Smart growth involves two main principles, creating incentives to increase compact development in some areas, and in turn, preserving open space in other areas. The New York legislature has imparted municipal governments with general authority to regulate land and preserve open space. In turn, several tools have developed which are at the disposal of municipal governments including, overlay zoning, floating zones, cluster development and state laws such as the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The use of these tools, along with proper training for state and local officials on the subject of smart growth, will render open space preservation less problematic.
John R. Nolon, Smart Growth: Community Planning Requires Protecting Open Space, New York Law Journal, June 21, 2000, at 5.