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.
Download the model ordinance. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.
For further information on conservation subdivisions, please contact James Isaacson, Senior Planner at (716) 938-2320.