Rural residential development has the potential to enhance the natural beauty and rural flavor of our towns and villages, or destroy it completely. Subdivision review is a valuable tool for local officials to ensure that this development protects and enhances the environment and rural resources. A Conservation subdivision is a unique form of subdivision that enables a community to preserve rural land while also allowing development to occur. A conservation subdivision differs from a conventional subdivision in that it puts preservation first. Valuable open space land is identified early in the review process and set aside as permanent conservation land.
In conjunction with a New York State Quality Communities grant and the assistance of the University at Buffalo Environmental Law Clinic, the Planning Department has prepared a model conservation subdivision ordinance for the municipalities in Cattaraugus County. Originally prepared by noted conservation planner Randall Arendt, this model ordinance can serve as a supplement to a community's existing subdivision provisions, allowing the community to review and adopt cluster subdivisions that permanently preserve vital rural land.
For further information on conservation subdivisions, please contact Planning.