Walla Walla, Waitsburg win state smart growth awards

The cities are among 12 communities in Washington to win acclaim this year.

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Waitsburg and Walla Walla are among the 12 communities in Washington named as winners of the 2011 Smart Communities Awards announced by Gov. Chris Gregoire Wednesday.

The 12 communities are considered models in planning for smart growth, according to a press release from the state Department of Commerce.

The city of Walla Walla received a Smart Partnerships awards in Development Projects for the "Washington Park Gathering Place."

Waitsburg received a Judges' Merit Award for the Downtown Revitalization Project.

The communities have shown outstanding work in three areas, according to the Commerce Department. The areas are innovative and wise land use, resource management, enhanced rural preservation, water utility planning and transportation planning; effective city-county partnerships and achieving significant public participation; and incorporation of public safety and community gathering places, density supporting transportation and reducing vehicle miles traveled, and downtown revitalization as key components of their growth plans.

The governor has rewarded outstanding local planning efforts through the Smart Communities Awards since 2006.

Awards will be presented to city winners June 23 at the Association of Washington Cities conference in Spokane. County winners will receive awards at the Washington State Association of Counties annual meeting on Nov. 16 in Bellevue.

Winners of the Smart Vision award were Kitsap County, city of Olympia, city of Poulsbo, city of Chelan, city of Bothell, and the city of Vader and Lewis County.

Along with Walla Walla, the city of Hoquiam and Pierce County will receive Smart Partnership awards.

The city of Mukilteo was named as the other recipient of the Judges' Merit Award, along with Waitsburg.

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