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Old 07-08-2014, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
27,918 posts, read 17,852,676 times
Reputation: 15907

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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
Near my home in Fairfax VA developers have bought a large wooded site and plan to build a very large apartment complex. Because the site is completely wooded with 100 feet tall trees many residents would rather see the land turned into a park, but that is not going to happen. Instead, there is talk about keeping fifty percent of the site in open space. The developers think this is a waste and will cost them lots of money because it will limit how many apartments would be allowed on the site. They are promoting the new urbanism and want to use 90% of the site and make it very dense with little land in trees or grass.

They argue that by limiting the buildable land to 50% of the site it just pushes the sprawl out further, because now less people will be able to live there and those potential residents will be forced further out of the city.

What do you think? Should governments be able to require a large amount of the property be kept in open space?
Unless there was existing zoning in place at the time the developer bought the property, it's none of the government's business how much of the property is "green space". It simply isn't their land. Now, if the city wanted to buy the land at fair market value and make it a part, it's their choice. Or if they buy it, change the code and make the buyer set aside some percent as green space, also their choice; the city should eat the reduction in value.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:57 PM
 
12,356 posts, read 15,321,958 times
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I vote for 30%. They can charge higher rents when there are trees on the property, which partly offsets being unable to build on it. Getting City approval to build higher in exchange for more open space might seal the deal. One thing for sure: the details will keep the lawyers happy.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:41 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,323,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyman at Jewel Lake View Post
Unless there was existing zoning in place at the time the developer bought the property, it's none of the government's business how much of the property is "green space". It simply isn't their land. Now, if the city wanted to buy the land at fair market value and make it a part, it's their choice. Or if they buy it, change the code and make the buyer set aside some percent as green space, also their choice; the city should eat the reduction in value.
It is currently zoned for large lot single family homes so a rezoning would be needed, so yes, the government and the public can tell the owner of the land what he can do with it!
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,739,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
It is currently zoned for large lot single family homes so a rezoning would be needed, so yes, the government and the public can tell the owner of the land what he can do with it!
Well then I guess you will find our what happens when they apply for a rezoning of this random piece of land we know very little about.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:34 AM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,094,766 times
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I see the developer's point of view. It suggests poor planning for the overall neighbourhood, that more parkland wasn't planned for the area to begin with... unless there are already sufficient parks in the area, and this is really just a case of NIMBY homeowners trying to keep multi-unit housing out of their neighbourhood. I suspect the latter. It would be too bad if they lost those old trees and the variety in the landscape that results from little pockets of undeveloped land... but I suspect this is a NIMBY issue.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:02 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,323,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
I see the developer's point of view. It suggests poor planning for the overall neighbourhood, that more parkland wasn't planned for the area to begin with... unless there are already sufficient parks in the area, and this is really just a case of NIMBY homeowners trying to keep multi-unit housing out of their neighbourhood. I suspect the latter. It would be too bad if they lost those old trees and the variety in the landscape that results from little pockets of undeveloped land... but I suspect this is a NIMBY issue.
So because the government is broke and can't afford to buy the site to save the forest as parkland and it is not part of some a larger forested area, the developer should be able to clear-cut most of the land?

And the neighbors who live in the community can't have any impact because they don't own the land and would be called NIMBY?
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:15 AM
 
2,833 posts, read 3,380,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
So because the government is broke and can't afford to buy the site to save the forest as parkland and it is not part of some a larger forested area, the developer should be able to clear-cut most of the land?

And the neighbors who live in the community can't have any impact because they don't own the land and would be called NIMBY?

Yes and yes.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,739,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
So because the government is broke and can't afford to buy the site to save the forest as parkland and it is not part of some a larger forested area, the developer should be able to clear-cut most of the land?

And the neighbors who live in the community can't have any impact because they don't own the land and would be called NIMBY?
Pretty much, sounds like it sucks but that's how the world works some times.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:28 PM
 
3,178 posts, read 3,259,885 times
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The developer bought it with the current zoning (large lot single family). I assume there is a certain amount of open space required at the current zoning. If the developer wants to go to some kind of multifamily zoning such as apartments then it is subject to negotiation with local government, probably through planning and zoning and the areas comprehensive plan. In our town (and I believe in all of Maryland) rezoning can only take place as part of annexation, through the periodic review of the comprehensive plan or through correction of a 'mistake'.

Also often there has to be a reforestation plan anytime mature trees are cut down. I used to work in Fairfax county and I know when our building manager wanted to cut down even a few mature trees it took something like two years to get approval. I can't imagine someone being allowed to 'clear cut' a large tract of land unless it is an area that was designated for forest management and lumber production.
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