Activity 2: What should we do with the “lands in between”?

Within Hamilton County there are preserved lands which cannot be developed. These lands are held by governments, land conservancies, and private organizations. They make up approximately 17% of all the land in the County.

Past plans and recent public input indicate that having more transportation options is a priority that cuts across age groups, income levels and zip codes in Hamilton County.  Transportation-supported land also makes up around 17% of Hamilton County.

That leaves us with nearly 2/3rds of our County falling into what we are calling the “in-between” land. This is land which is not in preserve, nor is it supported by existing or planned transportation infrastructure. It consists of natural resources, vacant land, agricultural land, residences on large lots, and rural communities.

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Therefore, our first question for you is:

Where should development occur? 

Another area where the public felt additional policies or regulations are needed is in providing more transportation options. How would you complete the following statement?

When building new development we should…

The top most priority for which the public indicated they want new or stronger policies is natural resources. We mapped and analyzed four key natural resources across Hamilton County: flood plains and wetlands, agricultural lands, forested lands, and steep slopes.

Flood plains and Wetlands – Flood plains and wetlands have benefits including absorbing stormwater, filtering pollutants, and decreasing flooding. Flood plains and wetlands make up about 9% of all the land in Hamilton County. Our next question to you is:

How should we handle development in floodplains and wetlands?

Agricultural Lands – These lands have the best soils for hay, pasture, and cultivated crops. Again, these lands have benefits if left undeveloped such as a potential increase in locally grown foods and agriculture-related jobs.  Agricultural land makes up about 10% of all the land in Hamilton County.  Our question to you is:

How should we handle development on prime agricultural lands?

Forested Land Forested lands have benefits if left undisturbed including providing habitat, providing scenic beauty, and reducing erosion. Forested land makes up about 20% of all the land in Hamilton County.  

How should we handle development in forested lands?

Steep Slopes – Steep slopes have benefits, such as adding to our scenic beauty, if left undisturbed, and they can present some dangers if disturbed, most notably erosion. Erosion can also directly affect public safety by leading to land or rock slides.  Steep slopes make up about 17% of all the land in Hamilton County.

How do you think we should handle development on steep slopes? (Note that the options are different than the previous three questions.)

Please answer these last three questions to help us learn a little bit about you. We will use this information to make sure we are getting feedback from a diverse group of people.

What is your age?

What is your household income?

What is your zip code?

Thank you for taking our survey.

After you click submit, you will return to the Virtual Workshop Main Page.

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