Sustainable Landscaping

Sustainable landscape design creates spaces that will sustain through the ages with minimal negative impact on the environment. Sustainable landscape architecture is the practice of creating spaces that last longer, have lower maintenance requirements and will maintain their attractiveness without breaking the bank [source: University of Minnesota].

Rural Landscape Design Restrictions

Local communities, planning and zoning boards, state and federal laws and project owners create rural landscape design restrictions. Generally, these restrictions protect natural elements, preserve rural spaces and govern future development while maintaining rural sanctity. In short, they help maintain the appeal and natural resources of rural areas while providing balance for present and future growth.

Comprehensive design plans are created by interested parties to explore development avenues while maintaining the integrity of the rural landscape.

Restrictions are enforced using planning guidelines, which may include elements such as:

  • Land use
  • Transportation developments
  • Community service areas and facilities
  • Agriculture and rural conservation planning
  • Conservation of natural resources, wildlife and sensitive areas
  • Mineral resources
  • Parks and recreation
  • Housing
  • Economic development
  • Cultural and historical preservation
  • Community design and appearance [source: Talbot County Comprehensive Plan]

Restrictions defined through local zoning ordinances, which are development regulations set forth in local statutes and charters, are enforced by the planning commission. These restrictions and guidelines ensure the safety of waterways, rural lands, local animals, flora/fauna species and habitats [source: Talbot County Comprehensive Plan].

While restrictions protect rural area resources, they also help to create sustainability and keep these areas attractive. Defining how much development can occur in any given area helps keep rural developments attractive to those who want to move out of town and live in quieter neighborhoods. They also help protect our parks, forests, streams and recreation areas by limiting the footprint of developing areas.

Development according to set guidelines can be pretty challenging at times. Read on for a rural landscape design planning overview.