See other bills
under the
same topic
                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1006



No. 790 Session of 2003



                                     AN ACT

     1  Providing for a residential neighborhood enhancement program to
     2     be administered by the Department of Community and Economic
     3     Development.

     4     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     5  hereby enacts as follows:
     6  Section 1.  Short title.
     7     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Elm Street
     8  Act.
     9  Section 2.  Definitions.
    10     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    11  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    12  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    13     "Department."  The Department of Community and Economic
    14  Development of the Commonwealth.
    15     "Established residential neighborhood."  A defined geographic
    16  area which has consisted of buildings and structures for housing
    17  individuals and families in close proximity to a commercial

     1  district and which has existed as a residential neighborhood
     2  since before 1961.
     3     "Main Street Program."  The program administered by the
     4  Department of Community and Economic Development designed to
     5  assist a community's downtown economic development effort
     6  through the establishment of a local organization dedicated to
     7  downtown revitalization and management of downtown
     8  revitalization by hiring a full-time professional downtown
     9  coordinator.
    10     "Program."  The Elm Street Program as established in section
    11  3.
    12  Section 3.  Elm Street Program.
    13     (a)  Establishment.--There is established an Elm Street
    14  Program within the department which shall assist municipalities
    15  in preparing and implementing a revitalization strategy for
    16  established residential neighborhoods either in the vicinity of
    17  a Main Street Program project or in close proximity to an
    18  existing commercial district.
    19     (b)  Applications.--The department shall prepare application
    20  forms for the grant program established in this act and award
    21  grants to municipalities and other eligible entities based on
    22  the requirements in subsection (c). The department shall require
    23  that a map be furnished with all applications clearly
    24  identifying the established residential neighborhood and
    25  demonstrating its close proximity to a commercial district.
    26     (c)  Program requirements.--The program shall:
    27         (1)  Provide basic grants for a maximum of five years per
    28     project for administrative costs associated with the hiring
    29     of a professional Elm Street Manager, who may serve as an
    30     assistant to the Main Street Manager if a Main Street Program
    20030S0790B1006                  - 2 -     

     1     exists within a municipality.
     2         (2)  Provide residential reinvestment grants for
     3     infrastructure and structural improvements, including, but
     4     not limited to, streets, street lights, trees, exteriors of
     5     buildings and sidewalks or other pedestrian-oriented
     6     features.
     7         (3)  Provide planning and development grants for:
     8             (i)  Marketing and promoting urban residential
     9         living.
    10             (ii)  Leveraging additional private and public
    11         investment.
    12             (iii)  Promoting home ownership and other housing
    13         options.
    14             (iv)  Addressing social and economic concerns
    15         including, but not limited to, crime, blight, employment
    16         opportunities and public services and amenities.
    17             (v)  Achieving consistency, whenever appropriate,
    18         with existing commercial and residential revitalization
    19         efforts.
    20         (4)  Provide an assessment of the applying
    21     municipalities' need for the following:
    22             (i)  The establishment of a neighborhood improvement
    23         district as defined in the act of December 20, 2000
    24         (P.L.949, No.130), known as the Neighborhood Improvement
    25         District Act.
    26             (ii)  A review of local comprehensive plans and
    27         zoning and other land use ordinances to foster the
    28         viability of established residential neighborhoods, with
    29         a balanced mix of commercial, civic, employment and
    30         residential uses, with particular attention to a
    20030S0790B1006                  - 3 -     

     1         diversity of housing options.
     2             (iii)  A review of educational and recreational
     3         opportunities and facilities.
     4     (d)  Eligibility.--Municipalities or their designated
     5  agencies must meet the following criteria:
     6         (1)  Have an established residential neighborhood in need
     7     of revitalization in close proximity to a commercial
     8     district.
     9         (2)  Have expressed support by local residents, merchants
    10     and government officials.
    11         (3)  Have ability to provide a minimum of a 10% match in
    12     financial and/or in-kind support for any department grants
    13     from other public or private sources based upon departmental
    14     guidelines. The department may waive or reduce the matching
    15     requirement if it determines such requirement would
    16     constitute a hardship upon the municipality or an agency
    17     designated by the municipality. A hardship exists if the
    18     municipality meets one of the following criteria:
    19         (1)  The municipality is declared as financially
    20     distressed under the act of July 10, 1987 (P.L.246, No.47),
    21     known as the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act.
    22         (2)  The matching requirements for the application would
    23     exceed 5% of the municipality's annual operating budget.
    24         (3)  Part or all of the established residential
    25     neighborhood identified in the application is participating
    26     in the Pennsylvania Weed and Seed Program as administered by
    27     the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
    28         (4)  A minimum of 20% of the municipality's population
    29     falls below 150% of the Federal poverty level.
    30     (e)  Multiple projects.--The department may approve more than
    20030S0790B1006                  - 4 -     

     1  one project within the boundaries of a municipality. Multiple
     2  projects may occur simultaneously or at different periods of
     3  time.
     4     (f)  Cooperative projects.--The department may consider
     5  applications submitted by two or more municipalities as a single
     6  application for a single project area.
     7     (g)  Priority projects.--The department shall give priority
     8  to projects with an established residential neighborhood that
     9  was already in existence prior to 1951.
    10     (h)  Limits.--The department shall establish limits on the
    11  amount of money available per project area so as to distribute
    12  the available funds as fairly as possible throughout this
    13  Commonwealth.
    14  Section 4.  Limitations.
    15     (a)  Program limits.--In no case shall the aggregate amount
    16  of grants in any fiscal year exceed the amount of the
    17  appropriation to the department for the program in that fiscal
    18  year. The provision of grants under this act shall in no way
    19  constitute an entitlement derived from the Commonwealth or a
    20  claim on any other funds of the Commonwealth.
    21     (b)  Prohibitions.--No funds from this program shall be
    22  expended to develop or convert farmland to residential,
    23  commercial or industrial uses. Farmland is any land that
    24  supports, or land with a recent history of supporting, the
    25  commercial production of agricultural crops, livestock or
    26  livestock products, poultry products, milk or dairy products,
    27  fruit or other horticultural products.
    28  Section 5.  Effective date.
    29     This act shall take effect immediately.

    F11L71MSP/20030S0790B1006        - 5 -