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Idaho Smart Growth announces 2011 Grow Smart winners

Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, a national leader in the anti-sprawl movement, coined the term “smart growth” in 1996 when the state was dealing with rapid growth and loss of farmland. It was all about growing without urban sprawl and looking at ways to grow while sustaining the community, the environment and neighborhoods.

Today, organizations around the globe are working to instill smart growth principles that include mixed-land uses, creative uses of housing opportunities, creating walkable neighborhoods, preserving open space and offering a range of housing opportunities and choices.

According to Smart Growth America’s website: “Americans want to make their neighborhoods great, and smart growth strategies help make that dream a reality.”

Idaho Smart Growth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001, recognizes communities, builders, planners, architects, organizations and developers for incorporating smart growth principles.

“As more people call Idaho home, Idaho Smart Growth works with communities to ensure that growth is manageable and sustainable,” said Rachel Winer, Idaho Smart Growth executive director. “Idaho Smart Growth is pleased to present the 2011 Grow Smart award winners who are making sure we keep our communities vibrant and our landscapes healthy.”

According to Winer, this year’s projects were judged on how they met or advanced smart growth principles.

“People want walkable communities where you can bike or walk to work,” Winer said. “If you go back to the 1950s and ’60s, neighborhoods were designed where you could walk to the grocery store or to school.”

Members of the Grow Smart jury team were: Jenah Thornborrow, Garden City Development Services administrator; Charles Hummel, Idaho Smart Growth board member and architect; Diane Kushlan, private planner and in academia; Andy Erstad, architect; Jay Story, developer/realtor; Jim Tomlinson, developer; Russ Dane, realtor and Chris Danley, private transportation planner.

Read the eight award-winning Grow Smart stories in a special publication produced and distributed by the Idaho Business Review as an insert in the November 11 edition of IBR. The magazine also will be distributed at an awards ceremony honoring the winners slated for Thursday, November 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rose Room at 718 W. Idaho Street in downtown Boise. Appetizers and no-host bar will be provided.

Tickets for the event are $35 before Oct. 3, $45 after and can be purchased online at idahobusinessreview.com/events/growsmart or by contacting Laurel Judy at 208-639-3522 or laurel.judy@idahobusinessreview.com

Sponsors for the Grow Smart Awards are: The Idaho Business Review, Idaho Power, Givens Pursley, COMPASS, Layton Construction, Forsgren Associates, Hayden Homes, Oppenheimer Companies, McKibben and Cooper Architects, HDR.

Idaho Smart Growth 2011 Grow Smart honorees:

Citizen Advocacy: “Growing Closer: Density and Sprawl in the Boise Valley” – a new book produced in the Investigate Boise Student Research Series that explores sprawl and density in the Boise Valley, and serves as an advocacy for good growth.

Public planning and policy: Hailey 2010 Comprehensive Plan Update – a series of neighborhood workshops involving the citizens of Hailey helped create a user-friendly Comprehensive Plan in step with desires of the community.

Redevelopment: Education Corridor, Coeur d’Alene – a master plan for an education corridor along the Spokane River that encourages community and stakeholder collaboration, fosters distinctive communities with a strong sense of place and builds upon the pecial place that began with Native American gatherings. The plan preserves open space, parks, environmentally critical areas and public assess to the Spokane River.

Residential: The Springs Apartments – these apartments were built on community-donated land (originally part of an old gravel pit) to provide affordable housing in McCall. Built using structural insulated panels, photovoltaic light posts, mini-split HVAC systems and Hardi Plank siding and trim to be durable and sustainable for the climate. A goal was to achieve LEED Platinum for the buildings.

Small Community: Star River Walk Master Plan – this recreation amenity that is the anchor of the town was created using the Boise River and platted open space along it.

Smart Growth and Green Building: The Children’s School, Boise – this renovation prioritized green elements and considered the nature and upkeep of the school, reflecting the high standards of the program and its neighborhood. Location, local resources and existing features spurred the project that incorporated environmentally sensitive improvements and a goal of LEED Certification.

Smart Growth and Transportation: Woodside Boulevard Reconstruction and Complete Streets Initiative, Hailey – a multimodal project that will resurface a 35-year-old, 2.44 mile collector street, add sidewalks, bike lanes, bus shelters, bike parking and a landscape buffer zone and install a roundabout at one congested and unsafe intersection and a signal light at a second one.

Charles Hummel Award: Pete O’Neill. The Charles Hummel Award recognizes leaders exemplary in dedication to and implementation of smart growth principles, reflecting a respect for place as well as for design and function. Among O’Neill’s smart growth accomplishments are: developing River Run, Spring Meadow and Bown Crossing in Boise; being an active and long-time participant on the Blueprint for Good Growth and on the Treasure Valley Air Quality Council; and for being instrumental in helping the Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC) build a strong downtown.

About Jeanne Huff

Jeanne Huff is the special sections editor at IBR, editor of Women of the Year, Accomplished Under 40, CEOs of Influence, Money Makers, Leaders in Law, Corporate Guide to Event Planning as well as editor of custom publications including Welcome to Boise, Dining Decisions, Idaho Heartland Living and Travelog.