We all have them, whether they govern the number of houses allowed on a plot of land or provide guidance on where mailboxes should be placed on our property. With regard to natural resources, ordinances allow an additional layer of protection for our natural resources. Ordinances are typically enacted by local governments when additional legal authority is needed to shape the community, guide development, and ensure that our natural resources are present for future generations.

Several websites offer sample or model ordinances. These ordinances serve as examples which your community can use to craft their own ordinance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) both offer model and real world ordinances. The USEPA focuses on the following categories of ordinance: aquatic buffers, erosion and sediment control, open space development, stormwater control operation and maintenance, illicit discharges, and post construction controls. The CWP offers example lake protection and protection of wetland function ordinances. Links to both of these entities are included below. Additionally, several Indiana communities are revolutionary in protecting their natural resources. These include Porter County’s unified development ordinance, Kosciusko County Lakes Development ordinance, and Lake Monroe unified development ordinance.

Other resources:
Center for Watershed Protection model ordinance library
US Environmental Protection Agency’s ordinance guides
Porter County’s unified development ordinance
Kosciusko County Lakes Development Ordinance The language is in Section 3.11.11-Lake Access Developments.

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