- Maintain natural resource acreage at 861 square feet per person (80 square meters per person). OR
- Maintain natural resource acreage at 11.5% or more of total jurisdictional land area.
Reference: STAR Communities V2 NS-3: Natural Resource Protection Outcome 1: Natural Resource AreasNatural resource areas include but are not limited to critical aquifer recharge areas; deserts and arid lands; fish or wildlife habitat, natural deltas or floodplains, steep slopes, natural parkland, forests, geologically hazardous areas, grasslands and prairies, habitats of endangered and threatened species, shorelines and their buffers, streams and their buffers and wetlands. Green spaces as defined under and / or provided under NS Credit: Green Spaces can be included within the Natural Resource Acreage.
1. Steep Slopes
- Do not permit development on slopes greater than 40% and do not disturb portions of the land area within 50 feet (15 meters) horizontally of the top of the slope and 75 feet (23 meters) horizontally from the toe of the slope.
- For undeveloped slopes from 26% to 40%, development can be permitted on 40% of the area.
- For undeveloped slopes from 15% to 25%, development can be permitted on 60% of the area.
- For previously developed slopes (above 15%) restore a minimum of 50% of the slopes with native vegetation or noninvasive adaptive plants within a period of 5 years.
Reference: LEED v4 ND SLL Credit: Steep Slope Protection
If construction is permitted on steep slopes (greater than 15%), adopt a regulation to the effect that development permits and building permits will be issued after reviewing the following for each city or community:
- A general site survey, topographic and land feature survey along with geotechnical evaluation.
- A grading plan that indicates a clear feasibility for roads, driveways and building envelop without massive manipulation of the site.
- A tree and vegetation plan.
- A drainage management plan.
- An erosion control plan that avoids massive manipulation of the site.
- An Environmental Inventory and Assessment to identify environmentally sensitive areas and features to be protected, and to measures avoid, minimize or mitigate environmental impacts of the proposed development and development activities.
Reference: LEED v4 ND SLL Credit: Steep Slope Protection
2. Agricultural Land and Food Production
Do not disturb prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 and identified in a state Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey (or local equivalent for cities or communities outside the U.S.).
Reference: LEED v4 ND SLL Prerequisite: Agricultural Land Conservation
If the development footprint affects farmland of any category, mitigate the loss by providing alternative area for farming such as rooftop farming or vertical farming in the ratio of 2:1. In addition, plan for farmer’s markets in residential areas which will be within 1/2-mile (800-meters) walking distance.
3. Vegetation and Habitat
- If the site has any threatened or endangered species or ecological communities, as identified during the ecosystem assessment, comply with an approved habitat conservation plan under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (or local equivalent for cities or communities outside the U.S.) for each identified species or ecological community.
- Conserve any Significant Habitat3 present within the area.
- Adopt or enforce an ordinance requiring control of listed top three invasive species or enact a preferred plant ordinance for private and public landscaping.
- Restore degraded vegetation and habitats within the area, identified during the Ecosystem Assessment. Restoration strategies must be developed based on Society for Ecological Restoration Science & Policy Working Group. 2002, The SER Primer on Ecological Restoration, Section 3, Attributes of Restored Ecosystems4.
References: SLL Prerequisite: Imperiled Species and Ecological Communities Conservation LEED v4 ND SLL Credit: Site Design for Habitat or Wetland and Water Body Conservation SITES v2 Prerequisite 4.2: Control and manage invasive plants SITES v2 Credit 4.4: Conserve healthy soils and appropriate vegetation SITES v2 Credit 4.5: Conserve special status vegetation SITES v2 Credit 4.8: Optimize biomass STAR Communities V2 Action 2: Policy and Code Adjustment
4. Aquatic Ecosystems
- Do not permit any development within limits specified below except for minor improvements or comply with the equivalent local or national regulations.
- Shorelines and coastal areas: Within 200 feet (61 meters) from normal high tide line.
- Floodplains, rivers and streams: A flood hazard area shown on a legally adopted flood hazard map or otherwise legally designated by the local jurisdiction or the state or entirely outside any floodplain subject to a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
- Wetlands: Within 50 feet (15 meters) of a wetland, except for minor improvements.
- Water bodies: Within 100 feet (30 meters) of a water body which is greater than 50 contiguous acres (20 hectares) and within 50 feet (15 meters) for waterbodies less than 50 contiguous acres (20 hectares).
- Restore degraded aquatic ecosystems identified during the Ecosystem Assessment. Restoration strategies must be developed based on Society for Ecological Restoration Science & Policy Working Group. 2002, The SER Primer on Ecological Restoration, Section 3, Attributes of Restored Ecosystems.
References: LEED v4 ND SLL Prerequisite: Wetland and Water Body Conservation SITES v2 Prerequisite 1.3: Conserve aquatic ecosystems SITES v2 Credit 3.6: Restore aquatic ecosystems
Demonstrate a local Watershed Health Index of greater than or equal to 70.
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