Sustainable Communities Focus on Long-Term Results & Quality of Life

Sustainable ThinkingSustainable communities start from the ground up, literally. Before building plans are made or funding is obtained, the first step is a plan. Each county or city has extremely strict regulations about what can be built and where to help guide future growth, sustainable land use and land development.

We are convinced that building sustainable communities are critical for good stewardship and economic development. Working toward sustainable community development in Florida puts the state in the driver’s seat for economic development and refocuses its residents and businesses on people, place, and profit, the triple bottom line of sustainability.

Sustainable Communities and Zoning

Zoning is more often than not considered the most important factor for any community. Zoning regulations help ensure Wal-Mart doesn’t become your next door neighbor and vice versa.  Zoning typically takes into factor land use, availability, and overall impact.

While one of the challenging issues of zoning is that it can be hard to change, sustainable rezoning is very possible. A property owner can request rezoning at any time, but it requires public hearings and overall approval from the City Council. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. From a sustainability standpoint, these official procedures are needed to ensure land is being used in the best way possible for the community. For private property owners looking to build or expand in areas that are not zoned for their needs, this can be frustrating.

Sustainable Land Use Builds Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities Planting TreesLand use is arguably the biggest factor that comes into play when looking at a community’s zoning guidelines. This defines the types of buildings, businesses, or residences that can occur in a certain area.

People typically don’t want a multi million dollar shopping center to erupt across the street from their own house. Best use comes into play wholeheartedly when rezoning an area is considered. How is the area currently being used? Is the land predominantly residential, commercial, industrial, or open space? These questions and many more typically fall into play when deciding the best land use for a sustainable community, which ultimately establishes the zoning parameters.

Planning for Sustainable Communities is not Rigid, it’s Pragmatic

Sustainable Communities AgricultureZoning regulations used to be much more rigid. This has started to change. Urban planners and land developers are now realizing that there may be a grey area in some communities. Having strict zoning regulations can sometimes stall out the economic and social growth of an area. Being sustainable as a community more often than not means change and flexibility.

Developing a sustainable Florida is extremely important for future growth and prosperity.