Regional Director of Community Development with Networks Northwest
Robert Carson, AICP, is the Regional Director of Community Development with Networks Northwest. He has participated in and led many processes, throughout his career, leading to technical document development. Recently developed guides and documents include Community Master Plans, Recreation Plans, Corridor Studies, Zoning Guides, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies and Strategic Plans. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was a process led by the Networks Northwest Community Development Department and was completed in early 2021 with approval by the Networks Northwest Board and the Economic Development Administration. Other experience details significant partnership with State and Local Economic Development Experts through participation in State and Federal grant programs and certifications: Community Development Block Grant Programs, Brownfield Plan and Development Programs, local Downtown Development Authority TIF approvals, and other project specific grant support such as DNR Trust Fund Grants and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Project Grants. In addition to experience with navigation and community certification through the State’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Program.
Collaboration across levels of government is perceived to provide economic and community-wide benefits. Inherent capacity issues, particularly in rural communities are thought to be a hindrance to development application review, approval and permitting processes, further compounded by the complexities of navigation of statutes by local units of government, when managing approval body structure, operation and oversight. This Innovation Fellowship project proposes a research methodology to gain information and data concerning collaborative service partnerships between regional planning entities and local units of government.