Planning and Zoning Department

JCGIA Complete Final Report April 10, 2008: GIAFinalReport04102008.pdf

Jefferson County, one of the hundred fastest growing counties in the nation, faces the loss of its valuable open space, farming heritage, and environmental quality if work is not begun to proactively identify those lands and attributes that are important to the citizens of Jefferson County.

With support from the County Commission and local stakeholders create a countywide green infrastructure framework that:

  • Identifies and integrate opportunities for conservation, enhancement, and restoration of natural resources
  • Informs land use decisions
  • Allows Jefferson County to grow while maintaining its sense of place and unique character


  • Identify the natural resource areas required for environmental, social and economic sustainability
  • Conserve and connect important resource features
  • Foster community involvement and consensus
  • Identify opportunities to integrate green infrastructure into the land use planning process


  • Used the mapping and analytical capabilities of geographic information systems (GIS) to identify those natural and cultural resource areas of greatest importance and value for sustaining both a healthy ecosystem and a healthy community
  • Provided opportunities to educate and engage land planning professionals and the general public on the natural, economic, and social features of Jefferson County’s natural resources
  • Developed geospatial datasets to support and prioritize land use planning and resource conservation decisions
  • Developed recommendations to support sustainable land use and Jefferson County’s current reconsideration of its subdivision and zoning ordinance structure
  • During the project the Historic Landmarks Commissions identified hundreds of new historic sites and identified potential new historic districts
  • The Jefferson County Ag Task Force is using project data to identify potential new zoning districts
  • Collaborated with the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage to develop a model to predict occurrences of the federally listed Madison Cave Isopod
  • Collaborated with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to develop conservation priority models using the Jefferson County Green Infrastructure Assessment as a template.

Project Summary: JCGIA_Summary_Recomm.pdf


Michael Schwartz, Project Leader
The Conservation Fund, Freshwater Institute
Phone: 304-876-2815

Jefferson County Planning Department
Phone: 304-7286-3228

For more information about green infrastructure please visit:


Green infrastructure in Jefferson County is comprised of the natural resource based environmental, social, and economic elements of sustainability that can be spatially characterized. These elements will be incorporated in a green infrastructure framework that encompasses those areas of greatest importance for sustaining both a healthy ecosystem and a healthy community.

Environmental Elements

Ecological Quality (Habitat)

Watershed Health

Drinking Water Quality

Drinking Water Quantity

Sensitive Karst Features

Septic System Suitability

Air Quality

Social Elements

Parks and Recreational Areas

Trails - Hiking/Biking/Walking

Agricultural Landscapes

Historic and Cultural Resources

Archaeological Resources


Economic Elements

Natural Capital

Working Landscapes

Cultural Tourism


Explanations of the elements of Jefferson County’s green infrastructure can be found here: Elements of Green Infrastructure - Glossary: Glossary_Elements_of_Green_Infrastructure.pdf (23KB)


The maps provided are graphical representations intended for general reference only and may not reflect the most current information, and are not intended to provide either site-specific detail or survey-caliber accuracy.

Data Layers and Sources (22KB)

Ecological (1.1 MB)

Environmental (1.1 MB)

Aquifer Vulnerability (0.7 MB)

Potential Runoff Accumulation (low resolution) (3 MB)

Potential Runoff Accumulation (high resolution) (7 MB)

Social (0.4 MB)

Economic (1.4 MB)

Farmland Protection(0.9 MB)

Historical Landscape(0.3 MB)


Green Infrastructure Network with Groundwater Suitability (1.25 MB)

Green Infrastructure Network with Social and Economic Suitability (1.23 MB)


Groundwater Vulnerabilty (1.25 MB)

Groundwater Vulnerability Metadata (0.23 MB)

Groundwater Vulnerability Methodology (0.23 MB)

Large format digital maps are available for purchase upon request