In most communities, land use regulations are based on a limited model that allows for only one end result: the production of more and more suburbia, composed of endless subdivisions and shopping centers, that ultimately covers every bit of countryside with "improvements." Fortunately, sensible alternatives to this approach do exist, and methods of developing land while at the same time conserving natural areas are available.
In Conservation Design for Subdivisions, Randall G. Arendt explores better ways of designing new residential developments than we have typically seen in our communities. He presents a practical handbook for residential developers, site designers, local officials, and landowners that explains how to implement new ideas about land-use planning and environmental protection. Abundantly illustrated with site plans (many of them in color), floor plans, photographs, and renditions of houses and landscapes, it describes a series of simple and straightforward techniques that allows for land-conserving development.
The author proposes a step-by-step approach to conserving natural areas by rearranging density on each development parcel as it is being planned so that only half (or less) of the buildable land is turned into houselots and streets. Homes are built in a less land-consumptive manner that allows the balance of property to be permanently protected and added to an interconnected network of green spaces and green corridors. Included in the volume are model zoning and subdivision ordinance provisions that can help citizens and local officials implement these innovative design ideas.
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