Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Unintended" but foreseeable: Killing farms with land use regulation

Whether or not it makes sense in the abstract to limit new development in any particular place, regulation that purports to do so might hasten the destruction of farms that otherwise serve to keep density low:

Whether or not a rural property owner wants to turn their majestic 200 acre farm into a 50 unit development is not the issue. The issue, and what you will hear in the testimony tonight, is that these farmers leverage the value of their land, with all development rights currently standing, for farm equipment, supplies, feed, and other matters of daily living. If you had 200 acres of land, you would do the same thing. But if that land is summarily stripped of the ability to develop, from 23 houses per 100 acres, to 4, that value is gone. You money flow is gone. Your very way of life is gone. That collateral no longer exists, despite that fact that all it ever was existed in the mind of a banker.
The destruction of farms and other economic value to preserve open space may or may not be worth it. Let us not, however, hear that any such consequence is "unintended" when it is entirely foreseeable. Foreseeable consequences are intended, whether or not they are desirable. Remember that when assessing the value of any regulation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Statistics