Zoning – Open Spaces

Open space preservation

Modern zoning planning has recognized the virtue of preserving open spaces, not only by establishing parks and recreation areas, but also by preserving the rural character of certain parts of communities and restraining urban sprawl.  This can be accomplished in several ways.  Agricultural zoning prohibits the use of land for commercial, industrial and residential purposes.  Cluster zoning assigns a given amount of land a certain amount of open space, but allows the developer flexibility in arranging the density of his buildings.  One portion of the project would be intensely developed, with open space aggregated to better effect elsewhere.

The last several decades have seen increasing use of Planned Unit Developments (“PUD’s”).  A PUD allows mixed use (residential and commercial, along with public spaces) as part of a large, over-all development.  Under O.R.C. Sec. 519.021, a board of trustees may set standards for planned unit developments in its zoning code that do not apply to any particular property, but which can be invoked by a developer in his or her application for a zone change under O.R.C. 519.12.