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Martin 9/12 Calendar (& City of Stuart)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Glossary of Terms

acr_buttonBuilt Environment: “The built environment encompasses all of the buildings, spaces, and products created or modified by people.” 1

Carrying Capacity: The optimum demand for system sustainability or the maximum demand a system can support without serious compromise or collapse.2

  • Translation: Local government will determine how many human resources a specific area will contain. A higher density of people (per square foot) means that local government is efficiently fulfilling the goal of the master plan.

Clustering: A Development design technique that concentrates buildings on a part of the site to allow the remaining land to be used for agriculture, recreation, common open space, and preservation of environmentally sensitive features.2

Comprehensive Plan: The Plan provides a legally recognized framework for making decisions about land use and other planning and policy decisions. However, it is fundamentally a policy document. "The policies are required by the GMA (Growth Management Act) to be implemented through the use of such regulatory tools as zoning and subdivision ordinances, as well as other innovative techniques. These regulations must be developed and maintained in accordance with the goals and policies of this comprehensive plan."3

"The comprehensive plan, once viewed primarily as an advisory document to the local governmental body, is in many states becoming a legal, binding document as well as a prescription for future development patterns."4

Concurrency: A technique in which the facilities and services necessary to meet the demands of new development are put in place concurrently with the development. Use of this technique is meant to ensure development will locate where services are available within the urban service area. The State of Florida requires that all 457 local governments implement concurrency for water and sewer systems, stormwater management, solid waste collection and disposal, parks and recreation, and transportation.5

Core Area: A "Wilderness Area" set aside for animal and plant populations. Human residences are not permitted, although scientific study areas will be allowed.

  • Translation: Core areas are one element of the "Wildlands Project" that calls for the setting aside of 50% of the land mass of North America as habitat for wild animals. Core areas will exclude human intrusion and be surrounded by "buffer zones" where limited human residences may be permitted. Core areas will be connected by "corridors" so that animal populations in one core area may have unfettered access to animal populations in other core areas. This is a fifty-year plan and it is already finding implementation in state laws. Refer to our web page on THE WILDLANDS PROJECT

Cost Burdened Household: A household that spends 30 percent or more of its income on housing.6

Cumulative Impact: The total Impact which results from the impact of the individual action under consideration when added to the impacts of the past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions.7

Density: The number of families, individuals, dwelling units, or households per unit of land.8

Density bonus: Granting a developer additional square footage or additional housing units beyond that authorized in the zoning ordinance in exchange for the provision or preservation of an amenity at the same site or at another location.8

DEVELOPMENT: An activity which materially alters or affects the existing conditions or use of any land.9

Development Fees: Charges imposed by municipalities on developers as part of the effort to provide Affordable Housing.7

Development Rights: The nature and the extent to which Land, including the air space above and subsurface resources, may be developed under Zoning and other Development Regulations.10

Easement: A legal conveyance that sets forth certain restrictions or that grants certain rights on the use and development of property, sometimes referred to as a deed restriction. Easements may be purchased from the property owner or donated by the owner to an agency (for example, state, county and municipal governments, some Environmental Commissions, charitable organizations and private land trusts,etc.).The holder of an easement agrees to perform periodic inspections and to take legal action, if necessary, to ensure that easement provisions are met. Easements run with the land and are generally granted in perpetuity, but may be of limited term.10

Economic Development: Linking the term "sustainability" to describe the goal of joining economic development with ecological health.11

"One of the objectives of Agenda 21 is to integrate environmental issues to development policies. Considerations were also given to the effects of economic activities on the environment and the effects of environmental degradation and depletion to economic activities. In short, Agenda 21 stresses that economic policies should be held accountable for whatever effects it brings to the environment. The new concept emphasizes the importance of integrating natural resources constraints and environmental effects in measures of economic development. Thus, there is a need for environmental accounting."

"Environmental Accounting is short for environmental and natural resource accounting (ENRA). It is likewise termed as 'green accounting,' 'resource accounting,' and 'integrated economic and environmental accounting'"

"Environmental accounting is a relatively new concept which aims to include in the traditional measurement of economic development the cost of using the environment as inputs to production and as a sink for wastes."

From the point of view of environmental accounting, land, water, and air are treated as assets that are used in the production of goods and services of a country. Environmental accounting therefore estimates the costs for the use of natural resources and its environmental functions and shows separately actual expenditures for protecting and preventing the decline in the quality of the environment.12

Functional Integrity: The ability of a system to continue to operate as a viable whole without excessive outside support. (See Carrying Capacity)13

  • Translation: All human population centers will be totally self supporting - producing all air (planting trees), power, food, etc. and will recycle everything - preventing anything made by man from contaminating beyond the human zone. "...a sustainable community is one which provides all of its own needs for air, water, land (or food and fiber), and energy resources within the confines of its own site."14 (Quote is from "A Comprehensive Urban Regenerative Process" submitted to the United Nations Habitat II Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey by the School of Architecture, Washington State University. The plan won one of three gold metals from the United Nations.) Check the web archive for this plan at: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.arch.wsu.edu/information/sustain/home.html

Governance: "Governance is not government - it is the framework of rules, institutions, and practices that set limits on the behavior of individuals, organizations and companies" 15

Green Business: A business, such as Remanufacturing and Demanufacturing, that uses raw materials from renewable sources, including recycled materials, generates minimal emissions through the use of renewable energy resources, and produces products that are either environmentally benign or that mitigate specific environmental problems.16

Green Infrastructure: means the natural resources and systems including trees, streams, open space, and other Land Assets, which form part of the foundation for community development.16

  • Translation: This statement, in a most profound way, references a new world view that will totally alter the structure of society. It is the inclusion of private assets: trees on your property, the creek that runs through it, how much open space the local committees determine you must have. Notice that "Land Assets" is underlined, emphasizing everything that deals with land, is falling into a "system" that must be controlled.

GREEN TRANSPORT PLAN: Plan by businesses or other organizations which define the steps being taken to ensure that specified levels of travel by employees and customers are made by walking, cycling, bus and rail.17

  • Translation: You will be free to utilize the transportation that government and or business suggest that you use.

Greenway: A region wide linear corridor of permanently preserved public and private land linking the state's urban, suburban and rural areas, public recreation areas or environmentally sensitive areas. Parts of greenways are established as scenic and recreational open space, but parts are also set aside for farming, wildlife habitat and other non-recreational uses. Trails often coincide with greenways, but parts of greenways may not permit through public access and not all Trails are part of regional systems. A Greenbelt may function as part of a greenway or vice versa.16

Growth management: The use by a community of a range of techniques to determine the amount, direction, rate and type of growth desired and to channel that growth into designated areas.8

Impact: The effects of an action on particular resources or conditions. It includes Cumulative Impact , Direct Impact and Indirect Impact.18

Impact Assessment (Impact Fee): A charge made to the developer based on the perceived negative impact his actions will have affecting the environmental integrity of the property, viewscape, etc.

Indirect Impacts: Effects which are caused by the action and are later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably foreseeable. These may include growth inducing effects and related changes in the pattern of land use, population density or growth rate.18

  • Translation: "Growth inducing effects" could be something as simple as spreading fertilizer on your land. Therefore fertilizing your lawn or crop can become criminal. The fertilizer may wash into a stream, be carried to a river and cause pollution. In essence, it will be necessary for the landowner to examine any action and try to predict any negative impact it might have if he wants to avoid confrontation with the environmental police.

Infill Development: The Development of new housing or other buildings on scattered vacant sites in a built up area.18

Inter Basin Transfer: The transfer of water from one watershed to another.18

Interjurisdictional Agreement: A contractual or other formal agreement between two or more political jurisdictions that results in a cooperative action or activity.19

International Biosphere Reserve: A designation conferred by the United Nations (thus the term international) and the Wildlands Project that recognizes areas on Earth that are to be preserved as natural habitats for plant and animal species and populations.19

Large Contiguous Area: When applied to Habitat, means the area of undisturbed land required to maintain a desired community of plants and animals. It assumes a configuration which minimizes the length of the perimeter of the area. When applied to farmland, large contiguous area means the amount of contiguous farmland usually considered necessary to permit normal farm operations to take place on a sustained basis.19

Mixed-use Building : A building with two or more uses, such as retail and services on the ground floor and office or residential on upper levels.20

Mixed-use Development : An area or tract of land with several different uses such as, but not limited to, residential, office, manufacturing, retail, public, or entertainment, in an integrated, Compact, pedestrian-oriented form. Mixed-use developments generally include Mixed-use Buildings.20

Nonconforming: Amortization: a method of eliminating nonconforming uses* (usually minor structures) by requiring the termination of the nonconforming use after a specified period of time, which is generally based on the rate of economic depreciation of the use or structure.21

Nonconforming Activity: an activity that is not permitted under the zoning regulations or does not conform to off-street parking, loading requirements, or performance standards.21

Nonconforming Building: any building that does not meet the limitations on building size or location on a lot for its use and district.21

Nonconforming by Dimension: a building, structure, or parcel of land that is not compliant with the dimensional regulations of the zoning code.21

Nonconforming Lot: a use or activity which lawfully existed prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment of an ordinance but that fails to conform to the current ordinance.21

Nonconforming Use: a use (or structure) that lawfully existed prior to the adoption or amendment of an ordinance but that fails to conform to the standards of the current zoning ordinance.21

Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollution being added to the environment from diffuse sources, such as on-site Wastewater Systems, Stormwater runoff practices, underground storage tanks, overuse of fertilizers and pesticides and litter. It is distinguished from point sources of pollution which come from a single point such as a smoke stack or a pipe that discharges effluent into a stream or other water body.22

Official newspaper: A newspaper of general circulation, designated by a government unit for the publication of its official meetings, notices statements of accounts.23

  • Translation: The governments official propaganda publication -- hardly distinguishable from most daily newspapers these days. If you want the truth, try the web and look for "property rights" pages.

Performance Standards: Zoning regulations that permit uses based on a particular set of standards of operation rather than on particular type of use. Performance standards provide specific criteria limiting noise, air pollution, emissions, odors, vibration, dust, dirt, glare, heat, fire hazards, wastes, traffic impacts, and visual impact of a use.24

  • Translation/example: Cranking your automobile during an unauthorized time period could violate the "emissions performance standards". Violating the "emission standard" or one of the other categories could result in a "nonconformance ruling" and condemnation of property and a cease and deceased order. See "nonconforming"

Planned unit development: The simplest form of PUD, which may be termed a cluster zoning or density transfer PUD, maintains the overall density of a development, for example, by allowing an increase in the density of the housing in one part of the PUD in return for setting aside open space elsewhere in the development. (page 52); One of the basic premises of the PUD is that planning is best done at the "community" or "neighborhood" level, rather than at the level of the individual lot. This results in applying prevailing density regulations to the project and parcel of land as a whole rather than to each lot and component of the project. In other words, a PUD allows "density zoning" (page 53); Property within a PUD usually is sold by the developer on either a common ownership basis or to individual owners in fee, subject to restrictive covenants on each owner's use of the land. These ownership forms are frequently mixed within a PUD. The owners are subsequently required to pay collectively for the maintenance of the PUD's common areas, such as recreational areas and, potentially, roads. A board of directors, which may delegate managing duties to managing agents, supervises land use within an operating PUD.25

  • Translation: If the preceding sounds confusing to you, it is. Essentially what is happening is that planned restrictions on individual ownership decisions are being put in place in advance to ensure compliance to sustainable indicators down the road.

Planning: "Planning is the term used for a branch of public policy which encompasses various disciplines which seek to order and regulate the use of land in an efficient way and explores several aspects of the built and social environments of counties, municipalities and communities."26

Population Density: The total number of residents per total area of land, excluding water bodies.26

  • Translation: Self explanatory. One should keep in mind that it is a term being widely used in comprehensive planning schemes and its use should send up red flags.

Precautionary Principle (PP): This principle states that if the impacts on the environment from a policy or project are significant or not fully understood, that there should be measures put in place to prevent environmental detriment.  In some cases, this may mean that the policy or project should not go ahead.17

  • Translation: This policy statement is from a local community's Comprehensive Plan. Under this policy a local government would have the authority to prevent you from taking an action that may harm the environment - fertilizing your lawn - this action may raise the nutrient level in nearby streams and cause nature to be unbalanced. All communities will have this authority after globalization is complete. The PP is Principle 15 from the Earth Summit which President Bush endorsed in 1992 and the United States is currently implementing.27

Responsibility for Choice: People should pay the fullest identifiable costs of their choices. For the market to work efficiently, the price of anything should reflect its production cost, including land, labor and capital (including the depreciation of natural capital).28

  • Translation: Represents a value added tax system. Every part of the environment -- trees, bugs, animals, land, rock, etc. will in the beginning be assigned a dollar value, later this will likely become a numerical credit system. Cutting a limb, harming a bug will reduce the value that your assigned assets contribute to the environment. You therefore must pay a penalty (perhaps reduced credits) or mitigate for harming the ecosystem.

Revitalization: The holistic restoration of the physical and social components of a Distressed area.29

Scenic Corridor: A publicly accessible Right-of-way and the views of expanses of water, farmland, woodlands, coastal wetlands, or other scenic vistas that can be seen from the right- of-way.26

Smart Growth: "Smart growth" describes the application of the sustainable development concept to land use issues. Smart growth means smart management of resources in both growing and declining communities. Smart growth, like sustainable development, is fiscally prudent and environmentally, economically and socially sound while enhancing the choices people have for housing, jobs, recreation and transportation. The long-term needs of people, business and the environment ultimately define what is smart growth and sustainable and what is not.30

  • Translation: Growth that is not regulated, endorsed and approved will not be allowed. The environmental impact will be a controlling factor. "Managed growth" is frequently used in conjunction with or in lieu of "smart growth."

Social Environment: “Sustainable 'Social' Environment” “The complex network of real and virtual human interaction … which operates for reasons of tradition, culture, business, pleasure, information exchange, institutional organization, legal procedure, governance, human betterment, social progress and spiritual enlightenment, etc.”31

Special Resource Area: An area or Region with unique characteristics or resources of statewide importance which are essential to the sustained wellbeing and function of its own region and other regions or systems -- environmental, economic, and social -- and to the quality of life for future generations.32

Traffic Calming: means using physical devices to reduce traffic speed and volume while maintaining mobility and access for the purpose of balancing the needs of motorists with those of pedestrians, bicyclists, playing children and other users of "street space."33

Transportation Demand Management: Strategies aimed at reducing the number of vehicle trips, shortening trip lengths, and moving trips from peak hours to hours with excess capacity. These strategies encourage the use of transit, carpools, vanpools, bicycling, and walking, and typically focus on the journey-to-work. They also include efforts to provide housing close to jobs to shorten trip lengths. These strategies usually require the joint cooperation of developers, employers, and local governments.33

Trip: A single or one-way vehicle movement to or from a property or study area. Trips can be added together to calculate the total number of vehicles expected to enter or leave a specific land use or site over a designated period of time.33

Urban Growth Boundary - UGB: "The urban growth boundary (UGB) marks the separation between rural and urban land." "Land inside the UGB supports urban services such as roads, sewer, water, parks, schools and fire and police protection that create thriving places to live, work and play."34


  • Translation: Because services such as roads, sewer, water, etc. will not be supplied to land on the outside of the UGB it will become worthless, to be bought up at give-away prices by the environmental NGOs (non-governmental organizations) - a taking of ones property made possible through the actions of local government. Property on the inside of the line will become so valuable that only the wealthy elite will be able to afford desirable locations. People will be packed like sardines in a can. "Density" levels will rise to whatever numbers the social planners decide is appropriate.

Viewshed: The land area and its vegetation and structures that can be seen from a point, path or route, such as the viewshed of a Scenic Corridor.35

  • Translation: Any alteration to the your private property, such as building a structure, modifying a structure, or altering the landscape in any manner that is visible from a scenic corridor must receive the approval of a "viewshed committee." "Viewshed committees" are already in existence in many parts of the country.

Wildlife Corridor: Protected land running between areas of Habitat of significant wildlife communities, for the purpose of effectively extending the size of each area.36


1National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

2Appendices page 319 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan" (This appendices is a PDF file and you may have to download it to open it.) 

3Martin County, Florida. 

4Brown & Hofmeister Attorneys at Law quoting Texas Statutory Basis Chapter Local Government § 219.005.II. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26494838/Comprehensive_Plans.pdf

5"Preparing an Energy Element for the Comprehensive Plan: A South Carolina Local Government Planning Guide"- Glossary

6Appendices page 320 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

7Appendices page 321 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

8 Washington Area Housing Partnership

9"From policy to reality: model ordinances for sustainable development" published by the State of Minnesota page 56.

10Appendices page 322 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

11"Living with the Future in Mind" New Jersey http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/sustainable-state/

12 "THE ECONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT" National Statistical Coordination Board http://www.nscb.gov.ph/peenra/Publications/Pamphlets/Pamphlet%20English%20Version.PDF

13Appendices page 323 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan" http://www.state.nj.us/osp/plan2/p2full/p2contac.htm

14MODELING SUSTAINABLE INDICATORS http://www.arch.wsu.edu/09%20publications/sustain/modlsust.htm

15United Nations Human Development Report for 1999, page 8 http://www.pogar.org/publications/other/undp/hdr/1999/hdr-e.pdf. Journal of Religious Ethics "MAKING A CASE FOR THE COMMON GOOD IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY" page 160 definition is drawn from the United Nations "Human Development Reports"

16Appendices page 324 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan" http://www.state.nj.us/state/planning/docs/interimstateplan033199.pdf

17The Clackmannanshire Local Comprehensive Plan http://www.clacksweb.org.uk/property/structureplan/chapter7/

18 Appendices page 326 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

19 Appendices page 327 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

20Appendices page 328 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

21Land-Use Lingo: A Glossary of Land-Use Terms for Staff of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource

22Appendices page 330 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

23 Page 182 "Under Construction: Tools and Techniques for Local Planning" Published by the State of Minnesota Room 300 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 5515. http://www.mnplan.state.mn.us/Report.html?Id=2910

24THE CALIFORNIA GENERAL PLAN GLOSSARY http://www.cproundtable.org/

25 http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/smart_growth

26 Appendices 331 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

27Rio Declaration on Environment and Development http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?ArticleID=1163&DocumentID=78&l=en

28Page 73 "Under Construction: Tools and Techniques for Local Planning" Published by the State of Minnesota Room 300 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 5515. http://www.mnplan.state.mn.us/Report.html?Id=2910

29 Appendices 333 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

30The state of Minnesota http://www.lpa.state.mn.us/links/smartgrowth.html

31EU 2004 Working Group on Urban Environment Research II - Discussion Overheads http://www.fireox-international.com/sustain/SDIeuWGresearch_DeepStructure.pdf

32Appendices 334 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

33Appendices 336 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

34 Portland, Oregon Metro government http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=277

35 Appendices 337 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"

36Appendices 338 "The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan"


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