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Here is your shot of fresh planning news providing town leaders, planners, and commissioners with the knowledge and energy necessary to make the tough land use, planning, and community design decisions. The Morning Cup of Planning places the latest planning news at the fingertips of local government officials who turn that knowledge into action.

Talbot considers limits on village growth and density, updates to floodplain map 


EASTON The Talbot County Council held a pair of public hearings Tuesday related to proposed land use regulations for rural villages and heard about how new preliminary maps outlining the county's floodplain could affect local homeowners.The first piece of legislation related to the villages involved extending a moratorium for 70 days from Feb. 24 on new subdivisions in those designated rural areas. The second is a bill limiting rural village subdivisions for the next three years to allow not more than one new lot to be carved out from the original parcel. The moratorium would only affect the unincorporated areas of Bellevue, Copperville, Newcomb, Royal Oak, Tunis Mills and Unionville, while the three-year subdivision regulation would extend to all Talbot's rural villages and create a density of one dwelling unit per two acres. The council did not vote Tuesday on the resolution and the bill.

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Bicycles Belong

Would you prefer to live in a community where you had to drive everywhere for everything, or would you prefer to live in a community where you could walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation, or drive to get to where you want to go? This question is at the heart of the current debate over how transportation funds will be spent over the next few years. The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted on February 2 to eliminate funding for nonmotorized transportation (e.g., bike paths and sidewalks) from the federal transportation bill working its way through Congress. The "wildly imbalanced transportation bill" also imperils federal support for public transportation systems. 


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DC zoning update seeks to legalize, encourage better neighborhoods


Last year, I wrote an article setting out "a beginning agenda for making smart growth legal."  I asserted that some of our most beloved historic neighborhoods could not be built today, because zoning and building codes have evolved to prohibit some of their key characteristics.  Describing the recommendations of a task force in Seattle, I offered several suggestions for a sort of "back to the future" reform, among them allowing home-based businesses, permitting small commercial uses in certain zones, expanding options for accessory dwelling units, and being more flexible about minimum parking requirements.

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The Landscape Tells a Story: The Tacony of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Like many riverfront sites in and around Philadelphia, Independence Pointe is insulated to the point of invisibility. Part of the aging industrial complex that has dominated the upper Delaware for more than a century, the 130 acre property in the town of Tacony is virtually inaccessible to all residents; with I-95 running over its western edge, a maze of waste processing plants to the south, and the Holmesburg Prison across a lane, Independence Pointe has been hidden in plain view for years.

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The Measure of a Beautiful Street

As Kaid Benfield noted earlier, beauty in the urban context is especially tricky to define. Most of us can label a building or a street as such when we walk by it, but we'd probably struggle to explain exactly what makes it so. Maybe it's the landscaping, or the sight lines, or the architectural style? The tech-savvy folks at have been pondering this exact same question. And - as is their style - they're refusing to take "no data" for an answer.


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In This Issue
The Star Democrat
Urban Land Institute
NRDC: Switchboard
NEXT American City
the Atlantic CITIES
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