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1. Conservation subdivisions preserve *50% to 70% or more of the buildable land, plus the wetlands, steep slopes and floodplains, while allowing the same number of homesites as conventional subdivisions. This is an innovative, efficient, no-cost, balanced approach to preserve our community's rural character and the valuable open spaces and natural resources your residents don't want to see disappear.
*In urban, sewered, high density areas zoned at 2-3-4 units per acre, preserving 40% open space, in addition to the unbuildable wetlands, floodplains, and steep slopes, is the norm. In rural, suburban edge areas at densities of 5 and 10 acres per dwelling, easily 70% (or more) of the land can be preserved.
Conservation subdivision design and New Urbanism can be hybridized to achieve the best results where public water/sewer are availalble and where the legal densities are in th 2-4 du/acre range.
2. This is NOT clustering. Clustering normally only preserves 25% to 30% of the land and this protected land often includes land that could not be built on, i.e. unbuildable wetlands, steep slopes and floodplains. Clustering uses the outdated method of pushing homes close together in pod-like arrangements.
Conservation subdivisions strategically place home sites for privacy and maximum value-the best views of open space.
3. Conservation subdivisions have the same overall density as zoning would allow with a conventional subdivision, no more, no less. The houses are simply rearranged to preserve over half of the buildable land.
4. Save Public Money. Conservation subdivisions reduce demand and costs for public land acquisition. The typically shorter street systems reduce the public cost of regular repaving every 7-10 years.
8. Although the intent may be to protect land, large lot residential zoning often wastes land. Low density development, such as 2, 5 and 10-acre lots, often mean that development will needlessly consume more productive farmland and woodland habitat with their large land-hog lots. Often large lots do not preserve natural lands or rural character and are simply large manicured lawns that will eventually be rezoned and split up.
10. Communities that adopt these standards (conservation subdivisions) are preserving an average of 62% of land each time a property is developed, according to the Natural Lands Trust, in Media, PA.
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