Land Use Policy

Land use policy strategies help structure communities to improve their overall environmental, economic, and social health. This is primarily done by promoting mixed-use and infill development, walkable neighborhoods, and an overall sustainable lifestyle. Assessments should be made that are context-specific and facilitate projected growth trends. Land use policy also includes natural resource management strategies that help conserve, reserve, protect and promote a community’s greenspace, wildlife, wetlands and waterways for future generations by promoting pervious surfaces and adequate setbacks.

• Identify priority areas for infill development, including those eligible for “brownfields funding”.
• Create land bank to acquire and assemble priority infill sites.
• Develop an inventory of known contaminated properties for reuse planning, with possible GIS application.

Walk Score
• Measure Walkscore at 10 random residential addresses per Census tract, compute average, and improve upon overall score.

• Adopt a traditional neighborhood design ordinance (If population is less than 12,500).
• Zoning for office and retail districts permits floor-area ratio > 1, on average.
• Zoning for office and retail districts requires floor-area ratio > 1, on average.
• Zoning code includes mixed use districts.
• Mixed-use language from Smart Code.

• Adopt tree preservation ordinances.
• Set a tree canopy goal and develop a management plan to achieve it.
• Require trees to be planted in all new developments.
• Certification of membership for Tree City USA.

• Local government establishes rights of way to be mowed or cleared only for safe sightlines and/or to remove invasive species.

Water Protection
• Establish 75-foot natural vegetation zone easement from surface water.
• Create an inventory wetlands and insure no net annual loss.

More Sustainable Communities Strategic Options: