Conservation Through Zoning

Our staff is well-versed in a host of conservation-minded zoning regulations. Whether you are looking for new subdivisions with open space, riparian ordinances, standards for compact, mixed-use villages, or a list of great shade trees, we can help.

For more than a decade, Natural Lands Trust has been selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to provide ordinances, site design, workshops, and training under the state-wide Growing Greener: Conservation by Design program. We can extend acquisition programs with land use ordinances that preserve land through the development process.

The resulting conservation subdivisions preserve more than half of the development parcel as open space, at little or no cost to the municipality. In 2010, we expanded Growing Greener’s offerings with a new commercial corridor zoning ordinance based on Senior Conservation Advisor Randall Arendt’s new book Envisioning Better Communities.

We have provided consulting services to 153 municipalities in 26 Pennsylvania counties. The communities in our region that have adopted Growing Greener: Conservation by Design ordinances are currently setting aside an average of 62 percent of the land in new developments as open space.

How Growing Greener: Conservation by Design Works
Using development to save land? It’s worked for dozens of municipalities in Pennsylvania. Here’s how.

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We can help with…

  • Writing conservation subdivision ordinances
  • Writing mixed-use village ordinances
  • Writing commercial corridor enhancement ordinances
  • Writing natural resource ordinances
  • Reviewing subdivision plans submitted by developers
  • Drafting sketch plans
  • Creating official maps
  • Leading workshops for municipal officials and advisors
  • Training on ordinance writing for professional planners

For more information, contact Ann Hutchinson, senior director of municipal conservation services, at 610-353-5587 ext. 230 or .

Case Studies

Find out how we have helped municipalities meet their open space goals through zoning.