Support municipalities in the implementation of effective land preservation policies and regulations.
Ordinance regulations provide another tool for municipalities to preserve open space and the farmland, natural habitat, and scenic and historic features on that land. These local regulatory efforts serve as a complementary means to preservation easements or outright purchase for ensuring important resources are protected for future generations.
Municipalities currently provide varying levels of land and resource preservation through their local programs, policies, and ordinances. This effort would consider steps for municipalities interested in advancing their preservation programs to the next level. A starting point would include analysis of existing policies and ordinance standards and how they could be improved or expanded. Types of regulations to be considered include agricultural zoning, transfer of development rights, conservation zoning, and cluster/open space development provisions. Comprehensive plan review would also be an important element of this work to ensure that local policies support regulatory preservation efforts. Land trusts with experience in municipal land use planning assistance could take the lead on promoting this effort with participation from the county planning commission.