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Wood River Land Trust Develops Program for Managing Growth for Conservation
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The Wood River Land Trust is striving to use smart growth planning to preserve the Wood River Valley’s quality of life.
   
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Wood River Land Trust is developing a new Community Planning program that involves conservation, sustainable growth and quality of life in the Wood River Valley.

This year’s priorities will look at:

Evaluating measures to decrease the number of wildlife vehicle collisions on State Highway 75.

Encouraging a revamp of the County’s Transfer of Development Rights program to incorporate a bank, communications hub, and the south valley cities.

Evaluating the nexus between new market-rate development, job generation, and community housing needs.

The WRLT will work with local jurisdictions to examine how land use planning affects conservation goal .

The program’s five focus areas—habitat conservation, water availability, transportation mobility, community housing, and livability— are distinct yet complementary to each other, according to Community Planning Director Cece Osborn.

Zoning for different land uses and housing types, for example, affects transportation mode choice as well as use of natural resources like water. Markets driven by housing demands and hamstrung by low density zoning encourages sprawling development that compromises conservation.

“Regional coordination is happening successfully, up and down the valley in a variety of realms,” said Osborn. “The new program will help show community members where and how that is happening. Plus, what they can do to help.”

WRLT Executive Director Amy Trujillo calls community planning another tool in the box to manage growth.

“Planning decisions shape a community. Planning influences whether a community’s design and development patterns will threaten or protect healthy open spaces, in turn affecting the quality of life for the people in it,” she said.

To learn more, visit https://www.woodriverlandtrust.org/community-planning

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