Conservation Limited Development for Local Governments

PAS Memo — March-April 2019

By Wayne Feiden, FAICP


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A city wants to permanently protect most of a large tract of land as permanent open space while serving other city goals with smaller portions of the land. Various approaches have been suggested, from regulatory changes, city financial investments, and city partnerships with developers, affordable housing developers, land trusts, and neighborhood groups. What's the best option?

One possibility is conservation limited development, or simply limited development. This development model preserves a large portion of a tract of land for conservation while allowing limited development on some portion of that land. The land with the most important conservation values is preserved, and development typically covers a smaller area than allowed by regulations.

The March-April 2019 issue of PAS Memo introduces the conservation limited development concept and examines the roles local governments can play in encouraging or leading these projects to meet community goals.


Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 2019
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Wayne Feiden, FAICP
<p>Wayne Feiden, FAICP, is Director of the Center for Resilient Metro-Regions and Lecturer of Practice in planning at UMass, principal of Plan Sustain, Inc., and former Director ofPlanning &amp; Sustainability for the City of Northampton.&nbsp;His focus includes sustainability, resilience, revitalization, open space, alternative transportation, and public health.&nbsp;</p><p>Wayne&rsquo;s Rockefeller Bellagio residency (Italy), German Marshall Fund fellowship (Northern Ireland, England and Denmark), Fulbright Specialist fellowships (South Africa and New Zealand) and Eisenhower Fellowship (Hungary) all focused on sustainability, resiliency, and revitalization.</p><p>Wayne&rsquo;s research publications include four monographs (APA PAS Reports), on planning management, assessing sustainability, decentralized wastewater, and performance guarantees.</p>