Dane County, WI Better Urban Infill Development Program

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Dane County, WI, US

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in 1998

Source File: http://www.co.dane.wi.us/plandev/community/build/about.asp


Dane County Executive Kathleen M. Falk launched the BUILD program in 1998 to encourage infill development. The BUILD program is a component of her Design Dane! and Farms and Neighborhoods land use initiatives. These initiatives propose a set of policies and programs to both preserve important environmental and farmlands, and to promote strong healthy communities. Infill development is growth in already developed areas instead of on "Greenfield" sites.

The Dane County Board of Supervisors established a BUILD Advisory Committee that approved a set of BUILD objectives.

Today the BUILD program partners with Dane County communities to plan and implement infill development and great neighborhoods through planning grants, education, and code reform.

"Perhaps most innovative of all the aspects of the county's multifaceted approach to land protection is what might be called its "inside" game. Led by . . . County Executive Kathleen Falk . . . the county has aggressively worked to encourage redevelopment and growth within municipal borders. The idea is that by creating incentives for infill development and by removing unnecessary roadblocks to redevelopment, the county helps take pressure off for sprawling, greenfield development in rural areas. . . The county has a successful grants program to encourage planning and redevelopment within its municipalities." Nature-Friendly Communities: Habitat Protection and Land Use Planning, Christopher Duerksen and Cara Snyder, Island Press, 2005. (p. 178).

Definition of Infill
Infill development is the economic use of vacant land, or restoration or rehabilitation of existing structures or infrastructure, in already urbanized areas where water, sewer, and other public services are in place, that maintains the continuity of the original community fabric.

BUILD Objectives:

  • make better use of existing infrastructure
  • locate community services, jobs and shopping in close proximity
  • stabilize and enhance existing neighborhoods, downtowns and other business districts
  • produce housing and jobs for low to moderate-income people
  • avoid converting productive farmland on urban fringes and in rural areas
  • provide viable options to auto trips by supporting walking, biking, and transit
  • have the potential to clean up environmentally contaminated sites