Naturalist's Notes

Conservation Subdivision = Better Land Use

By Paul Lumia • February 1 2013

Many of our planning methods and zoning codes are based on archaic land use guidelines that have not been updated for many, many years. Because of this, we are very inefficient in the way we develop our open space. These inefficiencies lead to burdensome expenses that the municipality often times cannot cope with. Conservation Subdivisions represent a better way to develop our land that can ultimately reduce municipal expenses.

What is a Conservation Subdivision

A Conservation subdivision is characterized by common open space and clustered compact lots. The purpose of a conservation subdivision is to protect open space, woodland, farmland and/or natural resources while allowing for the maximum number of residences under current community zoning and subdivision regulations. In some cases a greater density (density bonus) may be offered in the local ordinance to encourage this approach to residential development planning.

Why Do Conservation Subdivisions Matter ?

They help slow poorly planned development

They require less built infrastructure

They are cheaper for municipalities to maintain

They provide open space and green ways

They help improve community quality of life

Check out this link to view the step by step process for creating a Conservation Subdivision and how communities can incorporate them into their existing planning documents.

OpenSpaceSub 101.pdf

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