ABOUT THE GGT
WHY GREEN GROWTH?
HABITAT CONSERVATION RECOMMENDATIONS
GREENING INCENTIVES & ORDINANCES
GREENING SITE LOCATION DESIGN AND REVIEW
TECHNICAL & FUNDING ASSISTANCE
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Greening Incentives and Ordinances means structuring incentives, zoning and development ordinances to conserve priority habitats and remove regulatory barriers to better conservation.
See Section 5 of the GGT Handbook for details
Natural resourced-based development ordinances can help your community implement science-based standards for development in the following areas:
The Conservation Subdivision Handbook from NC State University and the NC Urban and Community Forestry Program provides an excellent background on existing Conservation Subdivision ordinances in NC. It does include a general model ordinance. We recommend that you also use the NC Model Natural Resources Conservation Ordinance to ensure priority habitat is defined and development design does not fragment wildlife habitat.
The North Carolina Model Natural Resources Conservation Ordinance and Incentives Guide
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Duke University Nicholas Institute, Town of Navassa, and the Cape Fear Council of Governments teamed up to provide model ordinances for comprehensive natural resource and habitat conservation in North Carolina communities. The model ordinances act as an overlay district meant to conserve only the most sensitive natural resource areas and the most rare types of upland wildlife habitats. The Town of Pittsboro, North Carolina reviewed the model ordinance through a stakeholder group called the Conservation Ordinance Review Committee. Their recommendations were integrated into Pittsboro's draft Unified Development Ordinance.
The Cape Fear Council of Governments created a guide to the model conservation ordinances and produced a model incentive-based conservation ordinance. This model incentive conservation ordinance provides model language for a conservation district within which a density bonus, allowing more development units than allowed by zoning, is an optional design in exchange for conserving large blocks of natural areas and habitats. Click on the links below to download the model ordinances and guide.
Incentives are important for creating development patterns and practices that maintain wildlife habitat and natural resources. A common incentive used by local governments in NC and across the US is the development density bonus.
Using this approach, developers can build slightly more units that in a conventional design in exchange for conserving a large area of continuous natural open space.
Natural resource-based zoning:
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, CO 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, NC Natural Heritage Conservation Requirements —Orange County’s Code of Ordinances (Chapter 46, Article IV) requires development projects to identify strategies to protect Natural Heritage sites.
Chatham County, NC 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, UT 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, MD Forest Conservation Ordinance —This ordinance requires forest protection plans to accompany development applications, and requires reforestation activities to accompany any type of land development.
Moore County NC UDO Chapter 7, Sec. 7.11 H. - J. outlines recommended native plants and prohibited non-native invasive plants.
Brevard County, Florida’s Land Clearing Performance Standards, Sec. 62-4335, is a particularly exemplary model that requires removal of nonnative, invasive plants and
requires vegetation control to curb proliferation.
The NC Wildlife Commission We have GGT recommendations for solar farms and for planting low-growing native plants to benefit pollinators and farmers. You can integrate these nto your solar ordinance or the model solar ordinance below.
NC Solar Template Ordinance: This ordinance was developed by the NC Solar Center and the NC Sustainable Energy Association. It encourages large roof-top solar projects by reducing regulatory barriers for these, while also providing model standards for land-based projects. A diverse group of experts provided input and review of this model including the FAA.
The Low Impact Development: A Guidebook for North Carolina, developed by NCSU Cooperative Extension, provides guidance on how to reduce barriers and provide incentives within ordinances to encourage low impact development.
In general, we recommend 'Smart Growth' practices that allow a Green Growth approach because these methods reduce spread-out development patterns that are causing wildlife habitat fragmentation and loss.
Streams, waterways, and wetlands:
Flooding is reduced in proportion to the amount of forest in a watershed. Having forests along streams also cleans our water for free, increases home values, and offers recreation opportunities.
Community Resilience to Climate Change
The City of St. Augustine, Florida has a simple Conservation Overlay Zone ordinance (Chapter 11, Article II) that includes areas that flood every 10 years.
Georgetown University Law School Climate Center maintains a web page focused on resilient zoning and overlays that includes example local government ordinances and model ordinances.
Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience, U.S. EPA
Wetlands Watch Resilient Zoning