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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1886



No. 1416 Session of 2000

           BOSCOLA AND O'PAKE, APRIL 13, 2000


                                     AN ACT

     1  Authorizing counties and municipalities to designate urban
     2     infill and redevelopment areas based on specified criteria;
     3     providing for community participation; requiring preparation
     4     of a plan or designation of an existing plan and providing
     5     requirements with respect thereto; requiring notice and
     6     public hearing for the ordinance adopting the plan; providing
     7     for amendment of the local comprehensive plan and for
     8     economic and regulatory incentives; providing that counties
     9     and municipalities adopting a plan may issue revenue bonds
    10     and employ tax increment financing; providing a program for
    11     grants to counties and municipalities with urban infill and
    12     redevelopment areas; changing standards for projects located
    13     in certain urban infill and redevelopment areas; authorizing
    14     acquisition by eminent domain; providing procedures by which
    15     counties and municipalities may develop and adopt a plan to
    16     improve efficiency, accountability and coordination of
    17     delivery of local government services; and authorizing
    18     municipal annexation.

    19     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    20  hereby enacts as follows:
    21  Section 1.  Short title.
    22     This act shall be known and may be cited as the 21st Century
    23  Neighborhoods Act.
    24  Section 2.  Legislative findings and purpose.
    25     The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

     1         (1)  Fiscally strong urban centers are beneficial to
     2     State and regional economies and resources, are a method for
     3     reduction of future urban sprawl and should be promoted by
     4     State, regional and local governments.
     5         (2)  The health and vibrancy of the urban cores benefit
     6     their respective regions and this Commonwealth; conversely,
     7     the deterioration of those urban cores negatively impacts the
     8     surrounding area and this Commonwealth.
     9         (3)  In recognition of the interwoven destiny between the
    10     urban center, the suburbs, the region and the Commonwealth,
    11     the respective governments need to establish a framework and
    12     work in partnership with communities and the private sector
    13     to revitalize urban centers.
    14         (4)  Commonwealth urban policies should guide the
    15     Commonwealth, regional agencies, local governments and the
    16     private sector in preserving and redeveloping existing urban
    17     centers and promoting the adequate provision of
    18     infrastructure, human services, safe neighborhoods,
    19     educational facilities and economic development to sustain
    20     these centers into the future.
    21         (5)  Successfully revitalizing and sustaining the urban
    22     centers is dependent on addressing, through an integrated and
    23     coordinated community effort, a range of varied components
    24     essential to a healthy urban environment, including cultural,
    25     educational, recreational, economic, transportation and
    26     social service components.
    27         (6)  Infill development and redevelopment are recognized
    28     as important components and useful mechanisms to promote and
    29     sustain urban centers. Commonwealth and regional entities and
    30     local governments should provide incentives to promote urban
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     1     infill and redevelopment. Existing programs and incentives
     2     should be integrated to the extent possible to promote urban
     3     infill and redevelopment and to achieve the goals of the
     4     Commonwealth urban policy.
     5         (7)  In recognition of the importance of Pennsylvania's
     6     vital urban centers and of the need to develop and revitalize
     7     downtown areas in order to accommodate growth in an orderly,
     8     efficient and environmentally acceptable manner,
     9     centralization of commercial, governmental, retail,
    10     residential and cultural activities within downtown areas
    11     should be encouraged by:
    12             (i)  Providing incentives to encourage private sector
    13         investment in the preservation and enhancement of
    14         downtown areas.
    15             (ii)  Assisting local governments in the planning,
    16         financing and implementation of development efforts aimed
    17         at revitalizing distressed downtown areas.
    18             (iii)  Promoting Commonwealth programs and
    19         investments which encourage redevelopment of downtown
    20         areas.
    21             (iv)  Encouraging communities to engage in a redesign
    22         step to include public participation of members of the
    23         community in envisioning redevelopment goals and design
    24         of the community core before redevelopment.
    25             (v)  Ensuring that local governments have adequate
    26         flexibility to determine and address their urban
    27         priorities within the Commonwealth urban policy.
    28             (vi)  Enhancing the linkages between land use, water
    29         use and transportation planning in State, regional and
    30         local plans for current and future designated urban
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     1         areas.
     2             (vii)  Promoting processes for the Commonwealth,
     3         general purpose local governments, school boards and
     4         local community colleges to coordinate and cooperate
     5         regarding educational facilities in urban areas,
     6         including planning functions, the development of joint
     7         facilities and the reuse of existing buildings.
     8             (viii)  Encouraging development of mass transit
     9         systems for urban centers, including multimodal
    10         transportation feeder systems, as a priority of local,
    11         metropolitan, regional and State transportation planning.
    12             (ix)  Locating appropriate public facilities within
    13         urban centers to demonstrate public commitment to the
    14         centers and to encourage private sector development.
    15             (x)  Integrating State programs that have been
    16         developed to promote economic development and
    17         neighborhood revitalization through incentives to promote
    18         the development of designated urban infill areas.
    19             (xi)  Promoting infill development and redevelopment
    20         as an important mechanism to revitalize and sustain urban
    21         centers.
    22  Section 3.  Definitions.
    23     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    24  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    25  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    26     "Local government."  Any county or municipality.
    27     "Urban infill and redevelopment area."  An area or areas
    28  designated by a local government where:
    29         (1)  public services such as water and wastewater,
    30     transportation, schools and recreation are already available
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     1     or are scheduled to be provided in an adopted five-year
     2     schedule of capital improvements and are located within the
     3     existing urban service area as defined in the local
     4     government's comprehensive plan;
     5         (2)  the area, or one or more neighborhoods within the
     6     area, suffers from pervasive poverty, unemployment and
     7     general distress;
     8         (3)  the area exhibits a higher than average proportion,
     9     compared to the local government as a whole, of buildings
    10     that are substandard, overcrowded, dilapidated, vacant or
    11     abandoned, or functionally obsolete;
    12         (4)  more than 50% of the area is within one-quarter mile
    13     of a transit stop or stops, or such transit stop or stops
    14     will be made available concurrent with the designation; and
    15         (5)  the area includes or is adjacent to community
    16     redevelopment areas or enterprise zones or has been
    17     designated by the Federal Government as an empowerment zone,
    18     enterprise community or similar urban revitalization
    19     designation.
    20  Section 4.  Designation of urban infill and redevelopment area.
    21     (a)  Infill designation.--A local government may designate a
    22  geographic area or areas within its jurisdiction as an urban
    23  infill and redevelopment area for the purpose of targeting
    24  economic, job creation, housing, transportation, neighborhood
    25  revitalization and preservation and land use incentives to
    26  encourage urban infill and redevelopment within the urban core.
    27     (b)  Community participation.--As part of the preparation of
    28  an urban infill and redevelopment area plan, a community
    29  participation process shall be implemented in each neighborhood
    30  within the area targeted for designation as an urban infill and
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     1  redevelopment area. The process shall include the input of
     2  stakeholders, including, but not limited to, community-based
     3  organizations, neighborhood associations and educational and
     4  religious organizations. The objective of the community
     5  participation is to encourage communities within the proposed
     6  urban infill and redevelopment area to participate in the design
     7  and implementation of the plan, including a visioning of the
     8  community core, before redevelopment. Issues to be addressed in
     9  the planning process include the size of the area, the
    10  objectives for urban infill and redevelopment, coordination with
    11  existing redevelopment programs, goals for improving transit and
    12  transportation, the objectives for economic development, job
    13  creation, crime reduction and neighborhood preservation and
    14  revitalization.
    15     (c)  Preparation of plan.--A local government seeking to
    16  designate a geographic area within its jurisdiction as an urban
    17  infill and redevelopment area shall prepare a plan that
    18  describes the infill and redevelopment objectives of the local
    19  government within the proposed area. In lieu of preparing a new
    20  plan, the local government may demonstrate that an existing plan
    21  or combination of plans associated with a community development
    22  area, sustainable community, enterprise zone or neighborhood
    23  improvement district includes the factors listed in this
    24  subsection, or may amend such existing plans to include the
    25  factors listed in this subsection. The plan shall demonstrate
    26  the local government and community's commitment to
    27  comprehensively addressing the urban problems within the urban
    28  infill and redevelopment area and identify activities and
    29  programs to accomplish locally identified goals such as code
    30  enforcement; improved educational opportunities; reduction in
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     1  crime; neighborhood preservation and revitalization; provision
     2  of infrastructure needs, including mass transit and multimodal
     3  linkages; and mixed-use planning to promote multifunctional
     4  redevelopment to improve both the residential and commercial
     5  quality of life in the area. The plan shall also:
     6         (1)  Contain a map depicting the geographic area or areas
     7     to be included within the designation.
     8         (2)  Confirm that the urban infill and redevelopment area
     9     is within an existing urban service area defined in the local
    10     government's comprehensive plan.
    11         (3)  Identify existing enterprise zones, community
    12     redevelopment areas, community development corporations,
    13     downtown redevelopment districts, safe neighborhood
    14     improvement districts, historic preservation districts and
    15     empowerment zones located within the area proposed for
    16     designation as an urban infill and redevelopment area and
    17     provide a framework for coordinating infill and redevelopment
    18     programs within the urban core.
    19         (4)  Identify a memorandum of understanding between the
    20     district school board and the local government jurisdiction
    21     regarding public school facilities located within the urban
    22     infill and redevelopment area to identify how the school
    23     board will provide priority to enhancing public school
    24     facilities and programs in the designated area, including the
    25     reuse of existing buildings for schools within the area.
    26         (5)  Identify each neighborhood within the proposed area
    27     and State preservation and revitalization goals and projects
    28     identified through the community participation process and
    29     how such projects shall be implemented.
    30         (6)  Identify how the local government intends to
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     1     implement affordable housing programs, including, but not
     2     limited to, economic and community development programs
     3     administered by the Department of Community and Economic
     4     Development, within the urban infill and redevelopment area.
     5         (7)  Identify strategies for reducing crime.
     6         (8)  Adopt, if applicable, land development regulations
     7     specific to the urban infill and redevelopment area which
     8     include, for example, setbacks and parking requirements
     9     appropriate to urban development.
    10         (9)  Identify and map any relevant public transportation
    11     corridors designated by a metropolitan planning organization
    12     in its long-range transportation plans or by the local
    13     government in its comprehensive plan for which the local
    14     government seeks designation as a transportation concurrency
    15     exception area, and describe how public transportation,
    16     pedestrian ways and bicycle ways will be implemented as an
    17     alternative to increased automobile use for such areas.
    18         (10)  Identify and adopt a package of financial and local
    19     government incentives which the local government will offer
    20     for new development, expansion of existing development and
    21     redevelopment within the urban infill and redevelopment area.
    22     Examples of such incentives include:
    23             (i)  Waiver of license and permit fees.
    24             (ii)  Waiver of local option sales taxes.
    25             (iii)  Waiver of delinquent taxes or fees to promote
    26         the return of property to productive use.
    27             (iv)  Expedited permitting.
    28             (v)  Lower transportation impact fees for development
    29         which encourages higher use of public transit, pedestrian
    30         and bicycle modes of transportation.
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     1             (vi)  Prioritization of infrastructure spending
     2         within the urban infill and redevelopment area.
     3             (vii)  Local government absorption of developers'
     4         concurrency costs.
     5         (11)  Identify how activities and incentives within the
     6     urban infill and redevelopment area will be coordinated and
     7     what administrative mechanism the local government will use
     8     for the coordination.
     9         (12)  Identify performance measures to evaluate the
    10     success of the local government in implementing the urban
    11     infill and redevelopment plan.
    12     (d)  Adoption of plan.--After the preparation of an urban
    13  infill and redevelopment plan or designation of an existing
    14  plan, the local government shall adopt the plan by ordinance.
    15  Public hearings shall be held on such ordinance, and notice
    16  shall be given of such hearings.
    17     (e)  Land use plan amendment.--In order for a local
    18  government to designate an urban infill and redevelopment area,
    19  it must amend its comprehensive land use plan to adopt the urban
    20  infill and redevelopment area plan and delineate the urban
    21  infill and redevelopment area within the future land use element
    22  of its comprehensive plan. If the local government elects to
    23  employ an existing or amended community redevelopment,
    24  sustainable community, enterprise zone or neighborhood
    25  improvement district plan or plans in lieu of preparation of an
    26  urban infill and redevelopment plan, the local government must
    27  amend its comprehensive land use plan to delineate the urban
    28  infill and redevelopment area within the future land use element
    29  of its comprehensive plan.
    30     (f)  Eligibility--
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     1         (1)  In order to continue to be eligible for the economic
     2     and regulatory incentives granted with respect to an urban
     3     infill and redevelopment area, the local government must
     4     demonstrate during the evaluation, assessment and review of
     5     its comprehensive plan that at least 10% of its combined
     6     annual residential, commercial and institutional development
     7     has occurred within the designated urban infill and
     8     redevelopment area.
     9         (2)  If the local government fails to implement the urban
    10     infill and redevelopment plan in accordance with the
    11     deadlines set forth in the plan, the Department of Community
    12     and Economic Development may seek to rescind the economic and
    13     regulatory incentives granted to the urban infill and
    14     redevelopment area. The action to rescind may be initiated 90
    15     days after issuing a written letter of warning to the local
    16     government.
    17  Section 5.  Economic incentives and report.
    18     (a)  Bonds.--A local government with an adopted urban infill
    19  and redevelopment plan or plan employed in lieu thereof may
    20  issue revenue bonds and employ tax increment financing for the
    21  purpose of financing the implementation of the plan.
    22     (b)  Special assessments.--A local government with an adopted
    23  urban infill and redevelopment plan or plan employed in lieu
    24  thereof may exercise the powers granted for community
    25  redevelopment neighborhood improvement districts, including the
    26  authority to levy special assessments.
    27     (c)  Report.--State agencies that provide infrastructure
    28  funding, cost reimbursement, grants or loans to local
    29  governments, including, but not limited to, the Department of
    30  Environmental Protection, the Department of Community and
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     1  Economic Development and the Department of Transportation, are
     2  directed to report to the President of the Senate and the
     3  Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 1, 2001,
     4  regarding statutory and rule changes necessary to give urban
     5  infill and redevelopment areas identified by local governments
     6  under this act an elevated priority in infrastructure funding,
     7  loan and grant programs.
     8  Section 6.  Grant program.
     9     An urban infill and redevelopment assistance grant program is
    10  created for local governments with adopted urban infill and
    11  redevelopment areas. Ninety percent of the general revenue
    12  appropriated for this program shall be available for 50/50
    13  matching grants for planning and implementing urban infill and
    14  redevelopment projects that further the objectives set forth in
    15  the local government's adopted urban infill and redevelopment
    16  plan or plan employed in lieu thereof. The remaining 10% of the
    17  revenue must be used for outright grants for projects requiring
    18  an expenditure of under $50,000. Projects that provide
    19  employment opportunities to clients of the wages program and
    20  projects within urban infill and redevelopment areas that
    21  include a community redevelopment area, enterprise zone or
    22  neighborhood improvement district must be given an elevated
    23  priority in the scoring of competing grant applications. The
    24  Division of Community Development and Housing of the Department
    25  of Community and Economic Development shall administer the grant
    26  program. The Department of Community and Economic Development
    27  shall adopt rules establishing grant review criteria consistent
    28  with this section.
    29  Section 7.  Eminent domain.
    30     Any county or municipality, or any community redevelopment
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     1  agency pursuant to specific approval of the governing body of
     2  the county or municipality which established the agency, as
     3  provided by any county or municipal ordinance has the right to
     4  acquire by condemnation any interest in real property, including
     5  a fee simple title thereto, which it deems necessary for or in
     6  connection with community redevelopment and related activities
     7  under this act.
     8  Section 8.  Efficient local government services.
     9     (a)  General rule.--In connection with an urban infill and
    10  redevelopment area, any county or combination of counties, and
    11  the municipalities therein, may use the procedures provided by
    12  this section to develop and adopt a plan to improve the
    13  efficiency, accountability and coordination of the delivery of
    14  local government services. The development of such a plan may be
    15  initiated by a resolution adopted by a majority vote of the
    16  governing body of each of the counties involved, by resolutions
    17  adopted by a majority vote of the governing bodies of a majority
    18  of the municipalities within each county or by resolutions
    19  adopted by a majority vote of the governing bodies of the
    20  municipality or combination of municipalities representing a
    21  majority of the municipal population of each county. The
    22  resolution shall specify the representatives of the county and
    23  municipal governments, of any affected special districts and of
    24  any relevant local government agencies who will be responsible
    25  for developing the plan. The resolution shall include a proposed
    26  timetable for development of the plan and shall specify the
    27  local government support and personnel services which will be
    28  made available to the representatives developing the plan.
    29     (b)  Plan.--Upon adoption of a resolution or resolutions as
    30  provided in subsection (a), the designated representatives shall
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     1  develop a plan for delivery of local government services. The
     2  plan shall:
     3         (1)  Designate the areawide and local government services
     4     which are the subject of the plan.
     5         (2)  Describe the existing organization of such services
     6     and the means of financing the services, and create a
     7     reorganization of such services and the financing thereof
     8     that will meet the goals of this section.
     9         (3)  Designate the local agency that should be
    10     responsible for the delivery of each service.
    11         (4)  Designate those services that should be delivered
    12     regionally or countywide. No provision of the plan shall
    13     operate to restrict the power of a municipality to finance
    14     and deliver services in addition to or at a higher level than
    15     the services designated for regional or countywide delivery
    16     under this paragraph.
    17         (5)  Provide means to reduce the cost of providing local
    18     services and enhance the accountability of service providers.
    19         (6)  Include a multiyear capital outlay plan for
    20     infrastructure.
    21         (7)  Specifically describe any expansion of municipal
    22     boundaries that would further the goals of this section. Any
    23     area proposed to be annexed must meet all applicable legal
    24     standards. The plan shall not contain any provision for
    25     contraction of municipal boundaries or elimination of any
    26     municipality.
    27         (8)  Provide specific procedures for modification or
    28     termination of the plan.
    29         (9)  Specify the effective date of the plan.
    30     (c)  Conformance to other plans.--
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     1         (1)  A plan developed pursuant to this section must
     2     conform to all applicable comprehensive plans.
     3         (2)  No provision of a plan developed pursuant to this
     4     section shall restrict the authority of any State or regional
     5     governmental agency to perform any duty required to be
     6     performed by that agency by law.
     7     (d)  Approval.--
     8         (1)  A plan developed pursuant to this section must be
     9     approved by a majority vote of the governing body of each
    10     county involved in the plan, by a majority of the governing
    11     bodies of a majority of municipalities in each county and by
    12     a majority vote of the governing bodies of the municipality
    13     or municipalities that represent a majority of the municipal
    14     population of each county.
    15         (2)  After approval by the county and municipal governing
    16     bodies as required by paragraph (1), the plan shall be
    17     submitted for referendum approval in a countywide election in
    18     each county involved. The plan shall not take effect unless
    19     approved by a majority of the electors of each county who
    20     vote in the referendum and also by a majority of the electors
    21     of the municipalities that represent a majority of the
    22     municipal population of each county who vote in the
    23     referendum. If approved by the electors as required by this
    24     paragraph, the plan shall take effect on the date specified
    25     in the plan.
    26  Section 9.  Effective date.
    27     This act shall take effect immediately.

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