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Rural road through forest

Tools for Healthy Rural Communities

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Planning for healthy rural areas

Useful resources, including standards, guidelines and best practices, for rural jurisdictions:

Planned Unit Developments—Mt Vernon, Wash, 2016. Promote creativity in site layout and design, allowing flexibility in the application of standards for residential and mixed residential/commercial development to protect and enhance environmental features, and provide other public benefits.

Benton County Comprehensive Plan—Benton County, OR, 2015. Integrated health and health care policies in various elements, including economic development, housing and air, water & land resources.

Marin Countywide Agriculture Element–Executive Summary—County of Marin, CA. Accessed Jan. 8, 2010. Protect public health and safety, preserve environmental quality, and plan sustainable, diverse communities.

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities—ICMA, 2010. Provides rural decision-makers a resource for balancing competing goals while creating more vibrant, sustainable communities.

Smart Growth Toolbox—Lancaster County, Penn, 2009. Provides online “how to” resources to improve the quality of life in Lancaster County’s 60 municipalities through better planning.

Rural Land Use Center—Larimer County, Colo. Online rural land use process gives incentives to encourage alternative development and help retain the rural and agricultural lands of Larimer County.

Essential Smart Code Fixes for Rural Planning, Zoning & Development Codes—EPA, 2009. Smart growth examples in small towns and rural communities.

Farmland Protection Policy Act—U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009.

Association of Washington Cities—Small City Resource Manual, 2008.

Larimer County Urban Area Street Standards—Larimer County, Colo. Revised April 2007.

Lamird Report: Granny’s Café—Clallam County, Wash., Sept. 2006.

Comprehensive Plan and Form-based Codes—St. Lucie County, Fla., Towns, Villages, and Countryside, 2006

Design Guidelines for Traditional Mixed-use Neighborhood Development—Westminster, Colo., 2006.

Understanding Flexibility in Transportation Design—Washington Department of Transportation, April 2005.

Smart Growth and Transportation in Small Communities—Blakeman, J. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 2003.

True West: Authentic Development Patterns for Small Towns and Rural Areas—Duerksen, C. and Van Hemert, J., American Planning Association, 2003.

Smart Growth at the Frontier: Strategies and Resources for Rural Communities—Wells, B. Northeast-Midwest Institute, 2002.

Keeping the Rural Vision: Protecting Rural Character and Planning for Rural Development—Ballash, H. Washington State Community, Trade and Economic Development, Washington State Department of Commerce, June 1999.

Main Street…When a Highway Runs through It: A Handbook for Oregon Communities—Oregon Department of Transportation, Nov. 1999.

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