Ask the City of Westfield to create green ordinances for new development

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Many people in Westfield are interested in the city adopting more conservation minded ordinances for planned developments.  Several years ago this was described as one of the future goals of the Westfield City Council and planners.  We as citizens think it is time to put some of these ideas into writing and incorporate them into the UDO.  We have come up with several things we think would improve the sustainability of future development in Westfield. 

1.      Mandate the use of 75% native plantings and non-invasive species in landscape plans

2.      Preserve current wooded areas and already existing trees by promoting more natural open space.  Preservation and increase of natural open space, wetland and wooded areas could be rewarded by adaptations in lot sizes or density increases in other parts of the development.

3.      Encourage the creation of community gardens within developments.  These are extremely popular where they are in place in other planned developments such as Centennial.

4.      Ask developers to not prohibit solar or geothermal heating on homes.  Reasonable standards could be in place but not prohibition.

5.      Require developers to return topsoil to home sites so homeowners can plant on their own land.

6.      Encourage the building of some LEEDs certified energy efficient homes or public structures such as clubhouses or community centers. 

 If done properly new development, could be more environmentally friendly and sustainable than the agricultural fields that they replace.  New development could be an opportunity for reforestation and open space that is beautiful as well as useable by people and wildlife.  New development could showcase energy efficiency and the true green initiative of Westfield.