There are limits to how many people can be naturally supported in a given area. This is what is referred to as the carrying capacity of an area. The smaller the area of a village, town or city, the fewer people that can live in that area without having to further develop it. The town of Lewes, Delaware, is trying to create a plan that will limit urban sprawl and preserve the natural space that makes the city so charming.
One possible way to ensure that Lewes and surrounding areas are not radically transformed by development is for the town to annex land to ensure that there are continuous areas of open space for picnics and nature walks. Otherwise, developers who may have rights to the land adjacent to Lewes could build at will and limit the options of those who wish to enjoy the natural scenery.
If the population of outlying areas was to increase, it may be assumed that the amount of traffic in Lewes itself may go up. One potential solution to the problem would be to place restrictions on drivers by charging them to drive in the city. This may have the effect of limiting when and for how long cars operate in Lewes. Ultimately, this may protect the quiet and scenic landscape so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
A local government may have many options when it comes to protecting its citizens and its economic interests. Annexing adjacent land and working with other municipalities to create zoning plans that work for the benefit of everyone can limit urban sprawl and protect the charm and scenery of small towns throughout a county. Real estate attorneys may be able to help concerned citizens challenge any plan that may threaten the future viability of a town or city.
Source: Cape Gazette, “Strategy for Lewes“, David Greer, July 23, 2014