There are many different tools providing varying levels of protection for land and its resources. These tools can be divided into two categories: direct protection and protective governmental policies. Direct protection tools include: acquiring land (fee title or fee simple), conservation easements, land swaps, transfer of development rights, and limiting development rights. Policy tools such as general plans, urban growth boundaries, municipal service reviews, specific plans, overlay/special area zoning, development codes, and conservation planning can be used to guide development and protect areas valued by a community.
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