The continued existence vernal pools and other sensitive environmental areas greatly depends upon local and state land use decisions. Practices such as Euclidian Zoning, where land uses are separated into different districts, usually fail to account for the protection of these sensitive areas. However, local governments in New York, using implied municipal power created by state legislation, have a variety of land use tools to help alleviate the destruction of environmentally sensitive areas. These tools include: overlay zoning, incentive zoning, conservation easements, floating zones, and transferring development rights. By using these tools within a well-integrated strategy, New York communities can effectively preserve these areas better than the Euclidian Zoning schemes of the past.
John R. Nolon, Flexibility in the Law: Reengineering of Zoning to Prevent Fragmented Landscapes, N.Y. L.J., Feb. 18, 1998, at 5, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/727/.