Score card will help city assess projects

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2007

By Staff
Designed to determine strengths, weaknesses of development proposals
Contributing Editor
Washington has developed a score card to help it assess development projects and determine if those projects follow smart-growth guidelines.
The score card is a tool designed to help elected officials, city planners, members of the design-review boards, developers and community stakeholders objectively analyze proposed projects. A score card will point out strengths and weaknesses of proposed projects, help screen potential development issues and provide a base for possible areas of improvement related to the development process in the city, reads a report on the scorecard.
Mayor Judy Meier Jennette, in a brief interview Monday, said a score card for a development project will help the city determine the projects that will “help the city function better and make the best economic use of its infrastructure.” Score cards will help developers determine if their projects “fit” the city’s plan concerning what types of development are wanted and where desired development occurs, Jennette said.
The mayor believes a score card will provide an unbiased, thorough method of evaluating development projects to determine if those projects should proceed.
Jennette said the city’s Planning Board, and at times its Historic Preservation Commission, will use score cards to evaluate projects before sending those projects to the council for its review and action. Having at least one other panel evaluating proposed projects will provide an additional layer of review and input, she said.
The score card employs the 10 principles of smart growth and Washington’s community goals to establish criteria by which to evaluate proposed projects. The community goals are to preserve the small-town character and quality of the area and provide the community with choices for the conservation or development of its land in the future.
The criteria to be used to analyze proposed projects are:
For each criteria used in the smart-growth evaluation process, there are four rating categories — poor, good, very good and excellent. In the scorecard developed by the city, the nine combined criteria pose 34 questions that are part of the process to evaluate a proposed project.
The score card helps city officials determine if a proposed development project is in line with the city’s land-use plan and comprehensive plan.