Green Development Codes/Ordinances

Imagine living in a home with a "net zero" energy balance from public utilities, where all residents can walk outside in safety without concerns about vehicle traffic, where natural landscaping enhances open spaces, and where pollution is almost non-existent. These "green" developments have been proposed in Chester County and elsewhere, and are close to becoming reality. Municipalities can promote green developments by encouraging these innovative designs and techniques in municipal subdivision and land development ordinances. This tool discusses some of the actions that local municipalities can take to encourage sustainable or green land developments, promote energy efficient construction and building techniques, and encourage environmentally-sustainable stormwater management practices.

Advantages

Solar PanelsGreen land development ordinances provide the following advantages:

Limitations

Land development ordinances that incorporate green technologies and principles can meet some barriers:

How to Use This Tool

Solar PanelsMunicipalities can encourage the use of green developments by reviewing their zoning ordinances and (sometimes more particularly) their subdivision and land development ordinances. These ordinances should include provisions that encourage:

Examples

Newlin Township's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance was amended in 2013 and includes innovative design initiatives such as a "Four-Step Design Process" that emphasizes environmental sensitivity in the location of structures, a greenway and greenbelt design, ownership and management plan, environmental impact and traffic assessments, a natural resource delineation and protection plan and extensive landscaping requirements.

Related References

Related Tools

Landscapes2 Relevance

This tool is consistent with the policies in Landscapes2, the Chester County Comprehensive Plan, because the increased use of green land developments can conserve energy, improve efficiency and reduce pollution. Landscapes2 Objective EC 2, Improving Energy Efficiency, seeks to "Promote innovative technologies and practices that improve energy efficiency and cost effectiveness."