Creating Room to Live
Decades ago, planning was a thoughtful process that considered the impact of industry on infrastructure, existing and future communities, and the natural environment. Sufficient buffer zones—called transition zones—between residential and industrial zones were created to protect neighborhoods from the noise, light, and odor of industrial operations. Today, progress and the scramble for economic gain has reduced that buffer to 100 feet.
What is a Transition Zone?
In essence, a transition zone is an area between industrial and residential zones. It is a way to taper land use from “heavy” (think industrial: 24-hour lights, traffic from trucks, noise from machinery and operations) to “medium” before hitting the “light” use (think residential: commuter car traffic, schools, playgrounds). These transition zones can be commercial, containing local businesses and public spaces, or conservation areas.
For example, a transition zone could be a “character area” that combines the more condensed development of town homes with green spaces or conservation areas.