Ordinance Review

Greener Prospects works with individual local governments to provide their members and staff with a detailed review of existing comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and subdivision standards.

A hallmark of this review is its sharp focus on those elements of these documents that have the greatest potential for increasing the quality, quantity, and configuration of open space within new residential developments, to implement the community's broader, long-range goal of protecting interconnected networks of conservation lands.

Communities wishing to "institutionalize" the twin concepts of conservation planning and conservation design within their regulatory structure can benefit from this thorough analysis, filled with specific, practical recommendations for adding state-of-the-art regulatory procedures and design standards to their zoning and subdivision ordinances.

This service, as described below, includes two technical memoranda (written in laymen's language), a workshop meeting to discuss the findings and recommendations, and a diskette containing model ordinance provisions for use by community staff or local consultants.

The process begins with a technical analysis of the community's three principal land-use documents -- its comprehensive plan, its zoning ordinance, and its subdivision regulations. This analysis identifies existing shortcomings or obstacles in these codes which hinder implementation of conservation subdivision design principles.

The second phase comprises two memoranda. The General Memo describes the community's current land-use documents in the context of conservation design principles and practice. The Specific Memo provides a critique of nearly every aspect of those particular documents, from the conservation design perspective. It also provides positive recommendations to correct specific deficiencies and to remove existing obstacles.

The third part of this constructive critique includes a meeting with local officials and staff to go over the memos and to answer their questions. The memos are typically mailed to members at least a fortnight prior to that meeting, to give everyone an opportunity to review them beforehand.

These two memos lay out the "greenprint" for adopting new ordinance language for conservation design, such as contained in Growing Greener: Putting Conservation into Local Plans and Ordinances.

Bonus: Communities also receive a complimentary copy of the most current version of the Conservation by Design: Growing Greener model ordinance language, in electronic form.

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