Smart Growth Audits

PAS Report 512

By Jerry Weitz, FAICP, Leora Waldner

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A look at how a local government can examine the "genetic codes" of its planning — the regulations and plans that govern development — to determine whether those codes are programmed to facilitate sprawl or smart growth.

This report describes the concept of a smart growth audit and provides methods to implement one in your community. Examples from a state (Illinois), regions (in Indiana, the Puget Sound area, and metropolitan Atlanta) are included, but the focus is on how to do an audit at the local level, using case studies of the audits in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County and Durham, North Carolina, and Brookings, Oregon.

A range of possible audits are described from a very basic audit to a very comprehensive audit, for which a checklist is included.

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Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2003
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Table of Contents

What is smart growth?

What is a smart growth audit?

Things to consider before conducting an audit

Lessons learned from existing audits

What are the alternatives for conducting an audit?

Implementation guidelines/steps

Issues of effectiveness and a list of do's and dont's


Appendix A. A recommended comprehensive smart growth audit checklist with commentary

Appendix B. List of references and additional resources

Appendix C. APA policy statement on smart growth

Appendix D. Growth quality programs in Georgia