Two Ways to Plant Houses on Farmland

THESE two plans show how different the same piece of farmland can look, depending on the way it's developed. In Plan A, ``a uniform grid of large lots consumed all the undeveloped land, damaged wildlife and environmental integrity, and imposed a typically suburban development pattern on the former farm.'' In Plan B, the developer, ``by making good use of the open-space provision, was able to fit 28 houses on only 24 acres, leaving more than 100 acres as protected open space.... Lots along existing road frontage, utilizing common driveways ... reduce environmental and visual impact....'' The 18-foot subdivision road fits in with other rural roads in the area.

The farmer, who previously rented the property, now has a long-term lease agreement with the homeowners' association, which was deeded the remaining open space in perpetuity. From ``Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley,'' co-published by the Environmental Law Foundation and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 26 Trowbridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138, (617) 661-3016.

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