One of the first steps to redevelopment of a Brownfield site generally involves identification and assessment of potential property reuses. It is critical that all relevant stakeholders become involved early in the redevelopment process. Stakeholders may include property owners, local governments, state and federal regulators, community and nonprofit groups, investors, lenders, developers, consultants and attorneys. Early determination of the property’s reuse potential will help garner support for the project, will aid in determining the correct cleanup methods for the ultimate property reuse, and will assist the local government in its planning and zoning efforts.
Potential land use options for a particular Brownfield could, depending on demographic, economic and environmental considerations, be industrial, commercial, residential and open space. The initial selection of land use options will not only drive developmental considerations such as financial analysis and engineering planning but environmental cleanup needs as well. For example, the land use option can help focus environmental planning activities such as characterization and cleanup strategy development. This is particularly relevant to defining exposure pathways and cleanup targets for each affected media. Residential use would typically require a greater level of cleanup than commercial or industrial use. The site development plan should, based on these important considerations, reflect objectives best suited to reduce exposure and manage long term liability within the economic context of redevelopment (i.e., least cost with maximum financial return from investments for the underutilized assets).