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Zoning for Source Water Protection
This presentation will be about zoning for source water protection. Zoning is a practice of land use management developed by municipal or county government commissions along with planners, engineers, scientists, and other professionals that aims to improve sustainable growth for communities. Most developed areas in the United States are subject to zoning regulations administered at the local level. Zoning regulates development and use spatially so that incompatible uses are separated, public health is protected, and environmental and cultural resources are conserved.
Zoning has been successfully implemented toward the protection of source water in communities throughout the country and stands to offer an effective method for source water protection on a broader scale. A popular way to implement zoning for source water protection is the establishment of overlay zones. An overlay zone is a zoning district which is applied over previously established zoning districts, imposing additional standards and criteria in addition to those of the underlying zoning district. In regard to source water protection, an overlay zone can be defined spatially by watershed boundaries, riparian corridors, and/or aquifer recharge zones, establishing protections exactly where they are needed. Additionally, as it is chiefly the purview of local government, zoning as a method of source water protection directly engages stakeholders in the community as the development of zoning through local commissions offers a forum for free discussion and exchange of ideas between government officials, commissioners, land owners, and other interested parties in an open, transparent process.


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