Land Choices: Changing Development in America
Conservation Subdivisions

Conventional Subdivision (above left with 2 acre house lots) vs. Conservation Subdivision
(above right with just under 3/4 of an acre, 30,000 sq. ft., house lots) with the
SAME number of home sites (55) on a 130 acre site.

Preserve your community's property values, family values and
community values. Which would you choose for your community?

Advantages to communities

Conservation subdivisions preserve *50% to 70% or more of the buildable land
Conservation subdivisions preserve a much higher quality and percentage of land than "clustering"
Protects clean water in lakes and rivers by eliminating or reducing storm water runoff and pollution
Conserves groundwater and reduces flooding: Natural areas infiltrate water
Clean air: Most trees and vegetation are left intact, helping combat climate change
Creates community-wide interconnected network of protected meadows, fields and woodlands
Saves money: Preserves land at no cost to your community
Same number of home sites as conventional subdivision development
Fair to developers and landowners: Proven more profitable, faster selling and less costly
Beneficial to homeowners: Higher home appreciation rates
Trails through natural lands: Children and adults exercise, improve health and connect with nature

*In rural, suburban edge areas at densities of 5 to 10 acres per dwelling, easily 70% (or more) of the buildable land can be preserved, in addition to the unbuildable wetlands, floodplains, and steep slopes. Conservation subdivisions can be used in areas served by public utilities (sewer, water) where underlying density is higher, but open space percentages would be correspondingly lower. In urban, sewered, high density areas zoned at 2-3-4 units per acre, preserving 40% of the buildable land is the norm.

Images courtesy Randall Arendt, "Conservation Design for Subdivisions", Island Press, 1996.

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