National expert on development will appear at local forum
By TOM KANE
Ed McMahon (not the one youre thinking of) will be speaking at a forum on Better Models for Development on Wednesday, November 30 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Central House on Beach Lake, PA.
The event is being organized by the Visioning Committee of the Upper Delaware River Corridor.
McMahon, who is a fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC, has written an award-winning book called Better Models for Development in Pennsylvania.
Even though his research centered on models for development that were successful in that state, his ideas are generic and could apply to any state. So, people from New York should not hesitate to attend.
McMahon, who has a reputation as a dynamic speaker, will also be showing slides of the outstanding models for development as he speaks of them.
The speaker will highlight throughout his presentation six principles for better development. These are:
One, conserve farmland, natural areas and scenic assets.
Second, maintain a clear edge between town and countryside.
Third, build and maintain livable and attractive communities.
Fourth, preserve historic resources.
Fifth, respect local community character in new development.
Sixth, reduce the impact of the car and promote walkable communities.
Both Pennsylvania and New York, in fact, most of the nation, have by default promoted sprawl that is reaching out into its rural communitiesa trend that has to be reconsidered as rapid growth is anticipated. Those antiquated and destructive practices of modern-day zoning have caused deteriorating cities and have destroyed farms and the farming way of life.
Some of McMahons secrets of successful communities are, first, to create a shared vision; second, to identify key natural, cultural, scenic and economic assets; third, build all local plans around the preservation and enhancement of key assets; fourth, use education, incentives and voluntary initiatives, not just regulation; fifth, pick and choose among development proposals; sixth, meet the needs of landowners, business interests and the community; seventh, pay attention to community appearance. And finally, make quality of life a key organizing element of the community vision.
McMahon will speak for about an hour, followed by dinner and then a break-out discussion that will direct people to apply the ideas learned to their specific communities. A final session will bring attendees together to share what they discussed.
There will be a $20 fee and pre-registration is required.
Anyone interested should send a check made out to the Wayne County Community Foundation to the Visioning Committee of the Upper Delaware River Corridor, P.O. Box 20, Narrowsburg, NY 12764.
For more information, call 845/252-7414.
[Tom Kane is the coordinator of the Visioning Committee of the Upper Delaware River Corridor and a reporter with The River Reporter.]