The steering committee for Howland Township may consider making land conservation part of its long-term comprehensive plan for the township.
The idea would need to be added to Howland's zoning code to be used, but the committee heard from Joe Looby of Santec Consulting about the impact of preserving open spaces in new developments.
The idea would create smaller development plots, but the excess land, instead of being developed, would be set aside in large open swaths that could be turned over to a homeowner's association or the township.
Looby said conserving land would fit in with the committee's goals of preserving open spaces and enhancing the quality of life.
"You've got a lot of nice, underdeveloped areas in the township," he said.
Zoning Inspector Mark Zuppo said conservation areas could be along Stillwagon Road, or in the Southeast, Northeast or Northwest quadrants of the township. He said these could be used for recreation among the residents or, if they were contiguous, connected by something like a bike trail.
Looby said the conservation areas could give a development more of a rustic look.
"You'd be driving by 75 or 80 homes, but you're only seeing two of them," he said.
Though there would still be the same amount of plots for developers, Looby said a possible drawback to the plan is the smaller lot sizes, which may not be as attractive to homeowners.
In other business, the committee heard from Looby, who said there could be federal money available to build roundabouts on township streets, as was discussed at a previous meeting. State Route 46 and Market Street and Route 46 and River were floated as possible candidates for roundabouts.
The steering committee has been working on the plan since last year. According to township administrator Darlene St. George, the committee will eventually vote whether to recommend the comprehensive plan to township trustees, who will use it as a guide for any future development in Howland.