Agricultural Protection Zoning (APZ) preserves the availability of agricultural lands for farming and thus the agricultural base of the community by constraining non-agricultural development and land uses in designated areas.
Within an agricultural security area (ASA), a farm is entitled to special protection from condemnation and laws and ordinances that would unreasonably restrict farming operations. Local governments in Pennsylvania may establish ASAs but only in response to petitions from landowners interested in enrolling their land in an ASA.
Riparian buffers—forested or otherwise vegetated lands bordering water bodies—deliver tremendous water quality and other public benefits. Pennsylvania municipalities may ensure the protection and restoration of riparian buffers with their land use regulations.
Municipalities use zoning regulations to limit disturbance of steep slopes in order to prevent erosion, reduce the risk of dangerous landslides, and preserve scenic hillsides.
A tree ordinance regulates various aspects of tree maintenance, removal, and planting in a municipality, resulting in aesthetic and environmental benefits.