The Regional Planning Commission cooperates and coordinates with officials, leaders and staff from the public and private sectors to carry out plan goals and recommendations. These examples highlight this role.
Technical Advisory Committees
The Regional Planning Commission convenes technical advisory committees to study specific regional issues and develop policy recommendations for decision makers.
Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee: One example is the joint Regional Planning Commission / Lakes and Watershed Commission Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee (Stormwater TAC) that convened in 2016-2017 to study the feasibility of further reducing the volume of stormwater run-off from urban development. Current standards require new urban development to maintain 90 percent of the precipitation infiltration volume (on an average annual basis) that existed on the site prior to development.
Many communities are interested in improving that performance to achieve “100 percent of predevelopment stay-on”, which maintains the pre-development hydrology of the site. They are motivated to reduce flood risk and improve the water quality of local streams and lakes.
The Stormwater TAC estimated the benefits, cost, and technical feasibility of raising this standard. It brought together expertise from diverse organizations and interests to prepare evidence-based recommendations through consensus. The Stormwater TAC published its report Recommendations on Reducing Increased Risk of Flooding in May 2017.
Waubesa Wetlands Study Plan Technical Advisor Committee: In collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission is facilitating a joint Technical Advisory Committee (WWSP TAC) to develop a scope of work and budget for a comprehensive study of the Waubesa Wetlands. Waubesa Wetlands is one of the highest quality and most diverse wetlands remaining in southern Wisconsin. A large part of the Waubesa Wetlands is designated as a State Natural Area under the ownership of the WDNR, The Nature Conservancy, and Dane County. The need for this study was identified during the City of Fitchburg’s Northeast Neighborhood urban service area amendment. The focus of the Committee’s effort is to develop the scope of work for a comprehensive study by June 2017. A list of the WWSP TAC members is included in the January 10, 2017, meeting documentation.
Urban Service Area Amendments
As part of areawide water quality management planning in Dane County, the Department of Natural Resources establishes Urban Service Areas (USAs) in which public sewer service can be provided. When communities seek to expand the boundaries of USAs, they work with the Regional Planning Commission (as an agent of the DNR) to prepare an application. Regional Planning Commission staff work cooperatively with local officials, land owners, developers and others to prepare plan amendments that meet or exceed minimum water quality standards.
Future Urban Development Area Planning
Regional Planning Commission staff work with adjoining municipalities to prepare a joint study of options for future urban development. Locally appointed inter-governmental steering committees guide FUDA planning. Joint planning teams conduct analyses, mapping, public participation and growth options. The process builds and strengthens inter-governmental cooperation and coordination around shared visions and plans.
Active Living Places Coalition
In 2015, CARPC led a coalition with transportation, health, municipal, university and non-profit partners to secure funding and carry out the Active Living Places initiative. The Coalition received a grant from the American Planning Association to create an online tool, the Active Living Index, and to pilot projects in three communities. The tool and pilots aimed to eliminate food deserts and help neighborhoods become more walking and biking friendly.