Mount Airy's town planner last night recommended that the Planning and Zoning Commission adopt Carroll County's extensive land use standards to protect tributaries and water sources.
The planner, Teresa Bamberger, made the suggestions at a commission work session on the draft master plan for Mount Airy's development.
Ms. Bamberger said the county requires 100-foot undeveloped buffers around tributaries and 300-foot undeveloped buffers around water sources.
Ms. Bamberger also suggested easing the town's "steep slope" regulations, which don't allow development on areas steeper than 30 degree grades, because they are looser than similar regulations in other areas.
Many other counties have standards that vary from 15 to 25 degrees, she said, and they take the soil's tendency to erode into consideration.
She suggested that the town look at adopting different slope regulations along those lines.
"Both soil and slope need to be taken into consideration," she said. "We have to look at how this will affect the town, since most of the town is rolling hills."
Ms. Bamberger said the commission did not need to consider the impact of development on endangered species because no such species has been identified within the town's limits.
And, she said, the town already bans development within 100-year flood plains.
She suggested that the town should consider developing 300-foot forested areas for wildlife preservation.
The next planning workshop will be scheduled at next Monday's planning and zoning meeting.
Ms. Bamberger said later meetings will include discussions of how to "enhance the public realm," or retain the current character of the town and maintain what citizens like about its older sections.