Growing Greener: Putting Conservation Into Local Plans And Ordinances

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Island Press, Nov 1, 1999 - Architecture - 261 pages
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Growing Greener is an illustrated workbook that presents a new look at designing subdivisions while preserving green space and creating open space networks. Randall Arendt explains how to design residential developments that maximize land conservation without reducing overall building density, thus avoiding the political and legal problems often associated with "down-zoning."

The author offers a three-pronged strategy for shaping growth around a community's special natural and cultural features, demonstrating ways of establishing or modifying the municipal comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, and subdivision ordinance to include a strong conservation focus. Open space protection becomes the central organizing principle for new residential development, and the open space that is protected is laid out to form an interconnected system of protected lands running across a community.

The book offers: •detailed information on how to conduct a community resource inventory •a four-step approach to designing conservation subdivisions •extensive model language for comprehensive plans, subdivision ordinances, and zoning ordinances •illustrated design principles for hamlets, villages, and traditional small town neighborhoods

In addition, Growing Greener includes eleven case studies of actual conservation developments in nine states, and two exercises suitable for group participation. Case studies include: Ringfield, Chadds Ford Township, Pennsylvania; The Fields of St. Croix, City of Lake Elmo, Minnesota; Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, Illinois; The Meadows at Dolly Gordon Brook, York, Maine; Farmcolony, Standsville, Virginia; The Ranch at Roaring Fork, Carbondale, Colorado; and others.

Growing Greener builds upon and expands the basic ideas presented in Arendt's earlier work Conservation Design for Subdivisions, broadening the scope to include more detailed sections on the comprehensive planning process and information on how zoning ordinances can be updated to incorporate the concept of conservation design. It is the first practical publication to explain in detail how resource-conserving development techniques can be put into practice by municipal officials, residential developers, and site designers, and it offers a simple and straightforward approach to balancing opportunities for developers and conservationists.

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About the author (1999)

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Randall Arendt is a land-use planner, site designer, author, lecturer, and an advocate of "conservation planning". He received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.Phil. degree in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was a St. Andrew's Scholar. He was formerly vice president for conservation planning for the Natural Lands Trust and is now president of Greener Prospects, a land use consulting firm in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He is the author of Growing Greener Ordinance Language (Natural Lands Trust, 2001), and Conservation Design for Subdivisions (Island Press, 2001).

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