MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Lisa Pool
Downtown plans often employ a multifaceted approach, but those that include goals of expanding transportation options, addressing safety concerns, and working to bring a sense of security back to the area can spur revitalization efforts.
To create downtowns that can truly recover and thrive after a major unexpected event, cities must outline both near- and long-term steps in their downtown plans, including adaptive reuse strategies and ensuring that downtown public spaces are welcoming, safe, and exciting.
In 2023, state legislators passed several bills addressing environmental concerns, including new climate elements for comprehensive planning, making impact fee revenue available for new bike and pedestrian facilities, and an optional permit process for clean energy projects.
After extensive planning and community engagement, Whatcom County is developing a comprehensive local food system plan. See Part 2 of the series on the plan's development and lessons learned.
What is a local food system plan and why would a local government want to develop one? Whatcom County is one of a few local governments statewide developing such a plan, and county staff share insight into the process.
As cities and other urban areas in Washington State continue to grow and change, an urban forestry management plan can provide a coordinated, long-term vision for managing the urban tree canopy to ensure the continued livability of local communities.
Many Washington cities, towns, and counties have implemented complete streets programs to encourage safe access for all users, regardless of mode of transit. These programs vary from place to place, each meeting the specialized needs of local communities.
Increasingly, many local governments are shifting away from requiring too much off-street parking, citing social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. What tools can these communities use to better manage existing parking supply and to anticipate future needs?
While parking is an important commodity for a community, too much parking can prevent the land from being used for another purpose, encourage excess car travel, and possibly make other forms of transportation, like biking or walking, both more complicated and dangerous.
New legislation related to the Growth Management Act (GMA) will expand tribal participation, limit appeals for actions to increase housing supply, change periodic update timelines, provide additional options for limited areas of more intense rural development (LAMIRDs), and more.
Safe parking programs are operated on behalf of people who use a vehicle as their residence. They give users a sense of security while also connecting them to critical human and social services.
All across Washington State local governments are wondering how they can better prepare their communities for the negative impacts of climate change. Now, we are offering more tools and resources to push these efforts forward.
As part of its Local Climate Response Project, MRSC is pleased to unveil a new webpage featuring an interactive map and detailed information about specialized planning efforts being taken by local governments across Washington State.
JLARC recently released a report detailing the success of local government impact fee deferral programs for the construction of new development, fees that are meant to help finance construction of new public facilities.
Ghost kitchens proliferated during the pandemic once dine-in options were curtailed and restaurants sought to make up lost revenue. With consumer demand still strong, local governments should assess whether their zoning codes address this concept.
Formerly a senior planner with the City of Bellingham, Lisa Pool has joined MRSC as the new Public Policy Consultant.