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Overarching Elements of the Project

This project will address economic and physical design elements that pertain to land use and community development planning with specific reference to county parks, state trails, public lands/corridors, and other elements of open space in Jefferson County. Specifically, the land use planning component will include outdoor recreation planning and open space planning while the community development component will include resource valuation and fiscal impact analysis. At this point, there are four sub-group themes that have been identified. These sub-group themes and their relevant applied policy analysis questions include:

1. Economic value of county parks and open space

In what ways and to what extent does the Jefferson County Parks System contribute to the existing Jefferson County economic structure?

Using reasonable future scenarios, what potential exists for increasing the economic return associated with parks and open space in Jefferson County?

2. Fiscal impacts of new-age transitions experienced in rapidly exurbanizing regions

What alternatives exist for future residential and commercial development in Jefferson County during the next 20 years?

What are the public fiscal elements (service provision costs and tax base implications) associated with residential development in Jefferson County during the next 20 years?

3. Gateway communities and the retail/service business linkages between parks/open space, creative class demographics, and rapid land use change.

What are the characteristics associated with relevant retail and service market centers in Jefferson County?

In what ways and to what extent do parks and open space provide customer bases upon which the local retail and service sectors can build?

4. Physical site planning that connects key legacy sites with existing trail and park systems

What would be reasonable infrastructural connections between the existing park system of Central and Western Jefferson County?

Using creative physical design concepts, how could these connections can be made.

Expectations and Plan of Work

For each of these sub-groups, a thorough and comprehensive precedence assessment will be made including a situational analysis (history and current context, client served, active stakeholders involved in planning process), a synthesis of related studies (both academic and fugitive), and specific empirical work to answer questions unique to each sub-group. Each sub-group will refine and specify their respective problem statement in consultation with clients. Further, each sub-group will determine and specify a reasonable applied research approach in consultation with clients.

Each sub-group is expected to deliver a written report that summarizes sub-group work (could be hard copy, poster-boards, and/or web-based). Depending on approach, each subgroup will have various interactions with involved stakeholders through the course of the semester and will provide a comprehensive oral presentation of results to clients/stakeholder groups.

All project work will be completed by the end of Fall Semester, 2005 (mid-December). Target deadlines for completion of interim products include:
draft problem statement and precedence study (literature review) by September 23
draft approach (methods) by September 30
draft final report due December 2
final report and oral presentation by December 16

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