Land-use Modeling: Accommodating Growth While Conserving Biological Resources in Dutchess County, New York
In an ideally planned community, environmental planners might focus efforts on reintroductions of native species, environmental education for schoolchildren, or an infinite variety of other proactive conservation efforts. However, most municipalities fortunate enough to employ environmental planners have an excessive work load characterized by immediate problems, often the result of inappropriate development. Even community master plans tend to leave too much latitude for spontaneous planning. The land-use model is a community education tool designed for use by local planning boards and town boards, conservation advisory-commissions, developers, and interested citizens. The "Sensitive Environments Index" being developed will list natural resource constraints which, when they co-occur on an area of a proposed site, should be excluded from consideration for development. Each constraint layer will be justified with references to scientific data and case studies from other communities.