We will protect key environmental features and use practices that minimize the impact of urban development. Resource protection follows two tracks: maintaining certain environmentally sensitive areas in predominately open uses and minimizing the impact of neighboring development. Policies for areas such as riparian areas and floodplains will preserve the integrity and general open quality of these features. Specific requirements should be fashioned around the characteristics of these resources. For example, floodways should be left as permanent open space, and floodplain development should be avoided.

The parallel track addresses development practices in areas that affect environmental resources. Examples include reducing densities, intensities, and impervious surface of development near environmental resources; incorporating buffers into project design; and prohibiting uses that present pollution risks in important groundwater recharge areas. These practices are discussed more fully in the greenokc chapter.

Land development regulations should advance these practices with both performance requirements and incentives such as conservation development. Conservation development techniques preserve resources within a project area by maintaining openness of sensitive areas and transferring their development potential to other parts of the site.