There are a number of different regulatory tools that can be used to help a community preserve it's character. Listed below are some of the most common. Please choose up to three that you feel you would support.
Ridge-line Protection - sometimes zoning is used to limit the amount of development that can occur on designated ridge-lines (and often hillsides) for example to prevent an entire ridge from changing from woods to housing developments. Limits are typically a larger lot size for each house; this simple approach does not prevent clear cutting of a ridge but often discourages it.
Transfer of Development Rights - this complex zoning tool allows property owners in areas that a community wants to protect, such as farmland, to sell their development rights to a property owner in an area of a community that can handle higher density development, usually where public water and sewer are available. The "sending" property owner gives up the rights to develop his property with, for example, houses, while the "receiving" property owner can develop his property with more houses than would otherwise be allowed. The "sending" property owner reaps the financial rewards by selling his development rights and still being able to use his land for other purposes (e.g. farming, forestry), while the "receiving" property owner is able to build more houses in an area better suited for such development. The Town decides where the "sending" and "receiving" zones are, as well as the maximum number of dwelling units (development rights) that can be transferred.
Cluster Residential Development - Today there are many forms of this zoning tool that encourage more environmentally responsible development designs by preserving a portion of a site in open space and allowing the same or usually a slightly higher number of housing units to be built on the remaining land, on smaller lots than are normally allowed. Ware has such regulations on the books, but Ware does not provide any incentives for developers to use them; this is a more creative way to encourage this form of development.
Traditional Neighborhood Development - this zoning tool allows new developments to be designed to mimic the "old fashioned" New England village pattern of development, often with a common green surrounded with houses on small lots, close together, and usually with retail, restaurants, and office uses as part of the design of the development.
Higher Density/Smaller Lots - this suggests allowing houses on lots that are smaller than currently allowed in Ware's zoning bylaw, including multifamily developments, creating more housing units (higher density) than are currently allowed. This encourages more compact development patterns and less sprawl.
Strip Commercial Development - this development pattern is characterized by commercial development, either individual establishments or in shopping or office centers, located in a row along a busy road. West Street in Ware is an example of this type of development pattern, especially between Vernon Street and Robbins Road.
Design Guidelines - these are guidelines that direct the architectural appearance of buildings and signs within specified areas of a community. This tool is becoming more popular in downtown and other historically rich areas of communities as a way to preserve the character of the built environment.