Nature resourced-based zoning ordinances establish land use patterns that will preserve key habitats while concentrating intensive growth in less environmentally sensitive areas.
- Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Greenbelt Zone —Chapter 9-5 (Agricultural Residential District) and Chapter 9-14 A (Conservation Subdivision Planned Development District) of the zoning code implement a greenbelt around Athens with the goal of managing sprawl. The Agricultural Residential District has a 10 acre minimum lot size and the Conservation Subdivision District requires a minimum of one dwelling per 5 acres.
- Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina Rural Buffer —The Town of Chapel Hill has established a “rural buffer” surrounding Chapel Hill and Carrboro that defines the urban services boundary and growth limits.
Nature resourced-based development ordinances can help your community implement science-based standards for development in the following areas:
- Development application requirements
- Protection of Natural Heritage sites
- Protection of important wildlife habitats
- Conservation developments
- Stream, wetland, and floodplain protection
- Protection of trees and native vegetation
- Steep slope protection
- Wildfire hazard and smoke management
Download the Conservation Subdivision Handbook from NC State University Forestry and Education Outreach Program and the NC Urban and Community Forestry Program.
Tampa, Florida’s Upland Habitat Protection Ordinance —Designed to protect important plant communities and wildlife habitat in Tampa, the ordinance establishes an upland habitat overlay district. Approved upland habitat plans are required before development can occur within the district.
Article 7-1700 of Boulder County, Colorado Wildlife Impact Reports —Boulder County’s Land Use Code requires development proposals to include a wildlife impact report whenever the project is located within critical wildlife habitats, significant natural areas, or wildlife corridors shown on conservation maps in the county’s comprehensive plan.
Orange County, North Carolina Natural Heritage Conservation Requirements —Orange County’s Code of Ordinances (Chapter 46, Article IV) requires development projects to protect sites identified in the county’s Natural Heritage Inventory.
Chatham County, North Carolina Watershed Protection Ordinance—Chatham County’s ordinance requires field delineations and strong buffer requirements for all streams, springs, seeps and wetlands prior to development plan approval.
Park City, Utah Sensitive Area Overlay Zone —This policy establishes a series of overlay zones for protection of different sensitive natural areas, including steep slopes and ridgelines, important wildlife habitats, wetlands, and other important open spaces.
Carroll County, Maryland Forest Conservation Ordinance —This ordinance requires forest protection plans to accompany development applications, and requires reforestation activities to accompany any type of land development.
Jefferson County, Colorado Wildfire Hazard Overlay District—This ordinance limits land uses within the district, and requires hazard mitigation strategies around any dwellings and/or the submission of a wildfire mitigation site plans for developments located within the district.