“There’s been a lot of talk and residents … concerned about how the city figures out that balance of property owners’ rights but then also the community’s desire to save greenspace and conserve what people love about Milton,” said Jason Wright, Milton’s communications manager.
On April 14, Milton City Council unanimously approved an agreement with long-time conservation professional Laurel Florio, a Milton resident, to serve as a consultant and help create the city’s first “green print” land use plan.
“Basically a green print plan is an open space preservation plan,”
Wright said. “It’s a survey of the undeveloped land and all sorts of environmental features.”
Florio has decades of experience as a consultant, legal counsel, land specialist and educator for several environmental protection organizations.
However, she is not the only professional aiding the city regarding conservation efforts. A group from the International City/County Management Association has also taken on a consultancy project finding innovative strategies for greenspace protection in Milton as part of its Leadership ICMA program. Wright said municipal management professionals from across the U.S. recently visited Milton, interviewed officials and staff and toured the city, and they will come back at a later date to present options for greenspace preservation based on best practices in other communities and factoring in the intricacies of Milton.
While Florio and the ICMA consultants will be working separately, they both will be contributing toward a similar goal.
“It’s all part of the same overall and overarching idea, but they’re different methods to try to get there,” Wright said.
The city is also in the middle of a five-month rezoning moratorium that was approved by city council in February. Wright said text amendments involving the zoning laws for certain residential districts will go before the city’s planning commission in late May and then to the mayor and city council for a vote in June.