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Planning & Zoning in Clark County

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Planning & Zoning in Clark County Reply with quote

RT Supporters are encouraged to attend the public meetings on planning and zoning, Railtrails are greenways and should be considered.

Planning and zoning defines green space for Clark County developers
Winchester Sun, Published on Wednesday, June 7, 2006 1:26 PM EDT
By Brittany Griffin/Sun Staff Writer

Developers in Clark County are required to include an allotment of open space in their plans, but the county planning and zoning commission wants to better define what open space or “green space” is and how it should be measured.

The commission discussed the new requirements at its regular meeting Tuesday evening at the courthouse.

Open space has to be areas of land or water set aside for public or private use, and can include such items as parks, plazas, landscaped areas, gardens, walkways, organized sporting and recreational areas or simply open wooded areas.

Developments that propose 25 units or more must, as a whole, have a contiguous open space of 5,000 square feet, running at least 50 feet in length and width. This means that the developer cannot include a meandering trail that is barely wide enough to walk through as open space, and also cannot “spot” the developed area with pieces of green space. It has to all be connected.

Each individual lot within the development, if that whole development meets the initial requirement of 25 units or more, must have at least 1,000 square feet of space open, or 10 percent of the total lot, whichever number is less.

Developers are not allowed to phase the development to avoid the requirements, such as proposing a development with 15 units one year and then two years proposing another 15 units to be added to the development.

“We need to see the whole development plan,” explained Commissioner Russ Coleman.

A key point of these requirements is that no more than 50 percent of the open space can be in "floodplains, wetlands, steep slope areas, utility easements, stormwater management facilities, etc." For example, the developer cannot suggest 5,000 contiguous square feet of open space with 75 percent of it being undesirable, unusuable space, such as flood plain or wetland.

In addition to the open space, the proposal also requires that at least 5 percent of buildable land be within one “formal open space,” which is specifically defined as an open wooded area with no formal layout, set aside for public recreation.

Half of the total open space must be bounded by right-of-way or buildings, and the open space must also be approximately a five-minute walk, although this distance was tentatively set, from all of the units or lots. Those requirements are to insure that developers cannot include the right amount of open space on the edge of a development, in an area where none of the residents can easily access it or use it.

The proposed definitions of open space at last night's meeting were not part of a formal reading, Blanton explained in an interview after the meeting, but were brought up just to stimulate public discussion.

“We just thought we'd go ahead and get it formally on the table,” he said.

The open space proposal could receive a formal first reading at the next meeting in July, depending on public comment, he said.

(Sent in by Roy Fuggitt, Clark Co.)
Posted by Dixie Moore, Secretary KRTC
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