Development of proceedings for an urban renewal project : the Esther Short project Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h702q894t

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  • Urban centers, in part, are in the process of deterioration. Consequently, land values in these areas, both in dollars and in contribution to the community, remain dormant or depressed. There seems little doubt that there will be greater pressure for urban land. Urban renewal is one method of returning deteriorated urban areas into production for the community. This thesis reviews the development of urban renewal and the urban renewal process as it has been established by the federal government, and gives an intensive case study of an urban renewal project that is under way. The project reviewed is the Esther Short Project development in Vancouver, Washington. By tracing the Esther Short Project development, a proceeding is established that may be used as a guide for other projects. The principal federal law authorizing federal assistance to slum clearance and urban renewal is Title I of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended, Public Law 171, 81st Congress, approved July 15, 1949. Many legislative battles took place prior to 1949 as different housing bills were presented. As the Housing Act has been amended in the years since its adoption in 1949, the trend has seemed to be that the amendments lean towards providing greater federal benefits and more local discretion in the urban renewal programs. Tttle I urban renewal is a program under which the federal government and cities go into partnership with private enterprise to undertake urban renewal. In establishlng an urban renewal program, certain requirements are set forth in the Housing Act and by the Urban Renewal Administration. The workable program is the major requirement set forth for the community. The workable program is a means by which cities are required to set forth and undertake and evaluate programs for community betterment. Once the city's workable program is approved by the federal government, the project can be initiated. The city of Vancouver, Washington, prepared a workable program that was approved by the federal government and then initiated the Esther Short project. The area selected, for the project was built up with many deteriorated and dilapidated buildings. Property in the area was used for a variety of different establishments intermingling among the dwellings. The project was proposed to be for light industrial redevelopment. The area is located adjacent to the central businesses and an existing industrial area. The city was designated as the local agency responsible for the project, and created a city department of urban renewal for administrative control. The project, generally, followed the course established for such endeavors. A citizens committee was appointed to work with the city staff on information and relocation. Local standards were established to measure the extent and degree of blight. The survey and planning, and loan and grant applications were approved. Fixed prices were established for purchasing property. Development standards and minimum prices are being set for resale. It is too early to assess the success or failure of the Esther Short Project, since the land has not yet been advertised for resale. The project is to the point of being ready for land resale and has been well-handled thus far. However, the real measure of success will be if the relocatees have a better life in the long run, and the available land in the project is rapidly developed as an industrial area.
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