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Owners’ Attitudes Towards Regulation of Agricultural Land: Technical Report on a National Survey

This CAE survey report contributes to the national debate about property rights and the appropriateness of land use regulations. Researchers from Northern Illinois University and American Farmland Trust surveyed
owners of farmland and ranches randomly selected across the country to determine (1) if they reported property devaluations attributed to land use regulation, (2) their preferences for guidelines to shape compensation decisions for owners who can demonstrate loss in property value because of regulations and their opinions about the appropriateness of regulations as opposed to other approaches to solve land use conflicts. In both the weighted national sample and across the six regional samples, majorities of the respondents reported that none of the agricultural land they ever owned had lost market value because of government regulations. A minority of respondents favored the limiting of compensation to those severely burdened by the regulatory scenario, while in contrast majorities accepted that compensation should be reduced by some factor that takes into account prior or current government payments (or “givings”) that
enhanced the land’s value. Majorities also endorsed the principle that “the burden of protecting the environment should be shared in the sense of the public paying partial compensation and the owners bearing the remaining losses in the property value.” Respondents varied in their support for the regulatory approach opposed to competing non-regulatory approaches to resolving land conflicts depending on the type of conflict involved.

Publication Name
Center for Agriculture in the Environment Working Paper
Downloadable Documents
J. Dixon Esseks, Steven E. Kraft, Lettie M. McSpadden
DeKalb, IL: American Farmland Trust
Page Numbers
Publication Date
May 01, 1998
Publication Type
Reports and Guides
Agricultural Protection Zoning, Land Use Planning

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