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Farmland Protection Policy: The Effects of Growth Management Policies on Agricultural Land Values

This CAE working paper looks at zoning, impact fees and other growth management options. Local growth management tools which affect the rate of agricultural land conversion can also influence land values. Attributes that give land value include location, availability of basic services and suitability of the land for productive economic use. Growth management policies are driven by environmental concerns, quality of life concerns and fiscal concerns. Different options available to respond to growth include growth moratoriums, transfer of development rights and purchase of development rights, development exactions (impact fees), agricultural security areas and zoning. The author concludes that growth moratoriums are drastic measures that should be seen only as temporary stop-gap measures. TDR and PDR programs are effective market-based tools that compensate owners for the loss of development rights while preserving agricultural and open space land. Development exactions effectively reallocate public finance of infrastructure, but their effectiveness in slowing or preventing growth is doubtful. Agriculture security areas may prevent conversion of agricultural land through eminent domain or condemnation but may not be as effective as other tools. Zoning, while a low cost and attractive means for growth management, may ultimately be too weak to slow conversion of agricultural land.

Publication Name
Center for Agriculture in the Environment Working Paper
Michael T. Peddle
DeKalb, IL: American Farmland Trust
Page Numbers
Publication Date
May 01, 1997
Publication Type
Reports and Guides
Farmland Affordability, Smart Growth / Growth Management

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