Monday, August 17, 2009

Wetland Mitigation Project

Drive out to the East Side of Youngstown, and in some parts the view resembles that of the country, instead of something you'd expect to see inside the city limits.

What does one do with acres of unused, empty land?

The CDA thinks it makes sense to work with what's there: we're allocating $25,000 to the Youngstown State University Center for Urban and Regional Studies for a project that could create a wetland mitigation bank for land on the East Side of Youngstown.

The bank would be used by developers who need to purchase new wetlands to replace the wetlands that they have destroyed.

The use for the area makes sense, since many parts of the proposed area for the bank, about 2,700 acres (4.2 square miles), are already wetlands. Also, the project goes hand in hand with Youngstown 2010's goal of right-sizing the city.

John Bralich, senior G.I.S. analyst at The Center for Urban and Regional Studies, says that there needs to be at least 100 acres in the bank to make the project worthwhile. The city owns two 20-acre properties that could each serve as potential sites for a wetland mitigation bank. There are many more additional parcels the city could acquire through the foreclosure process.

The city may be onto something fairly new here. Though wetland mitigation banks are common to rural areas, Bralich says the only other urban bank he's aware of is located in Washington State.

1 comment:

  1. The conversation among real estate developers is that it would be ten years before we see any bricks and mortar construction because of the economic colapse. The idea and studies of wetland mitigation maybe obsolete in the real world. Can someone in the city please update this voter when a hiking trail will be planned for Dry Run?