Trends in human activity, both at global and local levels, are still headed in directions that are largely unsustainable. Yet a growing number of cities and towns are incorporating sustainable development principles in their planning and zoning efforts.
Misc. Planning Tools
A variety of other tools than can help planners & planning commissioners in their work.
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Designating areas where essential services, particularly sewer service, can be used is one of the opportunities local planners have to direct growth to locations that reinforce community goals. Kate Lampton explores how her town developed a sewer allocation ordinance.
Building codes often make it financially infeasible to rehabilitate older — often historic — buildings by requiring rehab work to meet the same standards as new construction. This approach is changing as states and localities are adopting more flexible building codes.
Too often new roadways have been designed to be wider and straighter, without much consideration being given to the character of the surrounding community. In recent years, however, there has been a gradual turn towards more thoughtful, “context sensitive” roadway design.
Land trusts provide an important resource for communities concerned about preserving open space and natural resources. How planning commissions and land trusts can work cooperatively.
Noted conservation planner Randall Arendt offers a framework for subdivision review that encourages the preservation of open space and natural areas, while enhancing the market value of development.
Transfer of development rights offers communities a way of saving environmentally sensitive areas, farmlands, historic landmarks, and other important resources. A look at how TDR programs work, and what makes some more successful than others.
Too frequently communities plunge into an exhaustive comprehensive planning process without first completing a much quicker “diagnostic study.” Joel Russell explores what’s involved in doing a diagnostic study, and how it can better focus long-range planning efforts.
In this series of three columns, Michael Chandler covers the basics of the planning commission’s role in putting together a recommended capital improvement program.
Michael Chandler discusses four steps involved in a community “visioning” process.
Almost everywhere we go, stand identically designed fast-food restaurants. A look at how communities can gain control over fast-food franchise design and see that it fits the character of the community.
By imagining a city, children are brought into the planning process. A brief report from Stanley King.
Attorney R.J. Lyman reviews the basics of performance guarantees, including surety bonds, letters of credit, and escrows.