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OTHER TYPES OF LOCAL LAND-USE CONTROLS

In addition to the subdivision and zoning regulations already described, there are a number of other controls that are not quite so widely used. Several are described here very briefly. In some cases these other types of controls are part of the zoning ordinance. In other cases they are separate.

Site-Plan Review

Typically, site-plan review applies to developments over a certain size. The community vests its planning or zoning agency with the responsibility of reviewing site plans for such considerations as internal circulation, adequacy of parking, and buffering from adjacent uses, and makes site- plan approval necessary before building permits may be granted. Site-plan review does not supersede zoning but rather is another layer of review. It is applied to commercial and multi-family development.

Architectural Review

In architectural review, building plans are reviewed for aesthetic considerations. A town with a predominantly colonial style of housing might perform a review to ensure that new development would be in keeping with the established style. Architectural boards of review are often found in older, upper-income residential areas where preservation of the past and of property values weighs heavily. They are also frequently found in new planned developments. Often they will become involved in what seem like small issues; for example, whether or not a satellite dish antenna can be placed in a yard or what colors are acceptable for the exteriors of houses. Feelings about review boards vary. Some applaud them for maintaining the visual quality of the town or development. Others regard them as a dead hand of conformity that makes the community a less interesting and stodgier place. There is a trade-off. If you want variety and spontaneity, you must risk some instances of bad taste.

 
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