Friday, December 11, 2015
The Friday Video: A Sneak Peek at the Benefits of Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
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Big thanks to Rep. Peter Svarzbein for today's video. In his District 1 email today, Rep. Svarzbein announced two initiatives. Here is what he wrote:
"This week, our office made significant advancement in placing two policy items on council’s agenda related to transportation oriented development (TOD) and the renewable energy industry here in the El Paso Borderplex. The purpose of which is to think visionary, grow the commercial tax base so we can keep good jobs here, and hold the line on taxes for homeowner’s while making El Paso more competitive economically and culturally.
"The first item discussed and acted upon by council will expand the city’s Sustainable City Center economic incentives along our BRIO transit corridors. Currently, we offer developers incentives in the form of tax rebates, fee waivers, and construction material rebates when they design and build with TOD guidelines. TOD encourages multi-mixed use development and enhances quality of life giving access to multiple transit opportunities (rail, bus, etc.) for commuters to live, work, and play. The goal is to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as make El Paso more attractive in retaining and attracting an educated and mobile workforce. This is important for our current residents, millennials and future community members. Studies show that this is part and parcel to a nation-wide vision for more sustainable cities. In El Paso, growing transit oriented development will positively impact the economy, stretch our local resources and improve quality of life for residents.
"The second agenda item establishes El Paso’s first ever Regional Renewable Energy Industry Advisory Board. This comes on the tails of Council’s rejection of El Paso Electric’s rate increase case, which is on its way to Austin for state level Public Utility Commission review. During the process it became evident that solar has been left out of our community dialogue with regard to policy making and solar industry development. Imagine that… in a place called the Sun City, where sun is king, our city still has a gap in how we think and what we do about solar power, not only as an energy efficient way of using power but also as a homegrown economic industry. It is 2015, solar has been around long enough to now become an affordable way of generating and using power, and this board will have the responsibility to explore and make recommendations to Council about how to think larger about this and other revolutionary industries."
You may also want to read Better Cities & Towns Freeway Free: A vision for the city.