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Land Use Action Plan

" Even in those towns where a comprehensive plan .....has been adopted......[it] fails to address one of the most critical questions facing these towns today: how to grow gracefully, in a manner consistent with the traditional character of the community, so that new development fits harmoniously into the town fabric and helps to reinforce the local sense of place."

Randall Arendt, from Rural by Design


Tips for Environmentally Responsible Design and Construction: Environmental Building News

Design

Land Use & Site Issues

Materials

Equipment

Business Practices


Key Design Elements of Traditional Towns and Traditional Neighborhoods*

 

Institutional "Anchor" in the Town Center: provides a place for special events.

 

Mix of Uses: combines residential, institutional, recreational, commercial, limited industrial, and open space in a seamless arrangement.

 

Park, Open Space, Countryside: creates the green, square or park to help "anchor" the Town Center.

 

Network System of Interconnecting Streets: street vistas terminate with public space, landmark structures or civic buildings.

 

On-Street/Parallel Parking: provides a separator between vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

 

Lanes(Alleys): allows for preservation of frontage streetscape.

 

Shallow Setbacks: helps to create an "outdoor room" sense of space.

 

Building Types: focuses on buildings designed by type, not solely by function to allow for adaptations.

 

Porch/Portico/Colonnade:
serves as a transition element from the private realm of the building to the public realm of the sidewalk and streets.

 

Sidewalks/Crosswalks/ Pedestrian Paths/Walkways: serves to link uses, buildings and lots together.

 

Shade Trees: provide (as street trees) the canopy/overhead plane to help create an "outdoor room".

 

Other Vertical Infrastructure: includes fences, hedges,walls, street lamps, benches, gazebo or like features.

 

*Adapted from Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. - West Chester, Pennsylvania

Conservation Planning and Growth Management
Green Development
Historic Preservation
Traffic Congestion
Brownfields

Conservation Planning and Growth Management

Growth management, sometimes known as Smart Growth, is a key ingredient in effective land use management. Growth is important to the community but it should be managed so that it keeps pace with the provision of public services and occurs in the optimal geographic locations. This section offers a variety of tools and techniques for the planning and implementation of effective growth management in your community.

For examples of model ordinances prepared by Minnesota's Office of Planning, click here. Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

For a listing of Smart Growth publications, check out the EPA's Smart Growth homepage.

To help preserve farmland, the American Farmland Trust's web site describes a variety of tools. Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Policy and Planning Tools

There are a number of excellent resources available for policy and planning tools related to growth management.

Check out the Sprawl Guide as a starting point.Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Regulatory Tools

Technical Tools

Financial Tools

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Green Development

Policy and Planning Tools

Technical Tools

Financial Tools

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Historic Preservation Districts

Historic preservation districts are important in preserving the history of our communities. Historic preservation allows the reuse of older neighborhoods and improving them in a manner that is consistent with historic architectural practices. It is also a vital part of renewing the community and encouraging residents and businesses to remain in the community. The following tools and techniques can be helpful in implementing historic preservation in your community.

Policy and Planning Tools

Regulatory Tools

The following resources and tools represent historic preservation districts and agencies who regulate historic preservation.

Other Tools

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Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion tools focus on reducing the vehicle miles traveled by auto and on spreading out those miles over time. Here are some tools which may help your community reduce its traffic congestion.

Policy and Planning Tools

Regulatory Tools

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Technical Tools

Financial Tools

Other Tools

The following web sites have a wealth of information:

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Brownfields

Brownfields are vacant, abandoned, or under-utilized commercial and industrial properties where fear of unknown environmental liability is an obstacle to redevelopment or improvement. Urban areas afflicted with industrial sites presenting potential liability for past environmental contamination by pollutants face economic and social penalties as tax revenues are lost, people and jobs leave for "greenfields," and vacant properties create hazards and eyesores.

EPA's Brownfields Initiative aims to empower communities through education and public/private partnerships to reclaim industrial sites in ways protective of human health and the environment. EPA encourages economic redevelopment through environmental cleanup. Cleaning up brownfield properties will help communities to eliminate potential health risks, improve the standard of living and help restore economic vitality to areas where these sites exist. Redevelopment of brownfields can be an important component of land use planning. Here are tools and information that can assist your community in encouraging redevelopment of brownfields and avoid new "greenfield" development. Also see Eco-Industrial Parks for more ideas on the redevelopment of Brownfields.

Policy and Planning Tools

Regulatory Tools

Financial Tools

Other Tools

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