to 'Eager Park/ a Community Is Rebranded." Baltimore Sun. May 25, 2013; and Sherman, Natalie. "East Baltimore
  Development Moves to Next Phase." Baltimore Sun. Dec. 14, 2013.
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Partnerships
 STRATEGY 10: SEEK STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERS
                                                                  \RTNERSHIPS
What?
 Distressed communities often lack the financial resources and staff to promote infill
 development. Partnerships with state and regional government agencies or institutions can
 help close these gaps.
Why?
 State and regional partners often have resources that local governments can use to plan or
 prepare areas for infill. For example, the region's metropolitan planning organization can
 fund studies and infrastructure that set the stage for infill, and a state's housing agency
 might provide technical assistance or tax credits that help attract new development. These
 partners might also help build the market for infill by putting offices in priority infill areas, as
 described in Strategy 9.
How?
 A local government can build relationships with state and regional partners by dedicating a staff
 person to infill development. Part of this person's responsibilities could include monitoring state
 and regional funding programs and policies while also developing relationships with key staff of
 agencies that can help the community get infill development. Local elected officials can also
 forge relationships with state staff and elected officials. These relationships help state
 government staff understand the local government's goals and vision.
 Fresno, California, partnered with the California Governor's Office to convene an expert task
 force that helped the city identify strategies for supporting infill development. The state's
 participation increased the stature of the task force and attracted some of the state's leading
 experts. The contacts that arose through the task force allowed the state to point Fresno
 toward specific funding sources. In 2014, with the knowledge gained from the task force,
 California started creating a pilot funding mechanism to support infill development statewide.
                                     'EYANCHf
What?
 Anchor institutions are businesses or nonprofit organizations that have a vested interest in
 the community because of real estate holdings, capital investment, history, or mission.
Why?
 Anchor institutions can often make real estate investments that serve their programmatic
 needs while contributing to economic development. Nonprofit anchor institutions might be
 less subject to market imperatives than private businesses, allowing them to target their
 investments in ways that encourage additional private investment.27
How?
Local governments can start by identifying anchor institutions that might have a stake in
priority infill areas and determining where their interests overlap with those of the local
government in areas such as housing rehabilitation, streetscape improvements, or public
safety. The local government could invite the anchor institutions to participate in existing
programs or create a new program to work together on community improvement projects.
For example, anchor institutions can encourage infill development and neighborhood
revitalization through employer-assisted housing programs (see Strategy 12). Public anchor
  EPA. Anchor Institutions and Downtown Reinvestment in Fresno. Aug. 20, 2012.
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 STRATEGY 11: IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE KEY ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS

          institutions, such as neighborhood schools, can be very important partners. Schools play a
          large role in neighborhood perception, and school leaders can help improve their
          neighborhoods through programs that connect residents to school improvement projects and
          mentoring programs.
          Anchor institutions are physically and economically "anchored" to the broader community,
          so the local government could also engage those that are located outside of priority infill
          areas. They still have an interest in improving their region's economy.
          The Cleveland Foundation initiated a partnership with the City of Cleveland and its leading
          anchor institutions in 2005 to launch the Greater University Circle initiative. The initiative is
          helping guide new investment in a four-square mile area known as Greater University Circle.
          The district is home to the region's top cultural institutions as well as major universities and
          medical institutions, some of which are international leaders. The goal of the initiative is to
          turn this district into the best place to live, work,  and visit in Northeast Ohio by harnessing
          the resources of the area's large anchor institutions to benefit the residents and transform
          their neighborhoods. The initiative is led by a non-profit, University Circle Inc., responsible
          for the development, service, and advocacy of University Circle. (See:
          www.clevelandfoundation.orci/cirants/our-priorities/cireater-universitv-circle/)
Figure 9: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Anchor institutions also have a stake in infill development and revitalization.
Photo source: Let Ideas Compete, Flickr
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  Case Study: Engaging Anchor Institutions: Fresno, California
  Fresno's Mayor Ashley Swearengin came to the conclusion that Downtown Fresno and its surrounding
  historic neighborhoods could not be revitalized without the collaboration of local anchor institutions. In
  early 2014, Mayor Swearengin convened the leaders of Fresno's educational institutions, medical
  institutions, and other key sectors such as banking and agriculture to stand up the Fresno Presidents'
  Council. The Council developed a declaration, signed by all its members, which stated:
  Our industries and institutions are, by nature, rooted to this region. We will still be here in 100 years, a
  part of the community for as long as Fresno exists. Our futures are inextricably tied to the ability of the
  region to prosper and be healthy.
  Anchor institutions in other communities throughout the country have successfully partnered with one
  another, with local government, and with other community institutions to spur catalytic community
  investments. Working together, these institutions have brought new life to downtowns, urban
  neighborhoods, and local economies.
  The Fresno Presidents' Council resolves to:
    •   Support public investments in the inner city, starting with infrastructure and regulatory changes,
        necessary to restore Downtown  Fresno as the regional center for commerce and culture.
    •   Plan together and create programs, facilities, events, etc., that combine the strengths of our
        offerings to provide novel and needed health care, educational, financial management, and
        nutritional services to the community, especially in neighborhoods of greatest need, furthering our
        institutions' individual missions.
    •   Work collaboratively with one another and with other businesses and community-based organizations
        to maximize the positive impact on the local economy of our institutions' buying power.
    •   Explore nontraditional opportunities to invest directly in historic neighborhoods of concentrated
        poverty, such as by creating housing and recreational opportunities for employees that aid in
        recruitment and retention while contributing to neighborhood revitalization.
    •   Advocate for a long-term approach to land  use decisions at  all levels, reflecting consciousness of
        the high value of food production over time as one of the primary drivers of the region's export
        economy,  and of the connection between threats to the region's future and continued
        disinvestment in the existing, urbanized area of the community.
    •   Collaborate with additional partners and pursue the funding and other resources necessary
        to achieve our objectives.
  Source: Sheehan, Tim. Fresno Mayor Swearengin corrals business, education leaders to support downtown efforts.
  The Fresno Bee. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/26/3791931 fresno-mavor-swearengin-corrals.html?rh=l.
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 STRATEGY 12: EXPLORE EMPLOYER-ASSISTED HOUSINi
                                                                  iRTNERSHIPS
What?
 Employer-assisted housing includes financial assistance or education offered by an employer
 to help its workers purchase homes. Housing finance company Fannie Mae describes
 employer-assisted housing as "an employee benefit that helps an employer achieve business
 goals while helping their employees with housing needs."28
Why?
 Employer-assisted housing supports an employer's interest in providing decent and
 affordable housing for its employees to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Employer-
 assisted housing programs can have the added benefit of stimulating weak-market areas by
 bringing new residents and new investment. In downtown areas, employer-assisted housing
 can help balance the number of jobs and homes.
 The Metropolitan Planning Council in the Chicago region found that employees participating
 in one employer-assisted housing program had far lower turnover rates than non-
 participating employees.29 More information on employer-assisted housing programs is
 available through HUD: http-.//portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/illinois/news/eah.
How?
A municipal government can establish its own employer-assisted housing program as a
model for other employers in the area. The program could involve direct financial assistance
to homebuyers or renters, or homebuyer counseling. With its newfound expertise, the local
government can work with employers to establish their own programs, with a special
emphasis on older neighborhoods and infill locations. Employers can often deduct the
expense from their federal taxes. Additionally, in some states, employers receive a tax credit
for their investment in employer-assisted housing.
 STRATEGY 13: ENGAGE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS
What?
 Local, regional, state, and national philanthropic organizations can support local
 governments' community development efforts. Organizations that support environmental
 protection, affordable housing, social equity, distressed communities, and economic
 development will have a natural interest in infill development.
Why?
 Distressed communities often need financial and technical assistance to achieve their
 economic and development goals. Philanthropic organizations can fill this void through
 grants, loans, advocacy, training, or even direct investment in projects.
How?
The local government can identify local and national organizations that might have funding
programs relevant to the community's development goals.30 In addition to tracking and
applying for funding opportunities, the local government can build relationships with
philanthropic organizations to engage them as long-term partners in solving complex
community development challenges. Locally based foundations have a particular interest in
  Ross, Lynn M. Quantifying the Value Proposition of Employer-Assisted Housing: A Case Study of Aurora Health Care. Center for
Housing Policy. May 2008.
29 Metropolitan Planning Council. "Employer-Assisted Housing." http://www.metroplanning.Org/work/proiect/8. Jan. 31, 2014.
30 The Smart Growth Funders Network maintains a list of its members, foundations that focus on growth, and development issues, at
http://www.fundersnetwork.org/connect.
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 STRATEGY 13: ENGAGE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS
                                                                 iRTNERSHIPS
          local revitalization initiatives, similar to anchor institutions (see Strategy 11), but they might not
          know about the initiatives or understand how to get involved. Public and private stakeholders
          in infill development can approach these organizations to share information on local initiatives,
          learn about the organization's funding priorities, and look for areas of mutual interest.
          Philanthropic organizations typically want to support projects with a high likelihood of
          success, rather than being "first out of the gate" investors in an untested idea. The local
          government can identify infill projects that fit a philanthropy's mission and goals where the
          foundation can provide meaningful support as one of several partners.
          Phoenix, Arizona, tapped into local and national philanthropic groups and nonprofit
          organizations to launch a $20 million revolving loan fund that supports transit-oriented
          development in some of the region's most economically distressed neighborhoods. LISC and
          Raza Development Fund contributed the seed money, and a partnership of local
          governments, nonprofit anchor institutions, state and regional agencies, and local businesses
          manage it. Between 2011 and 2014, the fund leveraged $141 million in private investment
          and funded  more than 900 housing units  in 15 projects. To learn more about the fund's
          accomplishments, visit www.sustainablecommunitiescollaborative.com/our-
          accomplishm en ts/.
 STRATEGY 14: CREATE A PUBLIC SECTOR-DEVELOPER LIAISON
What?
A public sector-developer liaison is a local government staff person who helps developers
navigate the development review process; researches and recommends policy changes that
support infill development; and provides technical assistance to developers on applicable
local, state, and federal financing programs.
Why?
Developers can consume valuable time navigating and understanding a local government's
codes and policies. The government can help make infill projects easier and faster by
providing a knowledgeable staff person to work with developers to navigate the municipal
processes. This person could be a local expert on local, state, and federal funding programs
for infrastructure and development finance to help developers identify and understand
financing tools and other resources to help get infill projects off the ground. Many
development incentive programs are very complex and can be intimidating for less-
experienced developers.
How?
The community could establish a position dedicated to encouraging infill development and
assisting developers build infill projects. This person would learn about state and federal
infrastructure and development financing programs and establish good working
relationships with local developers who are interested in infill projects. The staff person
probably fits most naturally in the planning department  or an authority or department
dedicated to economic or downtown development. The  local government might want to
establish some criteria for which projects are eligible for this liaison service—for example,
those within a priority infill area.
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 STRATEGY 15: CREATE A LOCAL DEVELOPER CAPACITY-BUILDING PROGRAM   PARTNERSHIPS
What?
A capacity-building program sponsored by the local government could help local developers
learn the skills they need to build infill projects. This program could encompass training,
financial support, and partnerships with local colleges or technical schools.
Why?
Local developers might be more likely to invest in infill projects that larger national
developers might view as too risky. But these developers might not have the experience of
larger firms. Unlike the developer liaison described in Strategy 14, a capacity-building
program would go beyond facilitation to enhance local developers' skills and knowledge of
infill development techniques, design, organizational development, and financing.
How?
Local governments can help improve local developers' skills through training programs or by
collaborating with existing programs. For example, many community colleges and
universities offer construction management and development training programs. Local
governments can also work with the local chapters of national real estate organizations, real
estate development certification and training programs, and coordinate with conferences
and seminars on real estate development. City-assisted pilot infill development projects are
another way to build capacity that can make a tangible improvement in a priority infill area.
Supporting such a program could be one of the job descriptions of the  liaison. A developer
liaison (Strategy 14) could lead a pilot project.
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Perception
 STRATEGY 16: STRENGTHEN CODE ENFORCEMENT
What?
Local governments enforce codes through dedicated code enforcement officers, the local
police department, or both. Enforcing property maintenance codes is especially important to
improving people's perception of a neighborhood. Consistent code enforcement can
improve a neighborhood's look and feel, improve safety, and boost the confidence of
community members and potential investors.
Why?
Derelict housing and vacant commercial spaces can decrease the value of adjacent
properties. They can also affect the perception of potential homebuyers, renters, and
businesses looking to relocate to the area. Effective code enforcement can help redress
blight and improve people's perceptions of the neighborhood's safety and value.
How?
The local government can start its enhanced code enforcement efforts by working with
neighborhood associations in priority infill areas to identify properties that need help. Some
property owners might be neglecting maintenance and violating codes due to economic
hardships. For these owners, some local governments provide financial assistance to make repairs.
The local government can also take legal action, such as assessing a tax lien for cleanup, or apply
fines when property owners fail to fix code violations. This approach will likely work best in
neighborhoods with a few problem spots. Enhanced code enforcement is less likely to work in
neighborhoods with extensive abandonment and disinvestment. In these neighborhoods, the
local government may choose to acquire vacant properties and assemble them into larger parcels
to make available for redevelopment. This work is often carried out through land banks, which are
described in strategy 22. Some local governments have also worked to turn these neighborhoods
back into open space or park lands rather than encourage future infill development.
Figure 10: Occupied and vacant housing side-by-side in Gary, Indiana. Something as simple as a broken window can indicate a
lack of respect for property, or indicate that a neighborhood is in economic and social decline.
Photo source: Eric Allix Rogers, Flickr
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 STRATEGY 17: BUILD COMPLETE STREETS
                                                                  PERCEPTION
What?
During the second half of the 20th century, most streets in American cities were designed
with the primary consideration of moving vehicles. Now, many cities are adopting the
concept of "complete streets/' which are safe and comfortable for all users—pedestrians,
bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers.31
Why?
Complete streets are especially important in priority infill areas. These areas are more likely
to attract the interest of potential residents and businesses—and therefore developers—if
they are welcoming to all modes of transportation and offer people easy access to daily
destinations without needing a car. Complete streets can also improve the public perception
of an area by adding more activity and eyes on the streets, which improves public safety.
Also,  by creating more travel options, complete streets can reduce parking demand and the
cost to build parking in new development.
How?
Several design elements help transform an automobile-oriented corridor into a complete
street, including wider sidewalks, street trees, a buffer between moving traffic and the
sidewalk (e.g., a parking lane), protected bicycle lanes, and buildings that face the street.
Some particularly wide roads might be well suited for  a "road diet," which reduces the
number of lanes or narrows existing lanes. The narrower street naturally encourages drivers
to slow down; shortens the distance pedestrians must cross, which is particularly important
for people with mobility problems; can create room for bike lanes; and can reduce the
amount of impervious surface, which can reduce stormwater runoff.32
The local government can take an important early step by identifying future complete streets
in its transportation or comprehensive plans. Once the community knows where it would like
to make these improvements, it can work with its metropolitan planning organization (MPO)
or state department of transportation to design the improvements and program funds for
construction. This process can take several years.
  For more information and resources on complete streets, including model complete streets policies, see: Smart Growth America.
"National Complete Streets Coalition." http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
32 See the following resources: Complete Streets Coalitions Resources page (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-
streets/complete-streets-fundamentals/resources):
Institute of Transportation Engineers "Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach
(http://library.ite.org/pub/elcff43c-2354-d714-51d9-d82b39d4dbad); and EPA's Restructuring the Commercial Strip: A Practical Guide
for Planning the Revitalization of Deteriorating Strip Corridors (http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/corridor guide.htm).
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 STRATEGY 18: CREATE A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
                                                                PERCEPTION
What?
A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area within which businesses pay an
additional tax or special assessment to fund projects within the existing business area. Local
governments can establish BIDs to raise additional property tax revenue and reinvest the
funds into the district to improve the business climate. The additional revenue can go toward
maintenance, marketing, cleaning, events, and moderate capital and streetscape
improvements, such as rebuilding sidewalks. These services go beyond the baseline services
provided by the local government.
Why?
Private malls have advantages that public business districts lack. For instance, they provide
shared parking, security, litter and graffiti cleanup, marketing, and capital improvements. The
merchants share these expenses by paying their rent to the mall's owner. Business districts
typically have fragmented land and building ownership, and, as a result, it is more difficult to
pursue collective action that improves the entire district. BIDs can remedy this competitive
disadvantage.
How?
BIDs require state enabling legislation, and their organization and powers vary from state to
state. BIDs are typically established through a vote by property owners in the defined district.
In some states, the vote requires a supermajority of two-thirds or more before the BID is
approved. Once approved, the property owners pay an additional increment on their
property taxes that can be used only to benefit the district. BIDs are typically managed by an
executive director and overseen by a board of property owners in the district. The board
typically decides how to spend funds generated by the district.
BIDs can be used in any business district that includes several businesses and buildings under
different ownership. However, they are especially useful for areas that are struggling to
attract shops and investment due to poor collaboration among property owners or poor
public perception. Often, communities establish them in downtowns. The city of Oklahoma
City is an example of a community that used  BIDs to revitalize struggling commercial districts.
Information about Oklahoma City's program  is available here:
www.okc.gov/planning/cdrp/bid.htm.
 STRATEGY 19: HOLD PUBLIC EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN INFILL LOCATIONS     PERCEPTION
What?
 Public events and festivals can bring foot traffic and customers to priority infill areas.
Why?
 Regular, neighborhood-centered events such as farmers' markets, bike rodeos where bike
 safety is taught to children, craft and food fairs, winter holiday ice rinks, and church festivals
 can connect neighbors and build a neighborhood's identity (see Strategy 20). Some cities
 have also organized housing tours to market the downtown and historical neighborhoods.
 The tours can introduce people to the housing options in these areas and highlight locations
 where the community wants to attract investment and infill development. These events can
 help to change perceptions and support local businesses.
How?
 Events can be organized and promoted by neighborhood anchor institutions, a BID, local
 businesses, or other organizations.
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 STRATEGY 20: INITIATE A NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY CAMPAIGP
                                                                PERCEPTION
What?
A neighborhood identity campaign strengthens or establishes an area's identity by giving it a
name and tying specific architecture, signage, public art, or public spaces to it.
Why?
Local governments can encourage development in older neighborhoods by promoting their
distinctive characteristics. These strategies can improve residents' perceptions of an area,
which can increase market demand for housing, commercial space, and offices.
How?
Community identity can come from its historic or cultural roots; a specific facility or public
place such as a park, cultural institution, or commercial district; or an architectural style or
identity. Local governments, community groups, and residents can develop a community
identity campaign to confirm a neighborhood's identity or rebrand it based on these
attributes. Once the identity is established, the local government and community members
can improve public awareness of distinctive neighborhoods through tools such as marketing
materials, distinctive signs, a neighborhood website, or a neighborhood nickname.
Neighborhoods can also undertake joint promotional activities with anchor institutions that
have a stake in the neighborhood's health and perception.
Figure 11: Unique street signs in The Fan District of Richmond, Virginia. Local governments can encourage development in
older neighborhoods by promoting their distinctive characteristics.
Photo source: Jason Coleman, Flickr
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Paying for Infill Development and Infrastructure
A strong foundation of supportive policies is necessary for an infill development market to emerge and
thrive, but it does not guarantee success. Infrastructure improvements add to the cost of infill
development projects. When infrastructure is in place, developers must still get financing to build their
projects. They might find it difficult to secure financing for a concept with few comparable projects in
the region, or the anticipated revenue might be too low to cover the cost of development. In these
instances, the local government needs to decide if it is willing to financially help an infill project to
achieve its vision for the area.

This section describes some standard and innovative funding options, focusing on emerging or creative
funding mechanisms, to support development and fund infrastructure.
Funding for Infill Development
 STRATEGY 21:
 ENACT A PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAM FOR INFILL LOCATIONS
                                                                 UNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                DEVELOPMENT
What?
 Local governments use property tax abatement to waive property taxes on improvements
 such as a new or remodeled house for a fixed period of time.
Why?
Without a tax abatement policy, a property owner could receive a substantially higher tax
bill after improving his or her property. Higher taxes resulting from property improvements
are an economic disincentive to investment. Communities can attract investment in priority
infill areas by reducing or eliminating property taxes on new investment. With a lower future
tax obligation, the owner or developer can more easily afford to take on debt to make
improvements or repurpose a property.
How?
A popular tax abatement strategy is to hold the property taxes constant after an improvement,
until reaching the time limit set by the local government. Cleveland and Philadelphia both manage
tax abatement programs with 10- to 15-year abatement windows depending on the building type.
The local government would need to establish rules for project eligibility, design, geographic
coverage of the program, and transferring the abatement from one owner to another. Geographic
coverage is an especially important consideration for local governments looking to attract
development to a priority infill area. Cleveland and Philadelphia's programs cover their entire
jurisdictions, while Portland, Oregon provides tax abatement in targeted development areas, such
as around transit stations. Some cities also choose to attach design requirements. For example,
under Cleveland's program, residential projects seeking tax abatement must meet the city's green
building standards. However, applying too many conditions could defeat the purpose of helping the
developer overcome the funding gap by increasing the costs.33 34
  For more information on Philadelphia's tax abatement program, see: Office of Housing and Community Development. Tax
Abatement, http://www.phila.gov/ohcd/taxabate.htm. Accessed Dec. 2, 2014.
34 For more information on Cleveland's tax abatement program, see City of Cleveland. Tax Abatement.
http://www.citv.cleveland.oh.us/CitvofCleveland/Home/Government/CitvAgencies/CommunityDevelopment/TaxAbatement.
Accessed Dec. 2, 2014.
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 STRATEGY 22:
 IMPLEMENT A LAND BANKING PROGRAM
What?
                                                                JNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                EVELOPMENT
Local governments use land banks to acquire, stabilize, and redevelop abandoned or vacant
properties. Through land banks, local governments can remove encumbrances such as tax
liens or environmental contamination and prepare the property for a new productive use.
Land banks effectively "hold" vacant or underused properties for future reuse and
redevelopment.35
Why?
Vacant and abandoned properties are common in the older neighborhoods of many
distressed communities. These properties can damage people's perceptions of safety, the
economy, and general quality of life. They are also wasted assets of land and buildings that
could be used for housing, offices, open space, and other more productive uses. However,
these properties also come with many problems. They might have tax liens because the
owner has not paid property taxes or fines related to property maintenance; they might
have environmental contamination; and the local government might not be able to
determine who owns the property. Land banks can take possession of these properties, clear
them of the problems that make it difficult for a developer to purchase them, and then sell
them for redevelopment.
How?
The local government first needs to collect data on all of its properties, such as data on tax
delinquency and code violations. The government can use these data to identify specific
areas where a land bank could operate. In some states, state enabling legislation to
authorize the land bank and to facilitate property acquisition and tax foreclosures might be
needed. Before establishing a land bank, the local government will need to determine how it
will be managed. Some land banks are managed by city or county governments,  while others
are run as an autonomous entity. Once the local government establishes the land bank, it
will need to set criteria for acquiring properties. The local government or land bank
administrator must also establish policies for how it will stabilize and sell properties.
Flint, Michigan, is a good example of a city that has used a land bank to transform vacant
and abandoned properties. Genesee County runs a land bank that owns nearly 9,000
properties in the Flint area, including more than 4,400 homes and more than 4,000 vacant
residential properties. The county forecloses on properties that are more than three years
delinquent in property taxes and transfers them to the land bank. The land bank sells and
rents properties and manages vacant lots  by mowing and picking up trash or leasing them to
neighbors for gardening or leisure. Learn more about the Genesee County Land  Bank here:
www. thelandbank. org/whatwedo. asp.
  A useful publication for communities that are interested in land banking is: Alexander, Franks. Land Banks and Land Banking. Center
for Community Progress. Jun. 2011. http://www.communityprogress.net/publications-pages-396.php.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 23:
 IMPLEMENT A LAND VALUE TAX
What?
                                                                  JNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                  EVELOPMENT
A land value tax is a type of property tax that imposes a higher rate on land than the
improvements upon it. It can also refer to a property tax that applies only to the land.36
Why?
A land value tax encourages development because the tax rate is based on the highest
possible use of the property. Therefore, a land value tax makes it expensive to sit on land
without developing it. It can also reduce the cost of development because property taxes
will rise by only a nominal amount, or not at all, after the owner develops the property.
How?
Most local governments will need state-enabling legislation to apply land value taxation. As
of 2010, land value taxation was used widely only in Pennsylvania and authorized in two
other states, Connecticut and Virginia. Local governments could study the experiences of
other cities and towns, particularly in Pennsylvania, to understand what works, establish
their own policies, and educate elected officials and the public about the policy. Land value
taxation would most likely be applied throughout the taxing district and phased in over
several years, with the rate for land increasing and the rate for improvements decreasing.
Because land value taxation can make owning land more expensive, the Lincoln Institute of
Land Policy recommends that communities with high land prices offer exemptions, credits,
and varied rates to reduce the impact on land-rich but income-poor citizens.37
 STRATEGY 24:
 ATTRACT PRIVATE EQUITY
                                                                 UNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                DEVELOPMENT
What?
"Private equity" refers to funds that are invested in a project by the developer and its partners,
or through tax credits and grants. Private equity is considered "patient capital," meaning that it
has more lenient payback terms than a more traditional lender.
Why?
Nearly all projects will require private equity. Greater private equity in a project gives
lenders more confidence and reduces the developer's debt burden.
How?
Private equity is one form of debt in a project. It is especially important for adaptive reuse
projects in an infill area because traditional lenders might see these projects as more risky
and, as a result, will often lend no more than 50 percent of the project's cost. The local
government can help developers attract private equity by helping them pursue private
equity sources such as tax credits and grants. The local government can also invest directly in
a project. Often, it provides "mezzanine debt," which fills the gap between a traditional loan
and the private equity. Should there be a default, mezzanine debt is subordinate to the
traditional loan but is paid back before the private equity investors.38
  Dye, Richard F., and Richard W. England. Assessing the Theory and Practice of Land Value Taxation. Lincoln Institute of Land
Policy. 2010.
37 Ibid.
38 Raulli, Christy. "Mezzanine Financing in Community Economic Development." UNC School of Government. Aug. 9, 2013.
http://ced.sog.unc.edu/?p=4598.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 25:
 ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS
What?
                                                                   JNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                   EVELOPMENT
Community development corporations (CDCs) are nonprofit organizations that manage or
invest in projects consistent with community goals, such as job creation, revitalization, and
affordable housing. CDCs operate in all 50 states and are often organized and managed by
neighborhood residents, institutions such as churches, small business owners, and other groups
with an interest in community development.39
Why?
CDCs often work in distressed communities on a wide range of services and projects,
including infill real estate development, to spur revitalization. They help fill a gap in the
market by investing in projects that traditional lenders and developers are not interested
in. CDCs can also invest alongside the private sector by providing gap financing between a
traditional loan and private equity.
How?
CDCs are often started by residents or a nonprofit organization, such as a church, that want to
improve their community. They are established as 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations and often
capitalized through public or private grants. Many CDCs support infill development by investing
their funds in small to moderate projects in their neighborhood. If necessary, the public sector
could collaborate with local CDCs to ensure that their work aligns with community-wide and
regional development goals.
CDCs sometimes partner with for-profit developers to construct larger projects. In these
joint ventures, CDCs often bring local real estate knowledge and local  political and
community support. CDCs also have access to funding and financing programs administered
by the federal government or foundations that might not be available to private
developers.40 Meanwhile, a for-profit developer might have more access to capital,
technical capacity, and experience.41
CDCs often rely on a patchwork of diverse funding sources to carry out their missions. For
example, a report on Philadelphia's CDCs found that federal funding supplies only about 10
percent of their budgets. Earned income provided nearly 30 percent, foundations supplied
nearly  22 percent, and state government funding was responsible for about 20 percent.42
Three common federal funding sources that CDCs use to support infill development are
Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs), Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and the
HOME Investments Partnership Program.
  Morris, Stephen. "CDCs and CDCs: Community Development Corporations and SBA Certified Development Companies." U.S. Small
Business Administration blog. Jun. 23, 2011. http://www.sba.gov/communitv/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-cents/cdcs-and-
cdcs-communitv-development-corporation.
40 For a general guide to CDCs, see Community Development Corporations Information Guide, The University of Alabama Center for
Economic Development. 2013. http://www.uaced.ua.edU/uploads/l/9/0/4/19045691/cdc information guide revised  2013.pdf.
41 Jacobus, Rick, and Maegan Winning. Joint Ventures With Far-Profit Developers: A Guide for Community Development Corporations.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation. 2006.
42 Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. "Collective Strength: The $3.3 Billion Impact of Philadelphia
Community Development Corporations." Dec. 2012.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
  Case Study: CDC-Developer Partnership in the East Liberty Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) is a CDC in an older neighborhood of Pittsburgh. East Liberty's chamber
  of commerce founded ELDI in 1979 in an attempt to reverse decades of economic decline. The East Liberty
  Presbyterian Church was also an important funder in ELDI's early years. ELDI's early work involved reopening
  formerly closed-off streets to vehicular traffic and renovating a former hotel. However, the neighborhood
  continued to struggle from public perceptions that it was unsafe. ELDI planted the seeds of the
  neighborhood's renewal through a community-driven vision and plan for East Liberty in 1999.
  Soon after that, a local developer proposed a catalyzing project: building a Whole Foods supermarket on a
  parcel he had assembled on the edge of the neighborhood. However, the $6 million project had an $875,000
  financing gap. ELDI and the developer formed a joint venture in  2001 to develop the store, with  ELDI acting as
  the local advisor and applying for public and nonprofit grants. The developer agreed to hire qualified workers
  from the neighborhood and to give ELDI a share of the project's income. ELDI secured a $375,000 grant from
  LISC and a $500,000 award from the U.S. Department of Health  and Human Services' Office of Community
  Services. This funding allowed the developer to proceed with the project. Five years after the store opened,
  nearly half its staff came from the local neighborhood.
  ELDI continues to invest in the neighborhood, but its contributions go far beyond real estate development. For
  example, in 2010, ELDI planted 213 trees, helped build five rain gardens, updated the community plan from
  1999, and enlisted 141 volunteers in a community cleanup event.)
  Sources: East Liberty Development Inc. 2010 Annual Report. 2011; East Liberty Development Inc. History of ELDI.
  http://www.eastliberty.org/about-eldi/historv-eldi. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014; and Jacobus, Rick, and Maegan Winning. Joint Ventures
  with For-Proft Developers, A Guide for Community Development Corporations. Local I nitiatives Support Corporation. 2006.
Figure 12: Pittsburgh's East Liberty Whole Foods supermarket is a key part of the neighborhood's revival, and support from the
local Community Development Corporation was critical.
Photo source: Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 26: ENCOURAGE CROWDFUNDING FOR PROJECTS AND
 BUSINESSES IN PRIORITY INFILL DEVELOPMENT AREAS
What?
                                                                 JNDING FOR INFILL
                                                                 EVELOPMENT
 Crowdfunding is a new technique that involves raising money, typically over the Internet,
 from a "crowd" of people that each has a small stake in the project. The federal Jumpstart
 Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act, signed into law in 2012, requires the U.S. Securities and
 Exchange Commission (SEC) to develop rules to govern crowdfunding.43 The SEC proposed
 crowdfunding rules in 2013, but had yet to adopt them as of December 2014 and did not
 have a timeline for releasing them. In the absence of rules from the SEC, several states
 adopted their own regulations for crowdfunding by companies raising money within their
 i    i   44
 borders.
Why?
 The JOBS Act is meant to make it easier for small businesses and developers to raise
 money through crowdfunding. The SEC rules are likely to allow private organizations to
 raise equity investments from any individual investor. Before the JOBS Act, organizations
 could raise equity investments only from wealthy, accredited investors. The new law
 should  allow developers to raise funds from residents in the community where a project is
 proposed. Crowdfunding could be an especially powerful tool for raising equity for infill
 projects that investment funds and  institutions that are disconnected from the community
 view as too risky. For example,  an infill project in a distressed community's downtown
 might not meet conventional lenders' requirements for return on investment, but local
 residents might think the project is  important enough for the community to invest small
 amounts of their own money.
How?
Crowdfunding is an evolving tool, and it is not clear yet how a local government might use it.
A developer or a nonprofit such as a CDC would be more likely to use crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding can also support entrepreneurs who take a risk by opening a new business in a
distressed area. The funds can help them update retail spaces and purchase equipment.
Several companies are entering the crowdfunding market. Because crowdfunding is on the
cutting edge,  precautions should be taken to safeguard against fraud and other risks. Some
professional investors are concerned that crowdfunding might attract borrowers who
defraud unsuspecting investors. Additionally, crowdfunding could make it easier for an
entrepreneur to obtain financing, but it will not make it easier to actually build a project.45
  Beesley, Caron. "Crowdfunding—Is It Right for Your Business? Where Do You Start?" U.S. Small Business Administration blog. Jul. 8,
2013. http://www.sba.gov/communitv/blogs/crowdfunding-%E2%80%93-it-right-vour-business-where-do-vou-start.
44 Solomon, Steven Davidoff. "S.E.C.'s Delay on Crowdfunding May Just Save It." New York Times. Nov. 18, 2014.
http://dealbook.nvtimes.com/2014/ll/18/s-e-c-s-delav-on-crowdfunding-may-iust-save-it-2/? r=0.
45 Wortham, Jenna. "Law Opens Financing of Start-Dps to Crowds." New York Times. Sep. 22, 2013.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
  Case Study: Creative Finance through Community Ownership, San Diego, California
  The Village at Market Creek is an infill retail project in a distressed neighborhood of San Diego. The Jacobs
  Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a foundation, bought the site—previously known as the "Four Corners of
  Death" because of the prevalence of crime—for $4 million in 1998. From the beginning, The Jacobs Center
  involved the neighborhood's residents in planning and designing a new shopping center. However, The Jacobs
  Center also wanted to let the residents share in the project's financial rewards. The center designed a new
  tool called the "Community Development Initial Public Offering (IPO)" to share ownership with the residents.
  Development investors are typically institutions or wealthy individuals. But the Village at Market Creek IPO
  targeted residents of the area, who had a median income of about $35,000 per year in 2007. The IPO opened
  in July 2006 to people who lived, worked, or volunteered in  the community. Ultimately, it attracted 415
  investors who contributed between $200 and $10,000 for ownership shares sold at $10 each. The
  neighborhood investors are first in line to collect profits each year. The investors received a 10 percent return
  in 2008 and 2009.
  The Jacobs Center's greatest obstacle in establishing the Community Development IPO was gaining approval
  from California's Department of Corporations. The center spent six years working to win approval, and its
  lawyers submitted 40 drafts of the IPO, before the department agreed to allow residents to invest up to 10
  percent of their income or 10 percent of their net worth, up to $10,000. The Jacobs Center also worked hard
  to explain the IPO concept to the neighborhood, hosting tours, dinners, and presentations with potential
  investors. Further, with the 2012 enactment of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which
  reduces obstacles to individual investment in real estate projects, the Village at Market Creek could be a
  bellwether of things to come.
  Sources: Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. Community Development IPO.
  http://www.iacobscenter.org/economicdevelopment cdipo.htm. Accessed Jan. 30, 2014; and Stuhldreher, Anne.
  "Lower-income Patrons of Market Creek Plaza Can Now Invest in the Shopping Center." Stanford Social Innovation Review.
  Winter 2007.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Funding for Infrastructure
Infill developers often have to pay to upgrade water, sewer, stormwater, streets, and other
infrastructure. The federal government is a major source of funding for infrastructure improvements for
local governments. State and regional contacts at HUD, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA),
Federal Transit Administration (FTA), EPA, and several other federal agencies can provide information
about federal programs, large and small, for improving infrastructure.46 For a list of tools and strategies
that are available for financing and  funding specifically for infrastructure in and around transit-oriented
development,  see EPA's Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development.47  The
strategies that follow identify nonfederal options to finance infrastructure improvements.
 STRATEGY 27:
 CREATE A TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT
                                                                 'UNDINGFOI
                                                                INFRASTRUCTURE
What?
Tax increment financing (TIF) is similar to special assessment district financing (see below),
but with an important distinction. Through TIF, local governments pay for infrastructure
improvements with revenue that is generated by higher property values. Unlike special
assessment districts, property owners in a TIF district do not pay a different property tax
rate than the surrounding non-TIF areas. Rather, the local government pays the cost of
infrastructure improvements upfront. The new infrastructure makes new development
possible. The locality then uses the tax revenue generated by the new development to pay
off the debt that it incurred to fund the infrastructure improvements in the first place.
Why?
TIF districts raise funds for infrastructure improvements from the property owners who are
benefiting, reducing the upfront cost burden on the developer and local government. Local
governments can use a TIF district to finance infrastructure in a distressed area that might
not attract private investment without significant infrastructure improvements.
TIF is authorized in nearly all states, but the tool has been criticized. For example, some
experts have argued that TIF districts shift development from non-TIF areas and have little
effect on a community's overall property tax revenue for schools and other services. Such
concerns led California to eliminate TIF financing through its redevelopment authorities in
2012.4S However, TIF remains a popular tool for economic development in distressed
communities that struggle to attract traditional financing.
How?
To establish a TIF district, the local government often must declare that an area is blighted
or underdeveloped. The community then establishes the district boundary and dedicates
any incremental tax revenues to economic development purposes, including construction of
new infrastructure.49 The local government can issue bonds that are secured with the tax
revenue growth.
  See http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/mission/about-us, for more information on the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for
Sustainable Communities.
47 EPA. Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development. 2013.
http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/infra  financing.htm.
48 Editorial. "California Redevelopment Agencies, the Sequel." Los Angeles Times. Sep. 22, 2013.
49 Dye, Richard, and David Merriman. "Tax Increment Financing: A Tool for Local Economic Development." Land Lines. Lincoln Institute
of Land Policy. Jan. 2006.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 28:
 ESTABLISH A CAPITAL RESERVE FUND
What?
                                                                  ENDING FOR
                                                                 IFRASTRUCTURE
Local governments can use capital reserve funds to save money for future capital projects.
This practice can reduce the local government's debt burden by using cash for a portion of
the cost. A capital reserve fund has a defined purpose, making it different from a rainy day
fund, which is used to cover unforeseen emergencies or budget shortfalls.
Why?
Local governments can typically plan ahead for capital improvements, but they budget year
to year. They can save up for planned capital improvements through a capital reserve fund,
which can reduce their reliance on debt. Distressed communities might have lower bond
ratings, which results in higher financing costs and makes saving for major capital
improvements more attractive. However, many distressed communities struggle to pay
monthly bills and might not be able to set funds aside.
How?
State law governs municipal finance, so the rules for establishing this type of fund vary from
state to state. Often the local government will need to establish the fund and designate
specific purposes or projects on which to spend the savings. Once established, the local
government can make regular transfers to the reserve fund.
Local governments can also consider partnering with utility companies to make capital
improvements that will make an area more attractive to investment. Utility companies have
a vested interest in community development. The infrastructure that delivers their service
might be underutilized.50
 STRATEGY 29:
 CREATE A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
What?
Local governments commonly use special tax assessments on a property to pay for
infrastructure improvements that benefit the property. The special assessment is often applied
to the properties in a district in proportion to their individual benefit from the improvements.
Why?
Infrastructure is expensive and a large burden to developers and local governments alike.
Special assessments shift the infrastructure burden to the property owners who benefit from
improvements. Developers are attracted to special assessment financing because the cost of
infrastructure improvements is kept off of the balance sheet for the overall development and
thus does not hinder the developer's ability to obtain loans to finance the project.
While they are easy to establish for greenfield  projects where the developer is often the only
property owner, special assessment districts can be difficult to establish in infill areas with
many property owners. Special assessment district financing can also be difficult to use in
distressed communities with low property values. In these areas, borrowing against future
property taxes might not yield enough funding to pay for infrastructure improvements.
Because of these factors, distressed infill areas might first consider establishing a Tax
Increment Financing District (Strategy 27).
 Millonzi, Kara. "Financing Capital Projects—Part I: 'Saving" Through Fund Balance and Capital Reserve Funds." UNC School of
Government. Oct. 7, 2012. http://canons.sog.unc.edu/?p=6869.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 29:
 CREATE A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
How?
                                                                ENDING FOR
                                                                IFRASTRUCTURE
Financing tools such as special assessment districts are highly regulated by state
governments, and the process for creating one will vary from state to state. It often requires
several steps, including creating an infrastructure plan that lays out what the assessment
revenue is buying and getting approval from the property owner or owners in the district.
Often a supermajority of owners, such as two-thirds, must vote in favor of the special
assessment. The infrastructure plan can be a useful marketing tool to generate support.
Where multiple property owners are involved, the  local government might want to find one
property owner in the proposed district to be a  champion and help conduct outreach to
build support. Once the local government approves the district, it can issue revenue bonds
against the special assessment.51
Local governments interested in special assessment financing might also analyze the
borrowing capability of the proposed district relative to needed improvements. A key
question to answer is whether the anticipated revenue will be sufficient.
 STRATEGY 30:
 GENERATE REVENUE THROUGH NAMING RIGHTS AND ADVERTISING
                                                                JNDINGFOR
                                                                IFRASTRUCTURE
What?
Local governments can use naming rights and advertising to generate revenue from assets
they own, such as parks, arenas, public transit vehicles, land, and buildings. These
strategies are appealing for many communities because they can generate revenue from
the private sector outside of the usual tax channels.
Why?
Many cities now offer naming rights and advertising to companies or other sponsors to
offset the costs of a capital improvement or program or to generate ongoing revenue.
These strategies can support infill development by helping offset the cost of new parks or
other public facilities and services that are needed to serve new residents.
How?
Local governments can sell naming rights, also known as sponsorships, for a wide variety
of services and facilities such as parks, stadiums, libraries, or other major capital
investments. They could also sell pavers or other recognition for smaller capital
improvements, such as a new downtown streetscape.
In addition, local governments can sell advertising space on billboards, in public facilities,
or in its transit vehicles. The revenue can help cover the cost of a service, or it can benefit
a particular area. For example, revenue from  billboards in or near the downtown could be
dedicated to infrastructure improvements linked to the community's infill development
plan or vision. While people might object to using a public facility to promote private
interests or simply to a billboards'  appearance, this strategy can generate substantial
revenue to benefit  a community.
  Millonzi, Kara A. "An Overview of Special Assessment Bond Authority in North Carolina." Local Finance Bulletin. No. 40. UNC School
of Government. Nov. 2009.
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
 STRATEGY 30:
 GENERATE REVENUE THROUGH NAMING RIGHTS AND ADVERTISING
'NDING
FRASTRUCTURE
           Before selling naming rights, the government should set policies about what it is willing to
           sell and reasonable rates. Another important step is to identify existing or planned assets
           that are appropriate for a naming rights deal or selling advertising.
           Cleveland's first bus rapid transit (BRT) system  is a good example of how a city can use
           naming rights to help pay for an infrastructure  improvement that supports infill
           development. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority sold the naming rights for
           the nine-mile BRT line to The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The two health
           care providers will  pay $6.25  million over 25 years to name the BRT route the HealthLine.52
           The HealthLine project cost approximately $200 million, but has leveraged $5.8 billion in
           transit-oriented development in the previously distressed corridor.53
            w
             •&"
  _ .
S^"
Figure 13: Cleveland's Healthline Bus Rapid Transit.
Photo source: Gretchen Moore.
  Hollander, Sarah. "Clinic, UH to pay to name Euclid Corridor buses." Cleveland Plain Dealer. Feb. 28, 2008.
http://blog.cleveland.com/medical/2008/02/clinic uh  pay to name.html.
53 Hook, Walter, Stephanie Lotshaw, and Annie Weinstock. More Development for Your Transit Dollar, An Analysis of 21 North
American Transit Corridors. Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. 2013.
Strategies to Encourage Infill Development in Distressed Communities
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Appendix A
Appendix A includes self-assessment questions for each strategy to help local governments determine
which strategies are appropriate for their context. By working through the self-assessment questions
and using the strategies in this guide, local governments should have both the knowledge to decide if
their community is ready to pursue infill development in distressed communities and the tools to help
them do so successfully. Strategy 1 lays the foundation for the strategies that follow.

Self-Assessment Questions for Strategies
The following tables include 30 strategies for encouraging infill development. Each strategy comes with
a series of questions for which a  "yes" answer indicates support for the strategy and a "no" indicates
that the community may need to make some policy, code, or other changes to make the strategy
feasible. However, this community readiness assessment is not an exact science. More "yes" than "no"
answers may indicate a readiness to apply the particular strategy. In general, the questions are simply
designed to give the user some food for thought as he or she thinks about which strategies are most
suitable given the  circumstances.
           Strategy 1: Identify Priority Infill Development Areas
           Strategy 2: Expedite Development Review
           Strategy 3: Set Tiered Impact Fees
           Strategy 4: Ease Parking Requirements in Infill Locations
           Strategy 5: Adopt Flexible Codes
           Strategy 6: Provide Clear Rules for Renovating Historic Buildings
           Strategy 7: Adopt an Adaptive Reuse Ordinance
           Strategy 8: Offer Density Bonuses in Infill Locations
           Strategy 9: Put Public Offices in Infill Locations
           PARTNERSHIPS
           Strategy 10:
           Strategy 11:
           Strategy 12:
           Strategy 13:
           Strategy 14:
           Strategy 15:
Seek State and Regional Partners
Identify Key Anchor Institutions
Explore Employer-Assisted Housing
Engage Philanthropic Organizations
Create a Public Sector-Developer Liaison
Create a Local Developer Capacity-Building Program
           Strategy 16: Strengthen Code Enforcement
           Strategy 17: Build Complete Streets
           Strategy 18: Create a Business Improvement District
           Strategy 19: Hold Public Events and Festivals in Infill Locations
           Strategy 20: Initiate a Neighborhood Identity Campaign
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
           FUNDING FOR INFILL
           Strategy 21: Enact a Property Tax Abatement Program for Infill Locations
           Strategy 22: Implement a Land Banking Program
           Strategy 23: Implement a Land Value Tax
           Strategy 24: Attract Private Equity
           Strategy 25: Encourage Community Development Corporations
           Strategy 26: Encourage Crowdfundingfor Projects and Businesses in Priority Infill
           Development Areas
           FUNDING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
           Strategy 27: Create a Tax Increment Financing District
           Strategy 28: Establish a Capital Reserve Fund
           Strategy 29: Create Special Assessment Districts
           Strategy 30: Generate Revenue through Naming Rights and Advertising
Appendix A
50

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-l. Assessment Questions for Strategy
                       Identify Priority Infill Development Areas
              Key Questions
Do developers typically need a zoning
variance or special use permit for infill
projects, or are they required to pursue
planned unit developments?
Yes/No
Yes D
NO n
            'hy Is This Important?
The type of development a community wants
should be the easiest to permit. Developers
should be able to build the desired infill
products "by right/' without special exceptions
or complex approval processes.
Has the community identified priority areas
for infill or other growth (e.g., in a
comprehensive plan, vision, or other
document with broad public support)?
Yes D
NO n
A community vision or a comprehensive plan
can provide direction on where and how to
grow and invest.
Are there public or private investments in
transportation, infrastructure, or
beautification planned for potential infill
areas?
Yes D
NO n
Taking into account other planned
investments when prioritizing areas for infill
can help leverage limited public dollars.
Is there publicly owned property in potential
infill areas?
Yes D
NO n
Publicly owned land can be used to reduce the
cost of infill development and make it more
financially feasible. The process of identifying
priority infill areas should take into account
publicly owned land that might be used for
this purpose.
Is there consensus in the community to
redevelop infill areas?
Yes D
NO n
Community support will be important as infill
projects go through the visioning, planning,
and implementation phases.
Are portions of the community walkable,
transit-accessible, compact, and/or
historically significant?
Yes D
NO n
Areas with these attributes often are
attractive, ready, and suitable for infill
development.
Are there infill areas with a substantial
amount of vacant land or already assembled
parcels?
Yes D
NO n
Large-scale infill development can be easier
when the land has a single owner.
Does the local government have a place-
based economic development strategy?
Yes D
NO n
A place-based strategy calls for strengthening
the local economy by capitalizing on existing
assets and distinctive community features.
Does the local government have
relationships with any national organizations
that can provide financial assistance?
Yes D
NO n
Grant funding can start or improve a project or
program.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                    able A-2. Assessment Questions for Strategy 2
                             Expedite Development Review
             Key Questions
Is mixed-use and higher-density infill
development allowed by right?
Yes/No
Yes D
NO n
            rhy is this Important?
The local government should have zoning that
allows the types of infill projects it wants to
encourage.  Expedited development review is
not as useful to a developer who must go
through a lengthy process to obtain a zoning
variance or  wait for the local government to
update a zoning district.
Does the state government have incentives
or exemptions for infill development in any
permit requirements, such as
environmental review or stormwater
permitting?
Yes D
NO n
The state's policies can strengthen the local
government's efforts. Local governments
might work with the state to establish state
incentives that expedite development review
and permitting.
Does the local government have authority
under state law or local ordinance to
expedite development review in one
location over another?
Yes D
NO n
This action might require state enabling
legislation.
Has the local government identified the time
it takes to conduct development review as a
problem that should be addressed?
Yes D
NO n
Expedited reviews in infill locations can be an
incentive for developers by reducing time and
costs.
Has the local government collected data on
and analyzed the fiscal, environmental,
transportation, and other impacts of infill
development relative to greenfield
development?
Yes D
NO n
These data can help the local government
justify expedited development review for infill
         areas.
Is there a local vision or comprehensive
plan in place that guides where infill
development should go and what it should
look like?
Yes D
NO n
The local government can build community
support for infill if a clear vision or strategy exists
that the community already shaped and
supports.
Does the local development community
support encouraging infill development?
Yes D
NO n
Expediting the development review process for
some areas over others could create friction in
the development community. Engaging private
developers early can help build consensus for a
community growth vision.
Has the local government identified specific
zones or districts in which to encourage
infill development?
Yes D
NO n
Identifying such zones in a policy statement
such as a comprehensive plan adopted by the
governing entity is an important early step and
is a prerequisite for other strategies described
in this report.
Has the local government identified design
guidelines and the types of uses it seeks to
encourage in these zones?
Yes D
NO n
The character and type of development that
the community wants in infill locations should
be clear to both the private sector and
reviewing agencies. Following the guidelines
can be a requirement for expedited review.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-3. Assessment Questions for Strategy 3
                                 Set Tiered Impact Fees
              Key Questions
Are local governments allowed to establish
tiered impact fees under state law?
                                          Yes/No
                                          Yes D
                                          NO  n
                     'hy Is This Important?
         This action might require state enabling
         legislation.
                                                   This strategy is not an option unless the
                                                   community has impact fees or is planning to
                                                   assess them.
Does the local government charge impact
fees to cover costs associated with
development, such as new schools?
Yes D
NO n
Has the local government studied the
difference in fiscal, social, and other costs
between infill and greenfield development?
                                          Yes D
                                          NO  n
         The local government might want to provide
         specific data explaining why areas targeted for
         reduced impact fees are helping save money
         and offset the reduced revenue from the
         lower fees. In addition to the difference in
         infrastructure costs between infill and
         greenfield development, it might be less
         expensive to provide public services to close-in
         neighborhoods than serve areas on the
         periphery.
Is there consensus among local elected
officials to give priority to infill
development?
                                          Yes D
                                          NO  n
         This strategy could generate political
         controversy because it benefits some
         geographic areas and not others. Political and
         community support for underlying infill goals is
         important.
Do local developers support the local
government providing financial incentives
for infill development but not greenfield
development?
                                          Yes D
                                          NO  n
         Developers pay the impact fees, making their
         support critical. Involving local developers in
         identifying priority infill development areas
         can help garner support for infill.
Is market demand much greater for
greenfield development than infill
development?
                                          Yes D
                                          NO  n
         This strategy and other financial incentives will
         likely work better in a community where
         demand for infill development is lower than
         for greenfield development. Financial
         incentives are less important if the market
         favors infill or is balanced between the two.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Table A-4. Assessment Questions for Strategy 4
Ease Parking Requirements in Infill Locations
Key Questions Yes/No Why Is This Important?
Does local zoning set minimum parking
requirements?
Does the local government require
developers to reduce vehicle travel
generated by their projects?
Has the local government studied parking
supply and demand for infill priority areas? If
so, is there already an oversupply?
Does the community use innovative parking
policies such as shared parking or parking
cashout?54
Are residents and businesses amenable to
charging for on-street parking?
Can bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders
already access any priority infill areas?
Does parking supply exceed demand in any
priority infill areas?
Is car sharing available in any priority infill
areas?
Are current parking requirements an
impediment to infill, particularly in
downtown areas?
Is transit a convenient option for travel to,
from, and within infill areas?
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Minimum parking requirements can produce
more parking than is necessary. Moving from a
minimum to a maximum could be a good
incentive for infill.
Infill locations with lower parking minimums or
with maximums could be more attractive to
developers because it is easier to reduce
vehicle travel generated by these places.
If an oversupply already exists, the local
government can justify reduced parking
requirements, which in turn help reduce the
cost to develop in infill locations.
These policies demonstrate the local
government's willingness to explore
alternatives that are more finely calibrated to
local conditions, which can reduce developers'
costs.
Free parking creates high demand for driving
and parking. It can be difficult to charge for
parking if the community expects parking to be
free.
These areas could be suitable for a pilot
program that reduces parking requirements.
New development might be able to offer
fewer spaces than previously required.
Car sharing can allow people to own fewer
cars, which can reduce parking demand.
High minimum parking requirements raise the
cost and complexity of infill development.
High-quality, reliable transit can reduce vehicle
travel demand and parking needs.
  "Parking cashout" describes programs in which employees can take a cash payment in lieu of a subsidized parking space. For more
information, see: California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board. California's Parking Cash-Out Law.
http://www.arb.ca.gov/planning/tsaq/cashout/cashout.htm. Accessed Dec. 3, 2014.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-5. Assessment Questions for Strategy 5
                                    Adopt Flexible Codes
              Key Questions
Does the local comprehensive plan call for
providing more flexible zoning or design
regulations for infill areas?
 Yes/No
Yes D
NO n
            'hy Is This Important?
The comprehensive plan typically establishes
policies that influence zoning and design
regulations. Having a strong plan in place is
critical to developing flexible codes.
Does the local government have the
expertise and staff time needed to revise its
development codes?
Yes D
NO n
Staff time and expertise to amend zoning and
other development codes can be time
consuming and costly. Time and expertise
needed should be estimated ahead of time to
ensure the local government has sufficient
resources.
Has the local government audited its zoning
and subdivision codes to identify key
elements that encourage or discourage
mixed-use, compact development in infill
locations?
Yes D
NO n
Audit tools are available to help identify the
specific code fixes that could have the biggest
impact. See the footnote on this page for a
couple of examples.55 56
Does the local government have a district-
level or zone-based transportation policy
for infill areas that can support flexible
zoning and design?
Yes D
NO n
The transportation needs of priority infill
areas, which are more likely to have compact
development patterns with a mix of uses, are
different than those of lower density auto-
oriented areas. A comprehensive
transportation policy for priority infill areas
should support a multimodal approach to
accommodating travel in the area. Parking
standards would also be relaxed, creating
opportunities for developers to build or
rehabilitate historic buildings without needing
to adhere to standards not meant for infill
projects.
Does the community understand the
benefits and attributes of flexible codes and
how they support infill development?
Yes D
NO n
The local government might need to educate
the public about the value and application of
flexible codes in an infill area before
embarking on a zoning code update.
Does the local government have design
guidelines or a master plan that can serve
as the basis for form-based or other flexible
code provisions?
Yes D
NO n
Codes that emphasize building form over use
require a strong design framework to help
identify the design features and guiding
principles that matter most.
  EPA has published a pair of guides that communities of different types and sizes can use to assess and improve their codes. These
are "Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes" and "Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Rural Planning,
Zoning, and Development Codes." They are available at http://www2.epa.gov/smart-growth/essential-smart-growth-fixes-
communities.
56 Smart Growth America offers several audit tools on its website, including a Quick Diagnostic, a Smart Growth Policy Audit, and a
Smart Growth Code and Zoning Audit. Find these tools and more information by visiting
http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/leadership-institute/implementation-tools.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
             Key Questions
Do local codes raise development costs and
require developers to seek special approval
for projects that do not meet the exact
code requirements?
 Yes/No
Yes D
NO n
          Why Is This Important?
Developers can incur higher predevelopment
costs while working to obtain approval for
projects that are inconsistent with zoning.
Do elected officials place a high priority on
attracting and retaining businesses?
Yes D
NO n
Flexible codes can be more business friendly
by allowing property owners to change the use
in response to economic conditions.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-6. Assessment Questions for Strategy 6
                 Provide Clear Rules for Renovating Historic Buildings
              Key Questions
Does the local government minimize
regulatory or cost uncertainties to
encourage developers to undertake historic
building rehabilitation and reuse projects?
Yes/No
Yes D
NO n
            'hy Is This Important?
Regulatory tools such as overlay zoning
districts or special codes for historic structures
can give developers more certainty about
what is expected from them when they work
on historically significant buildings.
Has the local government adopted a policy
of encouraging rehabilitation and reuse of
historic buildings?
Yes D
NO n
This indicates that elected officials might be
willing to provide incentives or overhaul
ordinances to encourage historic building
rehabilitation.
Does the community have a substantial
number of historic buildings in priority infill
areas? Has the community conducted an
inventory of historic structures that should
be preserved?
Yes D
NO n
Conducting an inventory can be the first step
in identifying buildings, public spaces, and
other culturally and architecturally significant
features for which the community can then
create specific guidance and rules.
Does the local government provide clear
rules for developers who propose
rehabilitating or reusing a historic building?
Yes D
NO n
Clear rules reduce subjectivity and give the
developer more certainty about what is
permitted or desirable. They can reduce
delays, which saves money in the
predevelopment stage.
Does the local government have a separate
process for approving adaptive reuse of
historic buildings?
Yes D
NO n
Depending upon the nature and extent of its
existing historic resources, the local
government might find an alternative
permitting and approval process helpful to
provide clarity and certainty on renovating and
reusing historic structures.
Is there consensus in the community about
preserving and reusing historic structures?
Has the community identified the features,
cultural, and historic aspects it values most?
Yes D
NO n
Historic resources often evoke strong
emotions from the community. Conducting
early outreach and building consensus with
the community can help the local government
secure support for building infill in historic
neighborhoods.
Do the existing historic buildings and public
spaces provide a precedent and good basis
for creating a compact, mixed-use
community form?
Yes D
NO n
Local governments have limited resources.
Before deciding to revise zoning and
development codes, the local government
should consider whether its historic districts
and concentrations of historic buildings
overlap with its priority infill areas.
Are developers able to make an attractive
return on investment with adaptive reuse
projects under existing regulations?
Yes D
NO n
Developers will not repurpose or rehabilitate
historic buildings if they cannot make a
competitive return on investment. An adaptive
reuse ordinance can make these projects more
economically viable.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-7. Assessment Questions for Strategy 7
                          Adopt an Adaptive Reuse Ordinance
              Key Questions
Has the local government established any
historic overlay or adaptive reuse districts?
Are proposals to reuse a historic building
subject to different requirements than new
construction?
Yes D
NO n
                     'hy Is This Important?
An adaptive reuse ordinance can be applied
within a specific district.
Yes D
NO n
Applying new construction standards to reuse
and redevelopment of historic buildings can
make these projects economically infeasible.
Does the city or town have a local historical
society that is interested in preserving
historic buildings?
Yes D
NO n
These groups show the community's concern
for historic buildings and can be advocates for
policies that preserve historic structures while
encouraging new development.
Have elected officials made redevelopment
of historic buildings a priority?
Yes D
NO n
Investing time and energy in revising codes
requires political support.
Does the community have many vacant
historic buildings in infill areas?
Yes D
NO n
Widespread vacancy in these buildings could
indicate that they are not economically viable
under existing zoning regulations.
Do current zoning and development codes
enable cost-effective redevelopment of
historic buildings?
Yes D
NO n
Holding older buildings to the same code
requirements as new construction can be an
obstacle because these codes often enforce
suburban standards for density, parking
requirements, and dwelling size. These
standards are often impossible to meet when
rehabilitating a historic urban building.
Is the market demand for infill strong
enough to support the cost of adaptive
reuse?
Yes D
NO n
Renovating older buildings that have long
been vacant is often expensive and risky due
to unforeseen and unpredictable costs; market
demand needs to be sufficient to support
these costs.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                    able A-8. Assessment Questions for Strategy 8
                       Offer Density Bonuses in Infill Locations
              Key Questions
Has the local government identified in its
comprehensive plan or future land use plan
where it supports increasing density?
Yes D
NO  n
                     'hy Is This Important?
The local government should plan increased
density carefully with public input to minimize
potential impacts to neighborhood character,
transportation, and facilities.
Does the local government have a
comprehensive or small area plan that is the
basis for amenities and/or features to
request in exchange for higher density?
Yes D
NO  n
Density bonuses are typically given in
exchange for a public amenity, better building
design, or other features that benefit the
immediate neighborhood or the community as
a whole.
Do elected officials support higher-density
development in the downtown and other
neighborhoods targeted for infill?
Yes D
NO  n
Elected officials will need to support policies
promoting infill.
Do residents in areas targeted for infill
support higher-density development?
Yes D
NO  n
Residents might want to maintain the
neighborhood's look and feel and might be
concerned about the change that more
development will bring. Engaging residents
early and often in creating a vision and plan for
infill development can help ensure that they
understand how this development could
improve the neighborhood and that the
development responds to their desires and
concerns.
Do areas targeted for higher density have
transportation capacity or offer alternatives
to driving, such as transit, car sharing, or
bike facilities?
Yes D
NO  n
Higher-density development generates more
trips by residents and workers. By offering
more transportation choices, the local
government can prepare an area for the
increased travel and respond to neighborhood
concerns about traffic.
Does the community have existing high-
density mixed use projects?
Yes D
NO  n
These projects can be examples for future
development and demonstrate that the
community supports more compact
development.
Is the high cost of land an obstacle to infill
development?
Yes D
NO  n
Density bonuses can help overcome high land
costs but might be less useful in areas with
plenty of inexpensive land.
Will market demand support higher density
development than is allowed under the
existing zoning?
Yes D
NO  n
Density bonuses work only if the community
accepts higher density development and there
is demand from people and businesses for a
higher density product.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                     able A-9. Assessment Questions for Strategy 9
                           Put Public Offices in Infill Locations
           Key Questions
Yes/No
Do local and state government
policies support putting public
buildings in infill or downtown
locations?
Yes D
NO  n
              Why Is This Important?
The location decisions of government facilities are
less driven by the market than private industries. As a
result, government offices can choose to locate in
areas where their presence can stimulate the
economy.
Does the local government have
criteria for deciding where to locate
facilities?
Yes D
NO  n
A local government often chooses locations based
purely on cost. It might want to revisit facility location
criteria to ensure that they consider the social and
environmental benefits of infill locations.
Do many local government workers
live near the priority infill areas?
Yes D
NO  n
Moving a public office to an infill location could create a
longer commute for some workers, which should be
one of the factors considered before the move.
Strategies such as an employer-assisted housing
program can help workers live close to their offices.
Do the areas targeted for infill need
additional office space?
Yes D
NO  n
The balance of housing and jobs could influence the
local government's decisions. If the area has many
more jobs than households, the local government
might want to invest more in housing.
Do the areas targeted for infill have
parcels of sufficient size and quality
for the government's needs?
Yes D
NO  n
Government facilities vary in their space
requirements, security needs, and function. As a
result, some public agencies or offices can more easily
locate to a compact infill location than others. A large
high-security archive with few employees may not
complement a priority infill area, for example.
Is the local government considering
construction of a new municipal
building?
Yes D
NO  n
Public facilities can bring employees to an infill area,
increasing demand for shops, services, and housing.
Does the agency or division that
would be in a new municipal building
provide a service that lends itself to
an infill or downtown location?
Yes D
NO  n
Some government functions are particularly well
suited to compact infill areas, such as library
branches, health clinics, social service offices, and
small business assistance centers. Typically, facilities
that generate foot traffic and have a high number of
employees who would patronize neighborhood
businesses are well suited. Some functions of
government are better handled outside of compact
development areas.
Does the infill area have available
office space that meets the agency's
needs?
Yes D
NO  n
Public agencies or divisions can fill vacant space.
Are any federal agencies or offices
already located in the community?
Yes D
NO  n
Executive Order 13514 calls on the federal
government to consider siting facilities in central
cities and town centers.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-10. Assessment Questions for Strategy 10
                           Seek State and Regional Partners
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Do any state or regional funding programs
(for infrastructure or development) have
policies or criteria that favor infill
development projects?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
States and regional agencies such as
metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)
can align their funding with goals, such as
promoting infill development.
Does the MPO (or state department of
transportation in areas without an MPO) give
funding priority to transportation projects
that support infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
The MPO is the gatekeeper of federal
transportation funding for the region, and its
long-range transportation plan sets priorities
for projects.
Do state or regional agencies offer technical
assistance that can help communities create
policies and codes that support infill
development?
Yes D
NO  n
Some assistance programs fund most or all of
the cost of hiring consultants to develop
plans for implementing transit-oriented
development, infill, or similar strategies.
Has the local government encouraged state
and regional agency partners to be involved
in its planning efforts?
Yes D
NO  n
Many states have programs to fund or
finance infrastructure relevant to an infill
development strategy. Involving state and
regional agency partners in the planning
phases can generate buy in for the
community's infill vision.
Does the community have anchor institutions
such as hospitals or colleges that are
interested in economic and community
development?
Yes D
NO  n
Developers may be struggling with infill
development projects and not meeting latent
demand. Training for developers could help
them gain the knowledge and resources to
make these projects successful.
Are there state-level infrastructure
investments targeted to developed areas or
infill locations?
Yes D
NO  n
Some states prioritize infrastructure
investments to support broader economic
development, transportation, environmental,
and public health goals. Aligning local infill
strategies with state goals can help garner
additional resources for infill.
Does the local government qualify for any
funding programs or additional funding
through existing program, because it is a
distressed community?
Yes D
NO  n
Some state or regional programs are meant
for areas that are economically distressed or
have high concentrations of low-income
households.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-ll. Assessment Questions for Strategy 11
                             Identify Key Anchor Institutions
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Has the local government actively engaged
anchor institutions to foster infill? Does
existing policy support locating major anchor
institutions in infill areas?
Yes D
NO  n
            'hy Is This Important?
Anchor institutions are often willing and able
to invest in projects that improve the
community.
Has the local government compiled an
inventory of anchor institutions and their key
staff and leaders? Are these institutions or
business  suited for infill locations or to make
investments in infill priority areas?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government's leadership (elected
officials and senior staff) should meet and
talk regularly with top officials from anchor
institutions to develop relationships that
could lead to these institutions having a
greater stake in infill development in  the
communities they serve.
Are there specific anchor institutions that
would benefit from locating in areas where
their employees could walk, bike, take transit,
or drive shorter distances?
Yes D
NO  n
Medical facilities often require certain
employees to live within a specified distance
to ensure they are available in emergencies.
These facilities might have an inherent
incentive to locate in more central infill areas.
Are there any anchor institutions in or near
the local government's priority infill areas?
Do they have good relationships with
adjacent neighborhoods?
Yes D
NO  n
Anchor institutions have longstanding
investments in their locations and often can
help revitalize their neighborhoods.
Are the anchor institutions' strategic goals
aligned with the local government's goals for
infill?
Yes D
NO  n
Infill strategies might be able to help
institutions attract and retain a competitive
workforce, reducing employee commutes,
and enhancing neighborhood conditions.
Does the community have community
development corporations (CDCs) that anchor
institutions could work with or fund?
Yes D
NO  n
CDCs often lead development and
redevelopment projects in specific
neighborhoods. Sometimes they are led or
supported by an anchor institution such as a
church.
Does the anchor institution have site
development requirements conducive to infill
design that encourage walkability, activity
along the street, or smaller setbacks?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government might need to work
with the anchor institution to strengthen or
create design guidelines that fit with the
community's vision for infill and livability
goals.
Are the community's anchor institutions
financially secure?
Yes D
NO  n
Anchor institutions are more likely to invest
in community development when they are
doing well financially.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                   Table A-12. Assessment Questions for Strategy 12
                           Explore Employer-Assisted Housing
               Key Questions
Yes/No
Do local government policies support construction
of more affordable and workforce housing?
Yes D
NO n
            'hy Is This Important?
Employer-assisted housing can help the local
government achieve its goals in these areas.
Is land around existing employment centers
zoned for housing or mixed-use development?
Yes D
NO n
Employment centers often have more jobs than
housing. Zoning that limits housing and mixed-use
development could be a contributing factor.
Has the local government studied the ratio of
jobs to housing units in priority infill areas to
determine targets for additional housing or
commercial space in these locations?	
Yes D
NO n
Understanding the magnitude of imbalance
between jobs and housing can promote and
inform the application of this strategy.
Does a large share of employers' workforce
commute long distances?
Yes D
NO n
Lengthy commute times and traffic congestion
diminish quality of life and can make it difficult
to retain employees. Offering housing closer to
jobs can help foster demand in infill areas while
reducing commute times and traffic congestion.
Does the local government understand the
need for workforce housing, particularly for
major employers in the area?
Yes D
NO n
The local government could reach out to major
employers to better understand their workers'
housing needs. This information could inform
an employer assisted housing program.	
Do any employers in the community or region
already have an employer-assisted housing
program?	
Yes D
NO n
Existing programs can be good case studies, and
their managers could participate in a peer
exchange with other employers.	
Are there places in the infill areas where adding
compact housing could make the neighborhood
more walkable? Can adding homes in the infill
area stimulate more retail demand?
Yes D
NO n
Local governments can encourage employers to
create employer-assisted housing programs to
increase housing options in downtowns and other
infill areas with more jobs than households.	
Does the community have any examples of infill
housing that meets the needs of a diverse
workforce?
Yes D
NO n
The local government can provide to employers
examples of infill housing that can
accommodate all types of households and
income levels.
Does a large share of the community's residents
spend more than 30 percent of their income on
housing?57 Would putting affordable homes
closer to employers help reduce the combined
cost of housing and transportation?
Yes D
NO n
The federal government considers housing
affordable if a household spends less than 30%
of its budget on it. This does not take into
account transportation costs, which are the
second largest expenses for families and for
which no affordability standard exists.5S
Employer-assisted housing can help make
homeownership more affordable, and putting
homes closer to jobs can help reduce
transportation costs.	
  HUD considers 30 percent the level at which a household is "cost burdened" by housing. HUD. "Affordable Housing." Accessed Mar.
26, 2014. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program offices/comm planning/affordablehousing.
58 H+T Affordability Index, http://www.htaindex.org; Location Affordability Portal Version 2,
http://www.locationaffordability.info/default.aspx.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-13. Assessment Questions for Strategy 13
                          Engage Philanthropic Organizations
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does the local government have a strategy to
engage philanthropic partners?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
With the local government's backing,
philanthropic organizations could manage or
fund programs that support infill
development, such as land banking or
community development corporations.
Do local government staff and/or leaders
have relationships with local, regional, and
national philanthropic organizations?
Yes D
NO  n
Staying informed about funding opportunities
and new programs and connecting local
government leadership with leadership from
philanthropic partners can help the local
government engage the philanthropic
community.
Does the community have local philanthropic
organizations focused on priority infill
neighborhoods or issues relevant to the local
government's infill strategy?
Yes D
NO  n
Organizations can share knowledge, provide
expertise, and/or fund projects and
programs.
Are there philanthropic organizations with
missions that include revitalizing distressed
neighborhoods, promoting walkability, or
reducing environmental impacts, that would
be well suited for infill locations?
Yes D
NO  n
Some philanthropic entities have mission
statements tied to specific quality of life or
environment goals. The local government can
demonstrate how locating in an infill area
supports the philanthropy's mission.
Are local and regional philanthropic
organizations well-funded?
Yes D
NO  n
The fiscal capacity of local and regional
philanthropic organizations will influence the
scope of their activities and funding
programs.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-14. Assessment Questions for Strategy 14
                       Create a Public Sector-Developer Liaison
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does the local government have a
department or office where a developer
liaison function would naturally fit?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
The local government should think about how
this staff person would fit in an existing
department or office to ensure she is fully
supported and becomes integrated into the
day-to-day operations.
Does the community have local developers
that are interested in infill development but
have not been able to launch these types of
projects or secure financing?
Yes D
NO  n
A liaison could direct the developers to state
and federal financing and incentive programs
that can help close the financing gap.
Is there community and political interest in
partnering with the private sector to promote
infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
If the community does not already agree on
the need and value of helping developers
navigate complex infill projects, some
stakeholders might oppose assistance for
infill developers.
Have any local developers overcome
obstacles to build an infill development
project?
Yes D
NO  n
Developers can provide valuable insight to
the local government on market conditions
and development challenges and
opportunities.
Would the local development community
benefit from more experience in developing
compact, mixed-use products in infill
settings?
Yes D
NO  n
A developer liaison can connect local
developers with resources to help them build
infill projects with the design and amenities
the community wants.
Do local developers know how to secure and
use Low Income Housing Tax Credits or New
Market Tax Credits?
Yes D
NO  n
These programs can be intimidating for
developers that have not worked with them,
but they can be very valuable in making infill
projects feasible.
Does the community have infill development
incentives that are rarely used or are not
sufficiently catalyzing infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
Building closer developer relationships can
promote underused programs or provide
insight into how to make them operate more
effectively.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-15. Assessment Questions for Strategy 15
                Create a Local Developer Capacity-Building Program
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Has the local government adopted a policy of
prioritizing infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
Adopting a policy through a resolution,
comprehensive plan, or some other vehicle
indicates a willingness to invest in infill
development.
Has the local government shown a willingness
to financially support infill development
when necessary?
Yes D
NO  n
Financial support shows deeper commitment
for infill than simply stating support through
policy documents and can be a strong signal
to the development community that infill
projects are desirable.
Has the local government adopted a policy of
prioritizing infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
Adopting a policy through a resolution,
comprehensive plan, or some other vehicle
indicates a willingness to invest in infill
development.
Do local developers lack experience working
with infill techniques and funding tools?
Yes D
NO  n
Latent demand for infill development could
indicate that local developers lack the
knowledge and resources to make these
projects happen, which could mean
developers might need training.
Does the community have local developers
that are interested in infill development but
have not been able to launch these types of
projects or secure financing?
Yes D
NO  n
A liaison could direct the developers to state
and federal financing and incentive programs
that can help close the financing gap.
Do local colleges have educational programs
that prepare students for careers as builders?
Yes D
NO  n
These programs could be natural partners for
a developer capacity-building program to
encourage infill development.
Have any neighborhood associations or other
civic groups supported infill projects?
Yes D
NO  n
One concern developers might have about
infill projects is the lack of community
support or the effort required to conduct
public meetings, present to review boards,
and do other public outreach. Sharing success
stories and engaging civic groups that have
supported infill projects could help build
public support.
Does the local government have CDCs that
want to build projects in priority infill areas
but lack technical capacity?
Yes D
NO  n
CDCs can be instrumental in supporting infill
development, but they have varying capacity
and might need assistance to get started and
build infill projects.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-16. Assessment Questions for Strategy 16
                             Strengthen Code Enforcement
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Has the local government adopted a property
maintenance code that includes minimum
standards?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
The municipal code is the basis for
enforcement activities.
Does the local government provide incentives
or assistance programs that help low-income
property owners rectify code deficiencies?
Yes D
NO  n
Not all code violations are the result of
negligence. Some are caused by economic
hardship. The local government might need
both carrots and sticks.
Does the local government have an inventory
of properties that includes information on
code violations or tax delinquency?
Yes D
NO  n
Concentrations of tax delinquency and code
violations can help a local government direct
its resources to the areas that need the most
help.
Does the local government have staff
dedicated to enforcing codes?
Yes D
NO  n
Smaller communities might not have the staff
to enforce codes.
Have neighborhood organizations or
residents petitioned the government to
rectify code violations in their neighborhood?
Yes D
NO  n
Grassroots neighborhood support for code
enforcement can help build political support
for initiatives that better identify code
violations.
Are there areas where code violations are
particularly concentrated?
Yes D
NO  n
Targeted enforcement efforts can spur lasting
change and signal to the market that the area
is becoming a safer investment.
Are many code violations occurring on
properties owned by absentee land owners (a
person that does not live at the property)?
Yes D
NO  n
Absentee landlords can be difficult to contact
in regards to a code violation. Local
governments should consider requiring them
to provide contact information or identify a
local party that is responsible for addressing
code violations.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-17. Assessment Questions for Strategy 17
                                 Build Complete Streets
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does the local government have a complete
streets policy?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
A complete streets policy ensures that streets
are safe and pleasant for all users as they are
constructed, rebuilt, or repaved.
Has the MPO adopted a complete street
policy?
Yes D
NO  n
MPOs control federal transportation funding
in metropolitan regions. As a result, their
policies have a large effect on what gets built.
Does the local government link
transportation project priorities with
development goals?
Yes D
NO  n
Transportation improvements can be an
impetus for development.
Does the local government have a
transportation plan or a comprehensive plan
with a transportation element that identifies
streets targeted for improvements?
Yes D
NO  n
Local governments typically spend several
years planning and lining up funding for
streetscape and infrastructure
improvements. Identifying them in a
transportation or comprehensive plan is a
first step.
Does the community have advocates for
bicycling, walking, and public transportation?
Yes D
NO  n
Advocates can help build political support for
complete streets and provide expertise and
ideas to engineers and planners.
Does the community have too-wide streets or
one-way streets in priority infill areas?
Yes D
NO  n
One-way or too-wide streets encourage
drivers to go faster, creating a less
comfortable environment for people walking
or biking. Road diets and complete streets
infrastructure improvements could attract
redevelopment and infill.
Does the community have compactly
developed areas with complete streets that
can be a template?
Yes D
NO  n
It is easier to build acceptance for a new
policy or strategy when local officials can
point to local examples and success stories.
Does the community have a large share of
residents that do not have an automobile?
Yes D
NO  n
Streetscape improvements can inject life and
bring new businesses to an area, but they are
also vital for people that do not have access
to a car.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-18. Assessment Questions for Strategy 18
                        Create a Business Improvement District
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Are local governments allowed to establish
business improvement districts (BIDs) or
special assessment districts under state law?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
State enabling laws might apply.
Does the community have any distressed
business districts in areas where it would like
to promote infill development?
Yes D
NO  n
BIDs can be an effective tool for improving
the look and feel of business districts, which
helps attract new investment.
Has the local government already established
a BID in its jurisdiction? Are other property
and business owners interested in improving
conditions in their neighborhoods?
Yes D
NO  n
Local governments that have experience
establishing a BID might find it easier to
establish additional ones. Establishing BIDs
requires interest and buy-in from property
and business owners.
Have property owners and businesses
expressed interest in establishing a BID?
Yes D
NO  n
A supermajority (e.g., two-thirds) of property
owners must often approve a BID.
Does the community have clearly defined
neighborhood business districts or mixed-use
areas?
Yes D
NO  n
BIDs are popular for downtown areas but can
also be useful to revitalize small business
districts in older neighborhoods.
Do the property owners have the financial or
human capital to support a BID?
Yes D
NO  n
Funding for BID districts comes from taxing
property owners. It is important that they
have the funds to support a BID and the time
and expertise to serve on the board.
Has the local government or businesses
identified specific services that would
improve the business climate in distressed
districts?
Yes D
NO  n
BID activities must provide concrete benefits
that are worth the additional tax paid by
property owners or businesses.
Can a BID raise enough tax revenue to
support the enhanced services and
infrastructure that will be necessary to
improve perception and attract new business,
such as hiring staff, marketing, street
cleaning, or sidewalk improvements?
Yes D
NO  n
The state enabling legislation, the district
property tax base, and other local factors will
affect tax revenue and what it can be spent
on.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-19. Assessment Questions for Strategy 19
                  Hold Public Events and Festivals in Infill Locations
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does the local government support closing
streets or parts of the community to hold
public events and festivals?
Yes D
NO  n
           'hy Is This Important?
Communitywide events often require the
local government to close off some streets or
portions of a neighborhood to accommodate
crowds.
Does the local government have rules and
guidance for groups that would like to hold
an event and request services such as police
or street closures?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government can promote events
and festivals by clearly laying out the rules
and processes for holding them.
Is the downtown area home to institutions
such as hospitals or other major employers
that would sponsor or support events and
festivals?
Yes D
NO  n
The support of institutions is key. Their
operations could be disrupted, but they could
also be key supporters through funding and
marketing.
Does the local government want to attract
residents to new homes in the downtown or
priority infill areas?
Yes D
NO  n
Nationwide, cities and towns have seen
increased demand for urban living. But in
some distressed regions, residents might not
be aware of housing options in the
downtown or priority infill areas. Public
events and festivals expose residents to
housing options and amenities in infill areas.
Is the community known for a particular
culture, product, agricultural tradition, or
other characteristic around which an event or
festival could be organized?
Yes D
NO  n
Events can celebrate a community's
distinctive characteristics.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-20. Assessment Questions for Strategy 20
                      Initiate a Neighborhood Identity Campaign
              Key Questions
Yes/No
          Why Is This Important?
Does the city or town comprise distinct
neighborhoods or districts?
Yes D
NO  n
Distinctive neighborhoods create an identity.
If people feel particularly connected to their
neighborhood, they might be more
comfortable engaging in projects that
improve the neighborhood.
Does the local government allow
neighborhoods to have distinctive welcome
signs at their entrance points?
Yes D
NO  n
Many communities install signs along major
routes that welcome people to each
neighborhood.
Does the local government support public art
installations on buildings, infrastructure, or
streets?
Yes D
NO  n
Public art can build pride in neighborhoods
and engage residents. Examples include
painted utility boxes, street paintings at
neighborhood intersections, and murals.
Does the targeted neighborhood have a
group or committee of residents that advises
the local government on important issues?
Yes D
NO  n
Successful efforts to market a neighborhood
are often bottom-up (resident-driven) efforts
by groups that also advise the local
government on issues important to the
community.
Do local businesses already incorporate the
neighborhood's name into their name or
marketing?
Yes D
NO  n
Businesses that use the neighborhood's name
could show that they and their customers
identify with and  have pride in their
neighborhood, providing a strong basis for
encouraging more celebration of the identity.
Do the neighborhoods where the local
government would like to promote infill
development have distinctive architecture,
design, public spaces, landscaping, or
buildings?
Yes D
NO  n
Many older neighborhoods that might be well
suited for infill development have features
that are selling points for developers and
potential residents or businesses. Distinctive
elements might include a natural feature,
such as a river, or built ones, such as walkable
streets, museums, or a commercial district.
Is the neighborhood known for a particular
culture, building style, or other distinguishing
feature that could translate into a market
premium?
Yes D
NO  n
Tying the neighborhood brand or name to a
distinctive feature can help differentiate the
neighborhood and attract potential buyers.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-21. Assessment Questions for Strategy 21
            Enact a Property Tax Abatement Program for Infill Locations
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does state law allow local governments to
use tax abatement?
Yes D
NO  n
          Why is this Important?
This action might require state enabling
legislation.
Has the local government identified priority
infill development areas?
Yes D
NO  n
Tax abatement can encourage development
and increase market demand in distressed
neighborhoods where the local government
wants to encourage infill.
Would abatement be more financially
feasible if used only in priority infill
development areas (rather than community-
wide)?
Yes D
NO  n
Some local governments allow abatement
throughout their jurisdiction while others
allow it only in targeted areas. Allowing tax
abatement in only a few targeted areas
would likely have less effect on tax revenues.
Do elected officials and community members
understand the benefits and value of tax
abatement?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government might need to educate
elected officials and residents on this strategy
Does the community have many vacant
parcels in priority infill areas?
Yes D
NO  n
Traditional property taxes rise when the land
is developed. Holding the taxes steady during
a grace period can encourage development of
vacant land.
Are land speculators purchasing vacant
property in priority infill areas and holding it
in anticipation of land values increasing in the
future?
Yes D
NO  n
Property tax abatement can encourage
landowners to improve the property since
the improvements will not affect the tax
value.
Are property taxes on improvements
discouraging investment in priority infill
areas?
Yes D
NO  n
Abating the property tax on improvements
might not be effective if taxes do not have a
significant effect on where people and
companies choose to invest.
Is the local government's property tax rate
substantially higher than surrounding
communities that compete for development?
Yes D
NO  n
A substantially higher tax rate might justify
abatement to level the playing field.
Are neighboring communities abating their
taxes?
Yes D
NO  n
The city might need to offer an abatement to
stay competitive.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-22. Assessment Questions for Strategy 22
                          Implement a Land Banking Program
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does state law explicitly address land banks?
Yes D
NO  n
          Why is this Important?
This action might require state-enabling
legislation.
If state law does not explicitly allow a land
bank, does it allow local governments to use
traditional land bank tools such as land
acquisition, rehabilitation, and resale?
Yes D
NO  n
The authority to create a land bank-like entity
might exist in several different state laws.
Has the local government purchased property
in the past to stabilize a neighborhood?
Yes D
NO  n
This could indicate the local government has
experience with some of a land bank's key
responsibilities.
Does the local government maintain a
property database with information that
indicates properties' condition, such as code
violations, tax delinquency, and occupancy?
Yes D
NO  n
Land banks need easy access to these data to
identify and acquire properties that are
harming a neighborhood.
Has the local government identified priority
infill development areas where it would like
to rehabilitate housing?
Yes D
NO  n
Land banking can help reuse existing
buildings in an established but distressed
neighborhood.
Do local nonprofits, such as CDCs, purchase,
rehabilitate, and resell distressed properties?
Yes D
NO  n
A nonprofit entity could run the land bank.
Local nonprofit housing organizations or CDCs
might already be doing activities similar to
those a land bank would do, which would
allow the local government to support those
programs instead of establishing a new
entity.
Does the community have areas with
concentrated abandonment or vacant lots?
Yes D
NO  n
Land banking programs are particularly
effective at stabilizing and redeveloping
abandoned and vacant properties.
Are tax liens and other property
encumbrances discouraging infill
development?
Yes D
NO  n
Land banks can clear properties of
encumbrances that scare off investors and
prepare them for sale.
Is the community's population declining?
Yes D
NO  n
In shrinking communities, the housing market
might be so depressed that the local
government decides to focus investments in
services and infrastructure in certain places.
The local government can use a land bank to
take land off the market in some areas while
promoting growth in others.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Table A-23. Assessment Questions for Strategy 23
Implement a Land Value Tax
Key Questions Yes/No Why is this Important?
Does state law allow a land value tax?
Are land speculators holding valuable
property in infill locations?
Are property taxes on improvements
discouraging investment in priority infill
areas?
Does the community have a large number of
land-rich, income-poor residents?
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Most states do not allow municipalities to use
a land value tax. This action might require
state enabling legislation.
A land value tax encourages development of
vacant land because taxes are based on the
value of the land rather than the
improvements.
By shifting the tax burden to the value of land
(based on highest use), property owners have
an incentive to develop or use the land to
cover the tax bill.
A land value tax would place a burden on
people with valuable land holdings but low
income (e.g., farmers and retirees). Among
the solutions are tax credits, varied rates, and
exemptions.
Appendix A
74

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                 Table A-24. Assessment Questions for Strategy 24
                                 Attract Private Equity
              Key Questions
Yes/No
Does the local government have resources to
identify potential private equity partners with
an interest in the community?
Yes D
NO  n
          Why is this Important?
The local government might need to help
connect private equity partners with local
developers to encourage infill projects.
Are there local professional or community
organizations that have members with
private equity?
Yes D
NO  n
Reaching out to community leaders could
help identify potential investors and build
support for infill development.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Table A-25. Assessment Questions for Strategy 25
Encourage Community Development Corporations
Key Questions Yes/No Why is this Important?
Does the local government support nonprofit
affordable housing organizations?
Has the local government identified creating
jobs and affordable housing in distressed
neighborhoods as key goals?
Has the local government identified
neighborhoods that it wants to stabilize and
revitalize?
Have the local government or community
organizations already established CDCs in
some neighborhoods?
Is a group willing and able to start a CDC in a
priority infill development area?
Does a national nonprofit housing developer
operate in the community?
Are there foundation or state or local
government funding sources that CDCs can
access?
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
CDCs work to advance community goals.
Local government support and collaboration
can strengthen community development
projects in infill areas.
CDCs can increase the supply of affordable
housing and provide services in distressed
communities.
CDCs can help the local governments
revitalize neighborhoods.
Established CDCs can be mentors to new
CDCs, and their developments can be useful
case studies.
CDCs are established and managed as
nonprofit organizations by residents or
institutions such as a church.
Organizations such as the Local Initiatives
Support Corporation (LISC) or Enterprise work
in several cities across the country and can
help connect CDCs with financial resources.
CDCs will not only need seed money to get
started, but also foundation, state, and local
funding to support operations.
Appendix A
76

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                 Table A-26. Assessment Questions for Strategy 26
       Encourage Crowdfunding for Projects and Businesses in Priority Infill
                                  Development Areas
              Key Questions
Yes/No
          Why is this Important?
Do state law or regulatory processes allow
crowdfunding for development projects?
Yes D
NO  n
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
was still finalizing crowdfunding regulations
in December 2014, but several states have
finalized their own regulations in the
meantime.
Does the local government or state have
programs to protect investors from predatory
businesses that fraudulently seek money
through crowdfunding?
Yes D
NO  n
Crowdfunding can open real estate investing
to more people, but this could bring more
exposure to fraud. Local and state
governments can help educate and protect
investors.
Are key infill development stakeholders
familiar with the concept of crowdfunding?
Yes D
NO  n
Community leaders and developers might
need more information about this tool.
Are CDCs or residents of priority infill areas
interested in investing directly in local
projects?
Yes D
NO  n
New proposed SEC rules may allow more
people to invest directly in local real estate
projects without going through a professional
investment fund. Some states already allow
this for residents that are investing in projects
within the state.
Has the community had widely supported
and economically feasible projects that failed
to attract financing because they did not
provide a sufficient return on investment for
institutional investors?
Yes D
NO  n
These types of projects are ideal for
crowdfunding. They provide a return on
investment, but one not high enough to
attract money from traditional investors.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
                  Table A-27. Assessment Questions for Strategy 27
                       Create a Tax Increment Financing District
              Key Questions
Does state law allow local governments to
use tax increment financing (TIP)?
Yes/No
Yes D
NO  n
          Why is this Important?
This action might require state enabling
legislation.
Has the local government identified
infrastructure needs in the proposed
assessment district?
Yes D
NO  n
A majority of property owners must typically
approve of a special assessment district.
Having a plan for what infrastructure is
needed and what it will cost can make it
easier to gain support of multiple property
owners who typically own property in an infill
area.
Has the community designated priority infill
areas or declared areas blighted or
underdeveloped?
Yes D
NO  n
Tax increment financing (TIP) can be used to
build infrastructure for infill development,
but often the local government must
designate the area as blighted or
underdeveloped.
Do elected officials support using debt to
finance improvements for redevelopment?
Yes D
NO  n
TIP is a popular tool for economic
development which typically involves selling
bonds that are backed by the incremental tax
revenue generated by development and
market improvement.
Are developers committed to building
projects in the TIP district?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government needs some assurance
that development will come after the
improvements are made.
Are portions of the community blighted or
struggling to attract investment?
Yes D
NO  n
A local government must often designate an
area as blighted or underdeveloped to use
TIP.
Is the developer able to pay for the
infrastructure upfront and still have a
financially feasible infill development project?
Yes D
NO  n
TIFs can help reduce the up-front costs a
developer pays for water, sewer, and street
infrastructure.
Are land values high enough that tax revenue
growth will be able to cover the cost of
infrastructure improvements?
Yes D
NO  n
In areas with very low property values, even a
significant increase in value will not generate
sufficient revenue to pay for infrastructure or
to service the bonds associated with the
infrastructure.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Table A-28. Assessment Questions for Strategy 28
Establish a Capital Reserve Fund
Key Questions Yes/No Why is this Important?
Does state law allow local governments to
save money in a capital reserve fund for
infrastructure improvements?
Does the local government have a multiyear
capital improvement program?
Do elected officials prefer to not borrow for
major capital projects?
Can the local government set aside revenue
each year for future capital improvements?
Does the local government have a low bond
rating?
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Each state has its own rules related to
municipal finance.
State enabling legislation may require the
local government to explicitly describe how it
intends to use the capital reserve fund.
A local government establishes a capital
reserve fund to reduce its debt burden when
funding infrastructure.
Many distressed communities are fiscally
stressed and would have trouble setting aside
funds.
Low bond ratings increase borrowing costs
and could make saving more attractive.
Appendix A
79

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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
Table A-29. Assessment Questions for Strategy 29
Create Special Assessment Districts
Key Questions Yes/No Why is this Important?
Does state law allow local governments to
use assessment district financing?
Is the local government willing to take on the
financial risk of special assessment district
financing to support infrastructure for a
development proposal?
Are annual property tax increases limited by
state or local laws?
Does the community have a champion for
using assessment district financing?
Are land values high enough to generate the
funds needed for infrastructure?
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
Yes D
NO n
This action might require state enabling
legislation.
If a developer collapses and the subdivided
properties do not sell, the local government
could be liable for expensive infrastructure
that the property owners are unable to cover.
Some cities and towns use special assessment
districts because of property tax caps that do
not allow them to raise taxes to expand and
repair infrastructure.
A local champion can keep up momentum to
get the district approved and can help with
the extensive public outreach that is needed.
Assessment district financing comes through
an incremental tax on top of the community's
property tax rate. The special tax must
generate enough revenue to support the
bonds for the infrastructure.
Appendix A
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Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies
    Table A-30. Assessment Questions for Funding Infrastructure (Strategy 30)
            Generate Revenues Through Naming Rights and Advertising
              Key Questions
Does the local government have guidelines or
policies for naming rights and advertising
deals?
Yes/No
Yes D
NO  n
         Why is this Important:
Local governments can preempt any
undesirable sponsorship offers by clearly
expressing the facilities and locations in
which they are willing to sell naming rights.
For example, a community may want to limit
advertising in or near a public school.
Does the local government have a plan for
spending revenue from naming rights and
advertising?
Yes D
NO  n
Is the local government planning any major
capital projects in priority infill development
areas?
The revenue could help offset a service, go
toward a major capital project, or be used for
some other purpose. Having a plan for
spending the revenue can build support for
the strategy.
Yes D
NO  n
Major, highly visible capital projects could be
particularly desirable for naming rights deals.
Has the local government identified specific
facilities and services through which
advertising and naming rights can be sold?
Yes D
NO  n
Naming rights for some services, such as
transit lines and stations and facilities like
stadiums, have generated significant revenue
for many local governments.
Does the local government have an office or
employee with the experience to administer
a naming rights or advertising program?
Yes D
NO  n
Advertising policies and deals should be
administered by someone with experience
working in or with the advertising or media
industries.
Does the local government have high tax
rates relative to neighboring cities and
towns?
Yes D
NO  n
Advertising revenues generated through the
market might be more appealing to elected
officials than strategies that increase taxes or
public debt.
Has the local government identified specific
places where it is willing to sell advertising
(such as publicly owned land that could
display billboards)?
Yes D
NO  n
The community might not want to sell
advertising in certain places, such as
attractive landscapes or near schools.
Have businesses expressed interest in
advertising on public property or through
public services?
Yes D
NO  n
The local government should have a sense of
the market demand for this type of
advertising before dedicating resources to a
program.
Appendix A
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