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Old 01-28-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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In Northern VA we have two planned communities that as part of their development philosophy saved a significant amount of land from development during the build out of the community. (Reston and Burke). Instead of every piece of land set aside for homes and strip centers a significant amount of land is fields or woods, but not necessarily active parkland, instead just designated open space. Though there is no free lunch, the residents of these communities pay for the land as open space through higher than normal homeowners association fees.

Would you be open to paying significantly higher homeowners association fees to keep a relatively large amount of your community protected from development and thus woods or fields, or would you rather see the area developed so you could save in property taxes and homeowners fees?

Remember, in this case the land is not active parkland but just open space. How much is too much?

Do you think the open space and protected woodland increases property values more than having a shopping mall in the protected woodland with tons of popular restaurants? Many residents of these communities would rather have the woods cuts down to build a restaurant park. Would you?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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It seems like it could be cheaper, easier, and more effective than a potential NIMBY war down the road.

There is an area in Accokeek MD called Moyaone Reserve that did something that I believe is similar, though I don't know a lot about it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:55 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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My city requires 15% of land in a development be dedicated to open space. The city of Westminster, CO, has tons of open space. Both suburban cities, BTW.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Why would it cost more to have more open space? Especially if we're talking about un-maintained nature areas.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Why would it cost more to have more open space? Especially if we're talking about un-maintained nature areas.
I guess it's opportunity cost, e.g. the taxes lost, etc. There is some maintenance to open space, even in a "natural" state.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I guess it's opportunity cost, e.g. the taxes lost, etc. There is some maintenance to open space, even in a "natural" state.
What kinda maintenance would be done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My city requires 15% of land in a development be dedicated to open space. The city of Westminster, CO, has tons of open space. Both suburban cities, BTW.
Long Island doesn't usually, but there's a preserved piece of 100 acre woods nearby where I grew up. Only maintenance was for trails done by Boy Scouts.

Maybe the maintenance there is because forests don't grow as much naturally?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:46 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
What kinda maintenance would be done?



Long Island doesn't usually, but there's a preserved piece of 100 acre woods nearby where I grew up. Only maintenance was for trails done by Boy Scouts.

Maybe the maintenance there is because forests don't grow as much naturally?
As you said, trails. We have a lot of paved biking/walking paths through the open space in Louisville. These paths are usually cleared of snow before the residential streets. The city does mow a border around the paths. I guess even natural areas need some maintenance, e.g. cutting down dead trees, etc. Very little of the open space is forested.

City of Louisville, Colorado - Open Space Division
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Why would it cost more to have more open space? Especially if we're talking about un-maintained nature areas.
You are paying the cost of the bonds to purchase the sites (woods and fields) and also there is lost money because the land stays as woods and fields instead of turning into a shopping mall that would bring in property tax revenue, jobs and sales tax. But the open space nearby may increase property taxes because the community looks nicer and so it is more disireable and the home valuations go up as a result.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Why would it cost more to have more open space? Especially if we're talking about un-maintained nature areas.
Libertyville Township IL has had an open space district almost 30 years. Among the costs involved are cleaning up the land as many dumpers find it an attractive site. The costs do not end when the land is purchased. And, of course, the land produces no tax revenue.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Michigan
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Grosse Ile Township, Michigan has open land. But it's an island municipality and so I don't think there are really any HOA fees and taxes are limited because it's a township. However, there is a toll for one of the two bridges connecting to the island and the median household income is $87,000. So most people who choose to live here will likely have money anyway and prefer a quieter lifestyle.
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