Local governments are adopting with increasing frequency local laws to facilitate low-impact development, ensure the construction of green buildings, and coordinate land use and transportation planning to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This builds on their progress over the past two decades in adopting an impressive number of local laws to protect natural resources. These include ordinances designed to protect trees, stands of timber, hillsides, viewsheds, ridgelines, stream beds, wetlands, watersheds, aquifers and water bodies, and wildlife habitat. At the same time, provisions designed to protect environmental features from the adverse impacts of development have been added to basic land use documents such as comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances. Traditional land use regulations, such as those governing subdivisions, cluster developments, and site plans, are being amended with environmental protection in mind.
John R. Nolon, Real Estate Law Review: Creating a Local Environmental Law Program,36 Real Est. L.J. 351 (2007), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/456/.