Archive for October, 2010

RealtyTrac Press Release Indicates Third Quarter Foreclosure Activity Up in 65 Percent of U.S. Metro Areas But Down in Hardest-Hit Cities

October 28, 2010

RealtyTrac Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 28, 2010 – RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Q3 2010 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that cities in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona once again accounted for all top 10 foreclosure rates in the third quarter among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, while cities outside those four states accounted for many of the biggest increases in metro foreclosure activity. (more…)

Register now for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2010 State of the Region Breakfast

October 26, 2010

Register now for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2010 State of the Region breakfast, scheduled for Friday, November 5 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.  Join 1,000 other regional leaders in focusing on key issues and challenges facing our region as we move forward together. (more…)

Landmark Studies on Transit, Energy and Nutrition Policies Are Focus of New Grants

October 22, 2010

The Council for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture will be conducting a Health Impact Assessment(HIA) of ARC’s PLAN 2040 to determine how the plan might affect the health of residents and communities around the region. This is the first-ever HIA on a major metropolitan transportation and comprehensive growth plan.

The HIA,  which received a grant from The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, will be led by the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development. The Center will examine how PLAN 2040  will impact a range of health issues, such as injury and asthma rates, and the risks of obesity and diabetes. Read the press release below for more information: (more…)

“A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted” – A Look at the Need for Flood Insurance

October 14, 2010

Terri l Turner, AICP, CFM

This week the calendar marked the one year anniversary of the Metro Atlanta flood event.
 Austell, GA flooding, Sept. 2009  Courtesy: Melissa Tuttle-Carr, Meteorologist  
The event was noted in the history books for local rainfall records (the greatest being 21.03 inches near Douglasville, GA), unprecedented flash flooding and record-setting river flooding, with some rivers being 15 to 20 feet above flood stage. Sadly 10 people lost their lives to the event and over 100 rescues from homes and vehicles had to be performed. “In some areas, the floodwaters were so powerful that homes were pushed off their foundations. Vehicles and anything in the path of the ferocious waters were tossed around like toys. Roads and bridges were literally ripped apart.” ( A Year Later: Metro Atlanta Floods of September 2009; Daniel Dix, Senior Meteorologist). Flooding occurred well beyond the mapped 100 year floodplain and damages figures soared to a staggering 300 million dollars.  
Some 3,671 claims (filed between Sept 18, 2009 and December 18, 2009) have been filed associated with the Metro Atlanta flood event in hardest hit counties – Cobb, DeKalb and Douglas – accumulating a whopping $133 million dollars in damage (ajc Value of Flood Insurance Debated September 21, 2010). Still, several more Metro Atlanta counties were involved in the record-setting September flood event.

In June of 2009, three months before the event, there were 16,384 flood policies in force in Metro Atlanta. By June of this year, 21,620 flood policies were in force in Metro Atlanta – an increase of 5,236 policies or a 25% increase in policies in the past year. Overall, Georgia added some 12,000 + policies, while still only insuring less than 2 percent of its residents against flood losses (ajc Value of Flood Insurance Debated September 21, 2010).  


Economy and Changing Portrait of Atlanta to Drive Housing Choices

October 6, 2010

Bruce Gunter, founder and president of Progressive Redevelopment Inc., wrote a thoughtful guest column in Maria Saporta’s Saporta Report this month, summarizing some of the issues affecting the affordable housing market in Metro Atlanta in the wake of the recession.  An excerpt from the blog is below. Visit the Saporta Report website to view the full article.

Excerpt from Saporta Report:

Eventually, Atlanta will emerge from this devastating recession, but it will not look the same when it does. Now retrenching from an over-fed housing sector, the new economic and geographic landscape will impact many housing-related business sectors, entire neighborhoods, thousands of families, and land development patterns.

In this larger context, what will become of affordable housing in Atlanta?

First, our local markets are being shaped by national economic and financial factors. Homeownership rates will decline significantly, despite record low mortgage interest rates and more reasonable home prices.

Credit standards are tightening for all borrowers, and the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when it occurs, will almost surely result in a pull-back of these government sponsored enterprises from subsidizing anywhere near the level of affordable housing they did in the past…”

View full article here

LCI Program Sees Unprecedented Number of New Projects Move Closer to Construction

October 6, 2010

Over the past 10 years, ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program has spurred cities, counties and communities of all sizes to undertake planning and create transportation-efficient land use strategies for activity centers, town centers and corridors.  Not only does the LCI program award local planning funds to communities in the region, but the program also makes implementation funds available for LCI areas. These implementation funds, which enable LCI communities to implement some of the transportation improvement projects identified through the LCI plan, are awarded on a competitive basis and require at least a 20 percent match from local governments.

With the economic slowdown experienced over the past few years it could easily be assumed that the number of transportation projects moving towards implementation would simultaneously slow down. However, the opposite seems to have occurred and ARC’s LCI program has helped local jurisdictions contract for the construction of 18 projects in the past six months alone. (more…)

Georgia Forward

October 6, 2010

On August 25, the first Georgia Forward event was held at the Macon State College Conference Center.  The event was coordinated by Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and involved an 18-person steering committee from across Georgia.  More than 200 leaders from academic, civic, economic and government organizations attended.  The purpose of the Georgia Forward event was to provide an opportunity for a large group of individuals from across Georgia to discuss statewide issues and begin to address the perception of “two Georgias.”


Analysis Shows Mixed-Use Downtown Development Best Land-Use Form for Local Government Pockets

October 6, 2010

A recent analysis undertaken by Public Interest Projects, a real estate development firm located in Asheville, NC, and under the direction of the Sarasota County Planning Department, found that dense mixed-use development generates far more tax revenues than any other land use in their county.

Sarasota County and Public Interest Projects considered the tax revenue per acre that was generated by existing and varying development forms such as big box stores, single family developments, a high-end shopping mall and mixed-use developments. There was no question about the results, as local governments were found to have received far superior tax revenues per year from the county’s mixed-use buildings, which also existed on far less land than all other analyzed development forms. (more…)

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