1Watershed and Wetlands Planning

Description

  1. Broadly conceived plans applicable to an area defined by an aquatic resource.
  2. Can be implemented at the county level:
    • Small watershed protection districts
    • County lake protection and rehabilitation districts
    • Soil and water conservation districts

At the municipal level:

  1. Zoning can help but is limited to boundaries of zoning districts.
  2. Natural resource ordinances: floodplain regulations, coastal zone protection, sedimentation and erosion controls.
  3. Comprehensive plans can designate watershed areas and establish conservation overlay districts with detailed standards or conservation easements.

Purpose

  1. To maintain water quality.
  2. Coordinate the various state and federal regulations governing water resources.
  3. To re-establish natural functions such as habitat, biodiversity and stormwater management.

Issues

Restricting time of use and development can be both politically and economically challenging.

Capacity Requirements

Multi-jurisdictional cooperation likely.

  • Cooperation among multiple land owners likely.
  • Extensive, time consuming research required.

Advantages

  1. Can be the basis for more comprehensive planning of larger landscapes.
  2. Can be used to leverage inter-municipal cooperation.
  3. Can be used to attract county and state resources.

2Resource-Specific Plans/ Natural Resource Inventory

Description

Enabled by the ability of the Comprehensive Plan to address resource protection, these are plans that are targeted to specific resources.

Purpose

To identify critical issues and unique opportunities around resource protection that are particular to a given location or community.

Issues

Capacity Requirements:

  1. More detailed and targeted
  2. Planning must be accompanied by more detailed technical studies, documentation and data.
  3. Cooperation among multiple land owners is likely.
  4. Multi-jurisdictional cooperation is likely.

Advantages

  1. Can be used to shape location and character of future development.
  2. Protect resources beyond what is typically provided for in the comprehensive plan.

3Critical Environmental Area Designation

Description

Identification and delineation of an area with fragile or threatened resources such as habitat, steep slopes, mature wooded areas, wetlands and watersheds.

Purpose

Protect natural resources and control development.

Issues

Capacity Requirements:

  1. Cooperation among multiple land owners likely.
  2. Technical studies are required to support policies with fact-based findings.

Advantages

  1. Provides a comprehensive approach for larger areas.
  2. Can protect large areas with higher review standards for development and land-use.