The NRI is a valuable land use planning tool as well as an educational resource that documents aspects of the Town's diverse natural and cultural resources. The inventory provided an essential tool for planning and zoning boards, building departments, and highway departments by officially identifying sensitive land, water, and cultural resources. It discusses development considerations for the planning and zoning boards, laying a foundation for land-use planning and decision-making, zoning considerations and municipal policy guidance, as well as environmental conservation. In addition. the NRI provided property owners, developers, and their consultants with the information they can use in considering the impacts that projects might have on the Town's natural resources. Reviews and approvals can be expedited by addressing the natural resources during initial project planning and design. The NRI is also a general reference for landowners to understand resources that may occur on their property and to inform stewardship.
It is important to remember that the NRI is best suited for municipal scale planning but may be used as a screening tool at the site scale to raise questions or identify the need for additional site assessment. The maps are not intended to provide site-specific accuracy and should not be used as a primary source for land use decision-making. Still, many identify where further site assessments are needed.
The NRI maps are available as PDFs HERE and physical copies are available upon request at the Town Hall. The PDF maps allow for ease of navigation with the ability to zoom in to an area of interest.