By the time a developer submits plans for a commercial or residential development, it is often too late to protect precious habitat or farmland. If there are large tracts of undeveloped land in your area, it is a good idea to find out what regulations or ordinances govern their development. Consider forests, stream and river habitats, open space, and other community assets.
Unless the community has already established environmental protection ordinances or if the land it protected by county, state, or federal regulations, once the property is zoned for a use, there is little in the larger scheme that can be done to protect habitat or other desirable community assets. The developer's planners and engineers generally design and make development decisions based upon the developer’s goals.
1. Contact your local planning and zoning or development department to review existing ordinances. Many municipalities have these regulations available online.