Milton taps expert for conservation

Resident brings decades of environmental law experience

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MILTON, Ga. – In the latest move to try to stem the tide of explosive growth in Milton, the City Council approved an agreement April 14 securing a longtime conservation professional to help create the city’s first “green print” land use plan.

Laurel A. Florio, a Milton resident, brings to the city decades of experience as a consultant, legal counsel, land specialist and educator for a host of environmental protection organizations. Among that wealth of experience was six years as an attorney and land specialist for Memphis, Tenn.’s Ducks Unlimited Inc., the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

“At the city of Milton, we are dedicated to finding the right balance of environmental conservation and the preservation of land owners’ rights in an environment, welcoming smart, measured business and residential development,” said Mayor Joe Lockwood. “Laurel Florio, who we are truly blessed to have right in our backyard, is perfect to help us realize this tremendous opportunity.”

Florio joins the city’s growing list of conservation efforts, including: International City and County Manager Association (ICMA) consultancy on innovative strategies for green space protection from the Leadership ICMA program; a six-month moratorium on rezoning applications across multiple residential districts in the city; and growth strategies like form-based coding, transfer of development rights and community-based master planning.

Florio said she’s excited to help her hometown craft its first green print land use plan, which will help Milton conserve the rural character of the city.

“I’m here because City Council and staff agree that Milton’s residents deserve a town unlike any other – one that features a heart of good business, great schools and growing economic opportunity with the soul of unparalleled access to nature,” she said. “This is simply too important to leave to chance.”

MH 04-23-14