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Conservation Design

Action 1: Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources through the subdivision or development process.

A Natural Resources Inventory of the yet undeveloped portions of Woodbury was completed in 1997. A total of 32 sites were analyzed. Within the next year, an Open Space Committee comprised of members of city commissions, residents at large and a City Council member studied all the sites and developed a recommended preservation plan for each area, ranging from protection through conservation easements, acquisition through park dedication during the development process, or outright city acquisition.

This preservation plan became the basis for successful open space referendums held in 1998 and 2005. Out of the 32 total sites, as of today 13 have been purchased or obtained through the development process in whole or in part. One additional site is protected through a conservation easement. While most parcels identified for purchase have been acquired, City staff continues to look for opportunities to add open space lands as development occurs.

Action 3: For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.

Municipal Code Sec 27 Division 4 is Protection of Woodlands and provides “Tree Protection Standards” for developing and non-developing properties. The tree ordinance requires that replacement trees be planted when trees are removed during the development process.

As stated in Sec 27-40 (m), there is an incentive to protect contiguous wooded areas that include a large proportion of significant trees, the city will allow the following:

Density transfer. Contiguous wooded areas shall be platted as outlots and dedicated at no cost to the city. These areas can be utilized for a density transfer or for a reduction in gross development area subject to area charges. Some or all of the density associated with the dedicated area may be transferred for use elsewhere in the project area at the sole discretion of the city consistent with an approved planned unit development in accordance with chapter 24, article IV. If allowed density for the outlot area is transferred elsewhere within the development, the outlot area will remain as part of the gross developable area for the purpose of calculating area charges, park dedication and other development fees. If the density transfer is not used, dedicated outlot areas will be subtracted from the gross development area for the purpose of calculating area charges, park dedication, and other development fees. Density calculations will be documented with a recorded document for future reference.

Unit bonus. Projects that provide for dedication of contiguous wooded areas to the city over and above normal park dedication requirements may be eligible for a density bonus in accordance with the city's adopted density bonus policy.

Action 5: Develop/fund a conservation easement program, such as a purchase of development rights program, in collaboration with a land trust.

The city holds conservation easements (although they did not fund them) and now does fee for title instead.