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Open Space Zoning and Conservation Design Developments


Open space zoning regulations are techniques used by communities to accommodate growth while preserving lakes, streams, wetlands, other natural features and other special features (e.g., historic landmarks and scenic views) that are important to the community. Open space zoning requires a certain percentage of a site to be preserved as open space to protect these resources.

There are four fundamental components of open space zoning:
1. Special site features are inventoried and mapped.
2. A significant portion of the site is protected as permanent open space.
3. Building envelopes are sited to respect special features and preserve the quantity and quality of open space on the site.
4. Viewsheds are protected by siting development to maintain a low visual impact, particularly along public roadways and waters.


Additional References

Municipality / OrganizationCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Macomb CountyMacomb CountyNative Vegetation Model OrdinanceClick here

Additional Ordinance Examples

MunicipalityCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Yankee Springs TownshipBarry CountyArticle VII: Open Space ZoningClick here
Whitewater TownshipGrand Traverse CountyOrdinance: Open Space PreservationClick here
Springfield Charter TownshipOakland CountySection 40-594: Cluster Housing RegulationsClick here