Srrri Subdivision 053007

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Rural Brunswick Smart Growth

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Srrri Subdivision 053007

  1. 1. Rural Brunswick Smart Growth A Success Story in Beginning with Habitat Implementation
  2. 2. Have Traditional “Open Space” or “Cluster Approaches” benefited wildlife habitat? <ul><li>“ While there are benefits to conservation subdivisions, recently published research by Lenth and colleagues (2006) demonstrates that the ecological characteristics of clustered housing developments are more similar to traditional dispersed developments than they are to undeveloped sites ” </li></ul><ul><li>Linking Conservation and Land Use Planning, Defenders of Wildlife, April 2007 </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ Mid-level densities of one dwelling per 5 or 10 acres can accelerate habitat fragmentation … ” “ Identifying priority areas on the landscape for protection could help planners design multiple conservation developments so that they all contribute to protecting one large habitat patch, thus yielding greater benefits ” Linking Conservation and Land Use Planning, Defenders of Wildlife, April 2007
  4. 4. Original Brunswick OSD approach (ca. 1994) also has shown limited habitat benefit <ul><li>Requires set percentage of original parcel be dedicated as open space </li></ul><ul><li>Includes general language about open space qualities, but provides little guidance regarding what, where, and how </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently resulted in scattered chunks of relatively unusable land being set aside </li></ul>
  5. 5. RBSG: A slightly different approach <ul><li>Overlay zone that identifies citizen priorities for conservation up front </li></ul><ul><li>Works with existing subdivision ordinance, does not replace it </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizes avoidance, minimization, mitigation approach to maintain habitat contiguity and connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Does not mandate subdivision design </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for off-site land conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses non-subdivision development </li></ul>
  6. 6. Setting the Stage for RBSG
  7. 10. Included updated delineation of unfragmented habitat types
  8. 13. What? Who? The working group included: 2 town councilors, planning board member, conservation commission member, large land owner, realtor, consulting engineer, land trust representative, and a sportsman/hunter.
  9. 14. Public Outreach is Key <ul><li>Workgroup met monthly for 10 months </li></ul><ul><li>3 focus group meetings held with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local realtors and developers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homeowners in traditional subdivisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homeowners in OSD’s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public forum to hear comments (all landowners sent invitation) </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops with Planning Board and Council (all landowners sent invitation) </li></ul><ul><li>Landowners invited to meet with planner </li></ul>
  10. 15. Recommended Actions
  11. 21. RBSG: Results of the process
  12. 24. RBSG: New definitions required
  13. 39. RBSG: other issues <ul><li>Process is key! Keep landowners, developers, realtors, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS in loop at every step </li></ul><ul><li>In lieu fee considered, but rejected for political reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Concern over loss of property tax revenue addressed by assessor and comparison sales history </li></ul><ul><li>The “blueprint” developed through the process has helped with recent acquisition proposals and land trust strategic planning </li></ul><ul><li>Now being used as a component of “open space impact fee” proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Will be a criteria in Land for Brunswick’s Future scoring </li></ul>
  14. 40. FMI: http://www.brunswickme.org/planning/index.htm www.beginningwithhabitat.org Steve Walker Beginning with Habitat Program Coordinator 41 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333 207-287-5254 [email_address]

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