ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING jsJS AURARIA LIBRARY
RURAL LAND CONSERVATION
/ RURAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK:
CONCEPTS AND TOOLS FOR RURAL LAND CONSERVATIOi
Submitted by | Date DUG
Nancy A .^Taylor
for the Degree of Master of Planning and Community Development University of Colorado at Denver Professor Herb Smith Thesis Advisor Fall 1982
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. URBAN REVERSAL TREND: A NEW HUMAN SETTLEMENT
PATTERN .................................................... 8
II. FACTORS INFLUENCING THE TREND OF RURAL LAND
A. HISTORIC BACKGROUND .................................. 15
B. CURRENT SOCIAL FACTORS AFFECTING RURAL
LAND CONVERSION....................................... 21
C. CURRENT ECONOMIC TRENDS AFFECTING LAND
III. RURAL LAND ALLOCATION: THE IMPERFECT
IV. DIFFERENCES IN RURAL AND URBAN ATTITUDES .................. 42
V. A RURAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK: CONCEPTS AND
VI. SOME OTHER INNOVATIVE IDEAS ............................... 67
VII. CONCLUSION................................................. 81
BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................... 109
LIST OF FIGURES
1. POPULATION CHANGE BY METROPOLITAN AREA, 1960-1970.... 9
2. COLORADO GROWTH RATES, 1980-1981 ..................... 10
1. EBENE2ER HOWARD'S "MIDDLE LANDSCAPE" ................. 17
1. HIERARCHY OF LAND USES................................ 31
2. COMPETITION BETWEEN LAND USES......................... 33
3. 4, 5 SEQUENCE OF FARMLAND DEVELOPMENT................. 37-39
1. BASIC LAND USE CATEGORIES IN THE RURAL PLANNING
FRAMEWORK ............................................ 49
2. METHODOLOGY FOR DETERMINING LONG AND SHORT TERM
3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT AREA............................... 57
4. SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, PERFORMANCE CRITERIA 59
5. BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, PERFORMANCE CRITERIA.... 61
1. QUARTER/QUARTER ZONING IN MINNESOTA................... 70
2. FARMCOLONY SITE PLAN.................................. 75
3. FRIENDS COMMUNITY SITE PLAN........................... 79
i i i
RURAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK:
CONCEPTS AND TOOLS FOR RURAL LAND CONSERVATION
Through generations of farming ancestors, the rural countryside developed by a trial and error process. Field patterns, roads and country towns produced the present beautiful landscape slowly. It is possible that given enough time pleasant industrial landscape could also evolve. But there is not enough time. Quickly changing conditions are part of our impatient new world and have not only swept away old traditions but leave no chance for new ones to develop. Our landscapes no longer evolve they are crudely manufactured by destruction of the old. Conscious control which must now replace unconscious evolution to achieve good design must do so in the whole of our environment -including the rural landscapeJ
Rural Planning: An Urban Bias
Interest in planning land use in rural areas has occurred intermittently since the 1930's. The roots of rural planning as a distinct planning approach is often traced to land use planning in northern Wisconsin in the 1930's. At that time, the shortcoming of urban planning concepts for rural areas was first acknowledged and the development of planning principles, specifically tailored for rural areas, began.2
Traditionally, planning has come from the viewpoint of the city and its needs, problems and biases. Zoning, subdivision controls, annexations, and open space requirements have been utilized for all land use planning and control as though non-urban lands were unused and simply lying in the shadow of the city, awaiting urban type development. In part, this is a reflection of dominant American
growth psychology and in part it is a reflection of the fact that we have lacked policies which focused on land within rural areas.
In the United States, rural planning activities got seriously underway when the federal government established the Housing Act of 1954, which gave assistance to governments for comprehensive planning. The basic product of this 701" program was the preparation of comprehensive plans for municipalities..
In spite of the surge in nationwide planning activity, it became clear to planners that the 701 program was not accomplishing its goals in rural areas. It had resulted in urban planners attempting to adapt urban planning techniques to rural areas. Although most of these initial 701 rural plans were ignored, the lesson was apparent: urban planning methods and concepts are not necessarily applicable in rural areas and that new concepts and procedures sensitive to rural land uses and lifestyles were necessary.3
A New Human Settlement Pattern
What makes this virtual lack of rural planning all the more germane in 1982 is a relatively new trend of population migration from the metropolitan to the non-metropolitan areas. Since 1970 when the United States Census first revealed that metropolitan areas in the last decade had grown less quickly and actually lost population toncri-metropolitan areas, a new human settlement pattern has been documented extensively. In fact, from 1970 to 1976, 2.3 million more people moved into non-metropolitan counties than moved out of them.^ In contrast, these same counties lost
3.0 million persons through out-migration during the 1960's.
This reversal trend affects most regions of the country, remote and rural areas as well as those that are partly urbanized and dominated by large metropolitan cities.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments 1982 Development Monitoring Report in fact indicates this trend. Between 1970 and 1980 al1 of the six counties (within DRCOG's) grew at annual rates of 3.7 percent or more while Denver County has declined in population. And Douglas County, one of the more urbanizing counties has been growing at an annual rate of 11.6 percent.6
Even a New Term: Exurbia
The new term "exurbia" has come to be applied to a less clearly defined contemporary type of land use and of living, more remote from the city and less closely integrated with it.^ There is no sharp, clear line between rather remote suburb and relatively near exurbia, or between suburban living loosely oriented to the city and exurban living much less dependent upon the central city.
This report uses the terms suburban, fringe, exurban and rural to describe relative, descending intensities of use from urban to agricultural land uses.
A writer or an artist may live in exurbia and sell his product in the city. A man who travels a great deal as part of his job can be away from a rural home as readily as a city one. Retired persons choose exurbia for its style of living or in anticipation that housing will be cheaper than urban or suburban living. And there is a noticeable tendency for residences that started out as vacation
homes to become year around retirement residences. This is exurbia: part urban and part rural.
Call of the Countryside
"The city alone cannot contain urban man: the country calls him.
The country is tomorrow's second city." So said Le Corbusier in his
prophetic style and his tomorrow is already our today.
Many planners have argued convincingly for control of this new growth and concentration of development in the older urban areas.
Their arguments are usually based upon the cost of duplicating services and public investments already existing in developed areas. These arguments, however, often do not adequately consider factors that influence personal choice of rural residency.
Since this country was founded, a rural lifestyle has been touted as the lifestyle of the "whole man" and the panacea to a corrupt city life. Rural utopias and back-to-the-1and movements have been based around the physical and spiritual benefits of the countryside. And even though cities have been tolerated as the mecca of employment and wealth, they have never replaced our rose-colored dreams of a romantic rural life in a bucolic setting. Therefore, the opportunity for individuals to select a rural lifestyle from a variety of living experiences is important to the long range public interest and is part of our American heritage. This includes the opportunity to select either an urban, suburban or rural lifestyle. None of the available lifestyle options should exclude or detract from other lifestyle options. In fact,
planning an environment without sp^ific proposals and action to provide public access to any environment is invariably elitist planning.
Is There Room for Everyone?
Because our land resources are finite, especially productive agricultural land, it is becoming imperative to consider wise land use of the areas into which people are migrating and towns are likely to grow.
It is important to realize that agriculture is the nation's largest
industry and the second largest component of Colorado's economy.
In 1979, United States agriculture had assets of $790 billion equalling
80% of the capital assets of all manufacturing corporations in the
nation. In 1981, Colorado farming and ranching contributed $3.0 billion to the state's $14.5 billion economy second only to the manufacturing ($7.3 billion) sector.^
As metropolitan areas grow, their perimeters grow and the area bordering city limits in five years will be substantially greater than that area today. Although projections of population growth and future agricultural land requirements are controversial, it is not disputable that more rural land will continue to be employed for urban-type uses. As a result, the need to select areas into which growth should be channeled will be increasing. The alternative may well be unplanned rural land use with losses to developers, homeowners and farmers.
Urban containment has not been a major theme in American land use planning and control.^ The problems of land use planning and control have generally been stated as rationalizing development decisions. On the other hand, the economic importance of housing construction, supported by an infra-structure of federal programs and lending institutions has encouraged the single family home with its relatively high land requirements as the basic answer for American housing needs. Thus, pressures continue for urbanization of more and more fringe and rural land. Today concern is expressed about the acres of productive farmland annually converted to urban uses. Perhaps equally important is the effect that dominant patterns of urban growth have on the maintenance of viable farming. Where city sized lots are mixed in with agricultural lands, whether in a scatteration pattern or in a pattern of strip cities following major highways, the result often tends to be destructive of effective farming.
The planning challenge is twofold: How do we as planners accommodate these new and future migrants into the rural landscape without destroying the very amenities they came to enjoy? And how do we organize the rural areas in order to insure continued agricultural production?
Needed: A Comprehensive Rural Land Use Framework Historically, land use laws have reinforced the idea that land is an abundant commodity, its disposition left to the discretion of its owner. More importantly, land use policies have been reactive rather than prescriptive; they have developed after problems emerge, rather than beforehand. Land use policies have typically treated
problems individually rather than comprehensively. The objective of this paper is to present a comprehensive policy framework which realistically addresses problems rural areas have recently confronted. Keeping agricultural land in crop land and preventing it from irreversible changes to intensive urban uses is a relatively new objective in rural planning. It is important that rural planning policies attempt to accomplish this goal with minimal infringement on the landowner's property rights, and without substantially reducing the value of the land.
This report analyzes the historic, social and economic factors in the urban reversal trend, describes the urban/rural land allocation situation, specifically the problems arising for rural land in its competition with other land uses and finally suggests practical policies to guide rural land use development which have the greatest likelihood of success. Although an effort has been made to cover the major points of this problem, the report does not claim to exhaust every possible situation, but rather to throw light on a generalized rural planning methodology.
URBAN REVERSAL TREND: A NEW HUMAN SETTLEMENT PATTERN
I. URBAN REVERSAL TREND: A NEW HUMAN SETTLEMENT PATTERN
Notions of metropolitan concentration and decline of small towns and rural areas no longer characterise population distribution in the United States. In fact, from 1970 to 1976, 2.3 million more people moved into ncn-metropolitan counties than moved out of them.
In contrast, these same counties lost 3.0 million persons through out-migration during the 1960 and peripheral areas grew at an average rate of 1.6 percent between 1970 & 1977 (Figure 1). Consequently, for the first time in the twentieth century, the rate of population growth in norhmetropolitan America (8.0 percent) exceeded that in metropolitan areas (4.7 percent).^
Two distinct types of migration are apparent. There is an expansion of suburbanization into the urban-rural fringes around the cities and there is a smaller "leapfrog" migration into small towns and rural areas.
Indicators of population change collected since the 1980 census suggest that in Colorado alone, some of the highest rates of growth were experienced by some of the smaller rural counties in the state. Some of these changes are attributable to rapid development in tourism and mining development (Figure 2).^
The growth of ncn-metropolitan areas has occurred for a variety of reasons detailed in the following chapter. Generally, innovations in transportation, communications and increased incomes, have facilitated the outward movement of people from the central cities.
The reduction in cost associated with travel allowed workers to
move away from their principal workplaces. Peripheral development
Population Change By Metropolitan Area 1960-1970
Area Population Net Migration
Number (1,000) Percentage Change 1970-1976 1960-1970
1976 1970 1960 1970-1976 1960-1970 Number (1,000) Rate (%)* Number (1,000) Rate (%)*
Total United States 214,658 203,301 179,323 + 5.6 + 13.4 2,800 + 1.4 + 3,001 + 1.7
Metropolitan countiesf 155,901 148,877 127,191 + 4.7 + 17.0 545 + .4 + 5,959 + 4.7
Nonmetropolitan counties 58,757 54,424 52,132 + 8.0 + 4.4 2,255 + 4.1 -2,958 -5.7
Adjacent counties! 30,433 , 28,033 26,116 + 8.6 + 7.3 1,328 + 4.7 - 705 -2.7
Nonadjacent counties 28,324 26,391 26,016 + 7.3 + 1.4 928 + 3.5 -2,253 -8.7
Net migration expressed as a percentage of the population at beginning of specified period. tMeiropolitan status as of 1974.
JNonmctropolitan counties adjacent to Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Source: David L. Brown, "A Population Perspective," in
Farmland, Food and the Future, ed. Max Schnepf (Iowa: Soil Conservation Society of America, 1979) p. 82-83.
Source: Colorado Division of Local Government,
Colorado Population Reports, August 1982,
Colorado Growth Rates 1980-1981
ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH RATE 80 '81 Ee! growth rate less than zero
Â§3 ZERO TO 1.91 Â§ 2.GZ TO 3.9Z
U.ai TO 6.91
GROWTH RATE GREATER T15AN 7.01
first occurred along major transportation arteries and later in rural interstices between these routes. Of crucial importance has been the availability of larger tracts of cheap land on which to locate residential developments and not least has been the desire of urbanites to escape to a purer country life style.
A University of Minnesota 1960 study of the Upper Midwest (Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan) revealed that in four sample areas having obvious scenic amenities, interviews with over 1,400 resident heads of households led the researchers to conclude:
The amenities of open space and scenery are listed as the overwhelmingly important reasons (50-70% of total response) for decisions to live in these areas of dispersed urban settlement.
Although people want a generally open environment, the small acreages they control indicates that they are not concerned about the amount of land they actually control.
The extra cost of dispersal compared with the traditional compact (urban) settlement is generally assumed to be mainly in the form of additional costs of "line services" (roads, transportation, utilities) and facilities.
These costs are probably substituted for other luxuries by families in high income brackets; lower income families must compensate by lower expenditures on housing or reduction of other costs. These substitutions are patently feasible... the evidence suggests that urban dispersal is practical and desired by a significant part of
Where Are They Moving?
The critical effect of this out-migration to non-metropolitan areas is the amount of rural land lost to urban type uses.
Growth in the urban fringe generally starts with scattered single family housing on large lots (1 to 5 acres) along county roads. Large clusters of residences and subdivisions then follow, often locating where land is flat and inexpensive. Once residential development creates an adequate labor force, commercial and industrial growth occurs. This growth seldom follows an orderly pattern but instead skips randomly, often taking place some distance from existing urban development. Of even greater concern is the amount of agricultural land falling victim to this random growth. Nationally about 4,000 acres of agricultural land are converted to urban uses daily.
In 1977 about 3 million acres per year of rural land, much of it suited to agriculture, was being converted to urban and built-up (2.9 million acres) and water (100,000 acres) uses. Assuming this rate of conversion, 69 million acres of rural and agricultural land will be lost between 1977 and 2000.^
There are now 135 million acres of rural land with a high or medium potential for conversion to cropland. If current trends continue, urban uses will reduce this cropland reserve 15 percent by the year 2000. The 1950-1977 trend toward cropping better lands could be reversed unless care is taken to select land for nonagricultural
uses from the 848 million acres with cropland conversion problems. How Long Will the Trend Continue?
According to David L. Brown in Farmland, Food and the Future, rapid
suburban growth and slow growth, or a decline in central cities, will continue into the 21st Century. Inhabitants in what is now defined as the suburban fringe are projected to increase between 62 and 75 percent by the year 2000. Consequently, the suburban land surrounding present metropolitan cities may have to accommodate as many as 135 million persons in the year 2000, 58 million more than in 1970.9 Although the national rate of population growth appears to be declining, the number of households is growing appreciably. As natural increase diminishes, migration has become a more important source of population change. This growing importance of migration as a factor of growth has been intensified by the movement of the baby boom cohort into its most mobile years. Demand for a rural land is, in part, a result of regional population growth, and particularly new family formations.
In Colorado this trend is quite evident. According to a 1982 Denver Regional Council of Governments survey, in every county in the Denver region the rate of increase in households exceeded the rate of population growth. The region as a whole experienced a 6.2 percent increase in households and a 4.7 percent increase in population between 1980 and 1982. Figure 3 indicates a significant increase in the number of households in nearly every county JO
If the trend of the past few decades holds true, many of these new households will settle in exurban developments and even in small town and rural areas beyond. Considering the size, remoteness and capacity of local governments involved, sprawl and scatteration may be even greater than in suburbia.
POPULATION AND HOUSEHOLDS CHANGE BY COUNTY 1980-82
Population (1)_________Households (1)
1980 243,350 83,200
1982 (2) 253,000 90,500
Absolute Change 9,650 7,300
% Change 4.0 8.8
Growth Rate (3) 2.0 - 4.3
1980 290,900 105,200
1982 321,300 118,900
Absolute Change 30,400 13,700
% Change 10.4 13.0
Growth Rate 5.1 6.3
1980 187,700 68,200
1982 201,200 74,700
Absolute Change 13,500 6,500
% Change 7.2 9.5
Growth Rate 3.5 4.7
1980 494,600 212,400
1982 497,700 214,000
Absolute Change 3,100 1,600
% Change 0.6 0.8
Growth Rate 0.3 0.4
1980 24,800 7,700
1982 28,950 9,300
Absolute Change 4,150 1,600
% Change 16.7 20.8
Growth Rate 8.0 9.9
1980 371,350 129,700
1982 387,100 136,800
Absolute Change 15,750 7,100
% Change 4.2 5.5
Growth Rate 2.1 2.7
1980 1,612,700 606,400
1982 1,689,250 644,200
Absolute Change 76,550 37,800
% Change 4.7 6.2
Growth Rate 2.4 3.1
(1) Tanuary 1 DRCOG estimates
(2) 1982 figures are preliminary estimates
(3) Compound annual rate (%)
Source: Denver Regional Council
of Governments, 1981-8? Development Monitoring Report .
THE TREND OF
RURAL LAND CONVERSION
II. FACTORS INFLUENCING THE TREND OF RURAL LAND CONVERSION
A. HISTORIC BACKGROUND
Romantic Attachment to the Countryside
In spite of our 20th century urbanized lifestyles, there is still a vague romantic attachment to an agricultural way of life. Many of us are rueful to admit that the old and highly respected vocation of farming has virtually disappeared from our society and that the American farmer aspires to a semi-white collar job in the suburbs. However, that is mainly because we cling to certain traditional beliefs. We have believed that the rural landscape belonged to the farmer exclusively and though his work was hard, it provided him with an almost mystical knowledge of the world. People have urged retention of some farming near cities out of nostalgia for the past or out of a belief that the urban dweller would be "more nearly full man" if he understood something of the economic, natural and social aspects of farming.
The roots of the agrarian myth go back to the beginning of Western culture and the paradisical garden. One of the most powerful expressions of the myth, however, came with the 19th Century and the Enlightenment.-*- This was a time when the potential for individual and national development was being realized. Rural life was extremely difficult, but the Jeffersonian ideals of economic independence, self sufficiency, personal freedom and unlimited opportunity seemed within reach because of the unlimited available land and the natural resources that were for the taking.
In the twentieth century, urbanization, industrialization and a large increase in population shifted towards the cities, supplanting the original American dream which always included the possibility of moving on to new unsettled virgin land further west. The Jeffersonian ideal of the self sufficient farmer may no longer have a place in industrial American, but that has not prevented dreamers from trying to restore Jefferson's lost world.
Search for the "Middle Landscape"
The British planner, Ebenezer Howard, constructed a new version of
the "middle landscape", the compromise between wilderness and city (Figure 1).
Howard moved his middle landscape so that it was placed between the
city and the rural settlement. The ideal middle landscape was moving closer and closer to suburbia. This movement of the middle landscape closer to the city reflected a growing awareness that rural life left something to be desired. Young people continued to desert the farm for the city, but the standard rhetoric of all Americans continued to celebrate the virtues of life on the land.
At the end of World War I, Secretary of the Interior, Franklin K.
Land, backed legislation to return soldiers to health and prosperity on the farm. The solution once again, was a marriage of the town and country, a new rural life with all the urban advantages. Several soldier settlement bills designed to finance this latest version of the ideal middle landscape were introduced into Congress, but only one was ever passed. ^
In the 1920's and 1930's it was the natural thing to regard the city with a jaundiced eye; urbanization was steadily destroying the agrarian
Ebenezer Howards's Middle Landscape
Source: Ebenezer Howard,
Garden Cities of To-Morrow ed. F. J. Osborn, (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1965) p. 52.
ideal. In desperation, the suburbs became the hope of the future. Ultimately, that too came crashing to earth when the suburbs turned out to be more city-like than countrified and suburbia replaced the city as the villain in the rural-urban melodrama. It was in this climate that Clarence Stein and Henry Wright started plans in 1927 for Radburn, New Jersey, which preceded the greenbelt towns of the New Deal as the nation's closest approximation of the garden city.^
During President Franklin Roosevelt's administration, the Division of Subsistence Homesteads was established. Dissension within the Division eventually kept the program from growing, but the community building program of the New Deal was far from dead. The administration set about rearranging the physical face of America by resettling the city slum dwellers and country poor in new modern "middle settlements". Rexford Tugwell planned 25 garden city communities but Congress' reluctance to finance these projects limited the number actually constructed. Only three were ever built: Greenbelt, Maryland; Greenhills, Ohio; and Greendale, Wisconsin. The greenbelt city, as conceived by Tugwell, was to be a complete community surrounded by a greenbelt of farms. In many respects the towns were successful, but they never worked out economically.^
Later, Frank Lloyd Wright conceived Broadacre City, a community on one acre lots. In fact, Broadacre City was an anti-city. Wright did not like cities and used to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson's remark about cities making men artificial. Therefore it is not surprising that Broadacre City was to be low in population, self-contained, and self sufficient a Jeffersonian community in the twentieth century.
The American Suburb
Men mouth agrarian sentiments, but go to the cities to make money.
As time proceeded, Americans arrived at a partial solution: the suburb. It would be the suburb which would represent the best of both worlds, which preserve rural values in an urbanizing world and would enable the individual to pursue wealth while retaining the amenities of the countryside.
In 1917, John R. McMahon published a remarkable book Success in the Suburbs in which he stated the thesis that the city failed to provide man with a healthy environment. Attainment of health, happiness and wealth was easy. It took only a move to the "real up to date suburbs of uncrowded and unfettered nature, (which) have become the promised land for the city man with limited means but a fair endowment of vim and enterprise ..." The world of Thomas Jefferson was not lost. Every man could find agrarian plenty, everymen could achieve success on the suburban farm.^
After World War II instant suburbs without benefit of professional planning or architectural assistance were quickly built to accommodate the deluge of new families. Today, the suburbs have come to be regarded as combining the worse, not the best of city and country.
In their suburbs American have succeeded in averaging down both the city and the rural village .
As much as ever, America remains caught up in the Jeffersonian ideal, in the myth of the sturdy farmer plowing his own acres in self sufficient independence. Conrad Knickerbocker has written in reference
to suburbs : "The back to nature fixation has driven much of the nation into street upon street of tiny symbolic farms stretching
from coast to coast .
Both urbanite and suburbanite still yearn for the middle landscape -
the compromise between wilderness and city which gives them the
best of both worlds. But because so many people want it, the sheer
magnitude of numbers defeats the vision of the more ambitious. Even
where the suburb appears to be more country than city, it is only a
matter of time before the city will come to predominate. David R.
Weimer in City and Country America writes:
Out toward the fringes and margins of cities comes a region where they begin to be less themselves than they are at the center, a place where the city looks countryward. No sharp boundary line defines it; there is rather a gradual tapering off from the urban type of civilization toward the rural type. It is the city thinned out . It is the country thickened up .... It is the city trying to escape the consequences of being a city.9
It would be reasonable to suppose that the concept of an ideal landscape had disappeared from American thinking. But such a supposition underestimates the continuing pull of the country on the imagination of the urban dweller. New towns from Johnson's Great Society were an effort to create the middle landscape. The intellectual must realize that New Towns and other ideal utopias will inevitably fall short of their objectives. It is not going to be possible to restore rural America:
The wilderness, the isolated farm, the plantation, the self contained New England town, the detached neighborhood are things of the American past. All the world is a city now and there's no escaping urbanization.^
In any marriage of city and country today, the city is going to be
the dominant partner.
A new rural ism is becoming the tool of the post-industrial age.
Forest retreats are replacing city convention centers, wilderness sports are gaining popularity and postoral settings are being selected for rehabilitative services for those suffering from the pressures of modern industrialism. To the greatest extent possible those people left behind in the city and suburb are reaching out for the psychological benefits of rural living.
B. CURRENT SOCIAL FACTORS AFFECTING RURAL LAND CONVERSION Since the early 1970's we have been witnessing the emergence of a new force of counterurbanization: the transfer of the locus of new growth to some of the most remote parts of the country. The locations of this growth are nationwide. They include regions oriented to recreation in the Rocky Mountains, New England, and the upper Great Lakes; energy supply areas in the Great Plains and Southern Appalachian coal fields; retirement communities in the Ozarks and Arizona; and small manufacturing towns in the South; and non-metropolitan cities in every region.
In the 1980's, the primary reason for leaving behind urban and now suburban environments for the country has not changed appreciably from those of our ancestors: conviction that the rural lifestyle offers physical and spiritual benefits unavailable to the city dweller. Efforts to escape urbanization for the countryside has continued due to the enduring image of country life as having greater dignity and respectability, more permanence, as being more healthful and less stressful than city life.
Disenchantment with city life has increased. Rising crime rates, racial antagonisms of the 1960's, increasing tax rates, environmental pollution, and the cost of housing have all led to the belief that a better life is possible in rural areas.
In 1970 at the Countryside Conference in Britain, H.R.H., The Duke of Edinburgh commented on the value of retaining the countryside:
"The gross national product which is rapidly assuming the religious significance of a graven image, can be worked out by any competent accountant, but how do you arrive at a comparable figure for the quality of 1ife?" ^
Modernization of Rural Life
Living outside cities has been made possible by technological innovations and by the private automobile which, beginning in the 1920's made almost all land accessible. The construction of limited access highways in the 1950's and 1960's brought vast rural areas within easy commute of virtually every metropolitan center. And, the availability of electricity, telephone, radio, and television reduced the hardships and isolation of rural living. ^
Increasing incomes have also fueled demand for residential sites in rural areas. According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, nationwide per capita disposable income in 1980 was $8,017 in contrast to a disposable income of $4,140 in 1976.^ The additional income has led to a remarkable increase in second home ownership and to the growth of a second home industry which develops and merchandises large scale communities in rural areas.
Part of this American ideal of the countryside includes the single family ranch style home with ample living space, gardens, and a lack of people and traffic congestion. National surveys repeatedly have shown a decided preference for living in the country and small towns. One evidence of the strength of this attraction is the fact that almost one-quarter of recent migrants accepted a cut in income when moving to a smaller community.^
That this recent trend is not an aberration in twentieth century settlement patterns is demonstrated by a recent Harris poll. It found that of the 35 percent of American dwellers who plan to move in a two to three year period, 53 percent of them plan to move to a suburb or rural area.16
There is no doubt that this new national human settlement pattern evident in the last decade will influence all future land use planning. The planning dilemma is twofold: how do we accommodate these new settlers into the rural areas without destroying the very amenities they came to enjoy?; and how dp we plan the rural land areas in order to provide for an alternative lifestyle as well as continued agricultural production?
C. CURRENT ECONOMIC TRENDS AFFECTING LAND CONVERSION There are economic factors causing increased rural land conversion, generally the result of government policies. Some of the most far reaching have been housing subsidies and tax policies.
URBAN FACTORS Mortgage Markets
Consumer preferences did not develop in a vacuum. Since 1933, the federal government has strongly influenced the mortgage market.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was established in that year to insure high percentage mortgages made by private lenders.
The FHA in those days insured mortgages up to 90 percent of the appraised value of houses built under its watchful eye, but only 80 percent on existing houses. Appraisals also favored new structures and home buyers found they could do better in the suburbs than the cities. Conventional, or uninsured, mortgages were then typically for 66 percent. These percentages rose in the next 25 years, but the FHA long dominated the market with its high percentage loans, and the conventional market followed. The movement to new suburban (non-urban) areas was fueled by the actions of the FHA.^
After World War II, returning servicemen were entitled to Veterans Administration (VA) loans. These were guaranteed by the government and like the FHA's, made by private lenders. Once again the bulk of the housing for millions of returning veterans was in suburbia. Once sleepy country towns awoke and became bustling suburbs. Newcomers demanded urban services like water and sewers, and they also eventually took the town management away from the older country residents.^
Urban growth has been strongly cyclical in both the long and short term. American cities have grown in a series of major bursts, each of which has added a new ring of structures in nonurban areas. The historical record of urban expansion follows the peaks and valleys in the rate of capital formation in the housing sector. From 1910 to 1914 and again from 1921 to 1929, when real estate investment boomed, metropolitan boundaries surged outward.^ Later when housing
investment came to a virtual halt during the Depression and World War II, urban expansion slowed to a standstill. Then in the 1950's an unprecedented volume of housing investment was accompanied by a record rate of suburbanization. Until World War II, less than half the nation's population owned their own homes and less than half the housing stock was in single family units. Although the FHA encouraged home ownership in the 1930's, the great surge of homewonership came between 1948 and 1960. It followed fast on the heels of the effective introduction of tax subsidies for owner occu-
pancy, a by-product of the mass income tax adopted during the war.
Historically, perhaps the most consistent bias in the federal tax code has been the favoritism given to investment in new structures relative to investment in the improvement of existing structures.
It is a characteristic of the tax subsidy method of investment that the value of the tax advantage granted for homeownership is proportional to the marginal tax bracket for investors who claim the homeownership deduction. This deduction took an allocative significance for the first time during World War II, when the marginal federal tax paid by most Americans rose from 4 to 25 percent, making the deductibility of homeowner expenses far more valuable than they had been. Small wonder then that the percentage of families owning their
homes jumped from 40 percent in 1940 to over 65 percent in 1960.
Together, both directly and indirectly, these forces encouraged low-density single family living patterns, with generous amounts of land conversion on the urban fringe. On the average, between 1950 and 1970, each newly constructed single family dwelling added approximately six-tenths of an acre of rural land to the nation's urbanized area. cc
One of the most detrimental side effects of both tax and mortgage
policies has been the "leapfrogging" pattern of development. The
developer seeking buildable land and the buyer interested in a new
home in rural surroundings did not care whether the land or house
adjoined other developments. In fact, the developer preferred the
land further out because it was normally cheaper. In any case,
the developer was guilty of leaping over farmland to establish a
new urban area beyond.
Once speculators purchase land away from existing development, they can pressure local governments to rezone it for an inflated value. Town and village councils often give in to these pressures due to the lack of a comprehensive plan or development ordinances in the community. Additionally, leapfrog development is often reinforced by public officials who adopt aggressive growth policies. Some officials are now realizing that all forms of urban growth are not always welcomed and their opinions toward urban growth are changing from quantity to quality.
RURAL FACTORS Tax Assessments
Until about 25 years ago, agricultural land on the urban/rural fringe was taxed on its market value meaning the highest and best use which was always an urban use. Assessors often "went easy" on the farms and were deliberately lax on adjusting assessments upward as fast as market conditions would have justified. Of greater consequence was the ripple effect of this property reassessment. As
one farm was converted to an urban-type use and reassessed, so was the adjacent farmland reassessed regardless of its agricultural value. This situation naturally forced the farmer to consider selling or at least made inflated property values very attractive.
Today, unless property tax relief measures exist, property taxes on the farm take a sharp jump as the land is assessed at its highest and best suburban use; numerous states (including Colorado) have recently attempted to reduce agricultural land assessments through tax rebates, density transfers, agricultural preserve designations and taxes based on the land's productive capability.
Nuisance and Health Conflicts
The prevailing pattern of urban development encroaching into farming areas frequently severely threatens the economic viability of the farm. Animal odors and feedlot smells eventually drift into subdivisions, along with pesticide residues, of course angering adjacent residents. Frequently, suburbanites resent farm production schedules that call for late night and early morning operations.
Taken together, the nuisance and health threats cause suburbanites to file suits or demand local governments to impose various constraints on farming activity. The result is an increase in operation or a loss of any continued operation. Given these pressures, some farmers sell while others move to more distant locations.24
While population clearly is moving to the suburban fringe, to small towns and rural areas, some farming is being disrupted, but more importantly, land use is being poorly managed. Some studies show,
in fact, that urbanization does not appear to be a serious constraint to future growth in agricultural output. About 111 million acres of land has a high or medium potential for conversion to cropland and indications are that crop yields will increase, although at a reduced rate. ^6 However, by looking at the local economy, the urban/rural competition for land could be more substantial. The amount of agricultural land converted to urban uses may not be significant when compared with the national cropland base, but it may be substantial in specific communities or regions.
Additionally, as newcomers enter the rural land market, increasing the competition between agricultural and nonagricultural uses of the land, environmental interests are likely to resist farmland conversion. To reduce rural land conversion, some communities have purchases scenic or conservation easements on rural land or provided rural land owners incentives to retain their land in rural uses. Instead of stop-gap measures, what is needed is a comprehensive land use rural planning framework.
RURAL LAND ALLOCATION: THE IMPERFECT
III. RURAL LAND ALLOCATION: THE IMPERFECT MARKETPLACE
Prior to suggesting a rural planning framework, it is necessary to briefly explore why the marketplace is such a strong influence in planning for rural areas.
Land: A Consumable Good
Land is one of the essential non-renewable resources of mankind. Properly speaking, it is not a raw material, it is not quoted on the international market and by definition it is linked to its own particular site. Yet, it can be said to be a consumable good since when it is earmarked for specific types of use it generally cannot be used for any other activity.-*- It is important to point out that the use of space is not reflected in the number of acres actually assigned to a particular activity. Rather, it is being realized more and more that the use of a given area also effects the area next to it; the effect may be positive when the activity has an economic impact on the surrounding area, or negative when disamenities or pollution result for adjacent land.
Laissez-faire Attitude is Outdated
In the twentieth century, efforts to allocate land uses have been directed towards land that was becoming scarce, namely urban land.^ Over the years, studies and legislation have been aimed at better economic and environmental utilization of urban land. Until quite recently, however, rural and namely agricultural land has been regarded as an inexhaustible reserve for meeting the needs of cities. Today much more attention is being paid to these exurban planning challenges for numerous reasons: the increased pressure of population, the demand for more space per inhabitant owing to the higher
standard of living; and the growing interest in problems affecting nature and the rural environment. The 1972-1974 worldwide crop shortage severely depleted domestic grain reserves, resulting in high product prices for Americans and famine in some third world countries. Not least the foreign exchange requirements generated by American oil imports have also stressed the importance of agricultural exports to the balance of payments. For these reasons it is necessary to realize that an attitude of laissez-faire in rural land use is no longer acceptable and that measures promoting rational land use are needed.
Highest and Best Use
In considering how the present-day market allocates land, it is helpful to imagine a hierarchy of demands for land. These are ranked according to the land value one is willing to pay for the exclusive use of a given piece of land (Figure 1 ) At the bottom is rangeland, grazing, forestry and wheat crops and at the top are nonagricultural uses: rural housing, industrial plants, and suburban housing. This hierarchy of demands for land is not something fixed. Millions of acres of farmland can be shifted fairly easily from pasture to crops and back to pasture in response to changes in the relative market prices of grains and livestock.^
What is more difficult to envision is agriculture outbidding urban uses in any situation in which the land market is allowed to operate unimpeded. For example, recently agricultural uses have been stronger bidders for land than at anytime since the early 1950's.
Easy availability of credit for land purchases, strong years of crop prices, demand for farmland as an inflation hedge and a rising
Hierarchy of Land Uses
LAND MARKET ISSUES
Table I. Land use hierarchy. f
Use Typical Land Value
Urban uses* $5,000-50,000 +
Orchard, specialty crop 2,000-7,000
Rural residence 1,000-5,000
Corn, soybeans 1,000-4,000
Developed pasture 300-1,000
Forestry (bareland value) 100-600
Rangeland grazing 50-200
Urban uses include various intense land uses, including housing subdivisions, industry and commercial establishments.
Source: Robert G. Healy, "Land Market Issues," in
Farmland, Food and the Future, ed. Max Schnepf (Iowa: Soil Conservation Society of America, 1979) p. 69.
demand among foreign investors have combined to cause land prices, even in places remote from any possible urbanization, to rise to record highs. If ever there were a time that agriculture could be expected to compete head on with urban demands, the early 1970's would have been that time. Yet, while farmland prices were rising, prices of land for urban expansion were rising even more rapidly.
One survey of prices of raw land for development found that between 1970 and 1974 alone, land close to Miami appreciated by 150 to 300 percent, around Denver by 100 percent, and around Washington D.C. by 100 to 167 percent.5
For example, in 1978, land in northeast and southeast Colorado was selling for $200 to $400 per acre for dryland farms and as high as $900 to $1,000 per acre for irrigated land. However, in areas where vacation or residential homes were marketed, farmland was selling for $1,000 to $2,000 per acre. And producing farmland located adjacent to metropolitan areas was selling easily for between $3,000 and $10,000 an acre.5
Competition Between Land Uses
With increasing population growth and the increasing material require ments of modern life, the area needs of nearly every type of land use are certain to increase. ? Each new upward spurt in the demand for land may be expected to contribute further to the competition and conflicts between existing and emerging land uses (Figure 2).
Some of the most currently talked about competition between land uses comes with the encroachment of residential, recreation and other consumption uses on areas used for food production purposes.
Actors in the urban fringe land market.
Urban factors that affect the market for land in the urban fringe.
Source: Robert E. Couglin, "Land Conversion in the Urban
Fringe," Farmland, Food and the Future, ed. Max Schnepf (Iowa* Soil f'on'tpv'vation Soripty 0-f7 Ampv'i ca, 197Q) o. 35.
Conversion of some farmland to urban use
Much of the sprawling outward growth of our cities has come at the expense of areas once used for agriculture. And it is this shift from agricultural to suburban and urban uses which has frequently caused wasteful use of land resources.
Large Scale Land Conversion
As 20th century cities grew they came to have an economic structure which was diversified and less dependent on agriculture. Transportation, storage and production technology allowed cities to consume agricultural produce from an entire continent and frequently farther away. As this change in economic orientation took place, the forces shaping urban growth faced less economic resistance from agriculture and thus could more readily bid away agricultural land for urban uses. The character of land at or near urbanizing areas -flat well-drained land easily capable of producing food and fiber is part of the reason why prime farmland is diminishing. And herein lies the conflict: prime farmland typically makes prime development land.
In the 1940's and 1950's the combination of a national sense of gratitude to members of the armed forces and an unprecedented national prosperity spawned a house building boom unequalled in history. Fueled by federal mortgage guarantees provided through the Veterans Administration and the Federal Housing Administration, this activity was most often directed towards single family home tract construction in the urban fringes.8 Developers were attracted to prime farmland not only because of cheap land, but because of the existing network of county roads, power and telephone lines, and other services which reduced site development costs.
New local and interstate transportation systems subsidized by the federal government helped produce a new type of urban form oriented to the automobile. (The older communities were oriented to public transit and commuter railroads). Location within the community became irrelevant to value because any resident could reach school, shopping center or expressway with nearly equal convenience. Furthermore federal tax law which favors home ownership by allowing interest payment on home mortgages to be deducted from taxable income remains an indirect incentive to sprawl. Developers have therefore been motivated to obtain as much land as possible and completely develop it with single family homes.
Property taxes went up as tax assessors viewed the adjacent farmland for potential development and farmers were caught by inflationary increases in goods and services necessary for farming. In this way, farmland quickly lost its agricultural potential.
Small Scale Land Conversion
While large scale land conversion has occurred in many "boomtown" areas experiencing rapid growth, it is also common to see the incremental "creep" conversion of agricultural land in the less populous fringe areas. This process has been colorfully described as follows:
Countryside, U.S.A is changing. The farmsteads, livestock, fields, orchards, and woodlots are still there, but farmers are getting new neighbors neighbors who work in town or in local business or industry. The change in the rural scene often begins when a farmer sells off a front lot or two or perhaps a front tract of an acre or more. Later, a house is built on the lot or tract. The price the farmer received was high compared with the value per acre of his farm as a whole. Because of this, other farmers are induced to sell off their frontages.
More houses follow. Later entire farms are broken up into tracts of 5, 10 or more acres, or whole
farms are sold and subdivided. The change continues and as the years go by, country roads begin to look like residential streets. As the nonfarm population grows, land is bought for gas stations, then for other businesses and industrial uses.y
This sequence of events as depicted in Figures 3, 4, and 5 is familiar to many who have observed land use changes in the urban fringe and agricultural areas. In the beginning what was three viable farms has succombed to the pressures of urbanization causing a loss of farmland and increased property assessments on adjacent farmland.
Housing Site Requirements
The largest land demand will continue to be for residential use.
A recent projection of future housing needs shows that the United States had 81.0 million residential units in 1980 and this total will increase considerably in the decades ahead.10 Average annual demand for new housing is expected to reach 2.56 million units during the 1980's and then decline slightly during the 1990's.^ Many of the new housing units that will be constructed by 1990 will be built on vacant lands within city limits. However, most new construction will likely come in unincorporated subdivisions and areas now categorized as open country. This trend will call for the shifting of extensive new rural areas to urban and suburban developments.
The Garden City movement and current demand for ranch type houses has stimulated a demand for lots of considerable size. If one assumes that half the 38 million new dwelling units that should be built between 1975 and 2000 are built outside of present incorporated areas and that the average unit takes one-third of an acre, 13 million
Sequence of Farmland Development
Source: Michigan Farm Bureau, The Use of Zoning To
Retain Essential Agricultural Lands (Michigan: Michigan State University, 1977) p. 9-11.
acres will be utilized. And if the average suburban and rural building covers one-half of an acre, 19 million acres will be required.12
The Underlying Issue
The underlying issue seems to be an implicit assumption on the part of many people that the market system of allocating resources, particularly land, is not adequately satisfying societal goals; furthermore, the market system can not without public policy guidance. A market economist would counter by suggesting that societal goals not capable of inclusion in the market allocation system are not sufficiently identifiable to have value and therefore the system is operating on the basis of what people wanted to achieved An observation would be that in a theoretical context this may well be true, but that very pragmatically, the market system has built into it a number of institutional constraints ranging from taxation to economic power that tend to prohibit, or at least diminish the ability of the market system to account for a number of societal goals.
At the moment there is little consensus in most metropolitan areas on the need to control urban sprawl. Most land speculators, realtors, builders, consultants and public officials either favor expansion or stand to gain from it. To date major support for controlled growth has come from homeowners in rural areas, environmental groups and planners. The fact that increased residential growth normally means higher property taxes for schools, fire and police, sewers and roads concerns some suburban homeowners. Changes in this situation can occur when people and governments become aware of the effects of questionable resource-use practices on the environment, and on the
costs that may be shifted to society. At this point, priorities may be established in 1and-resource use. Steps may be taken to discourage or prevent premature or wasteful real estate developments. As population pressure increases, more and more competition can be expected between land uses. The next chapter puts forth policies that will help alleviate some of these conflicts and allocate land between urban, rural and agricultural demands.
DIFFERENCES IN RURAL AND URBAN ATTITUDES
IV. DIFFERENCES IN RURAL AND URBAN ATTITUDES
In developing workable planning policies for rural areas, it is of critical importance to understand the actors, their expectations and ideologies.
The New and Old Rural Resident and Planning
The traditional farmer is being joined by the urbanite whose income and flexible work schedule allow him to mix a rural and urban lifestyle; by the young professional couple who enjoy "hobby farming" with close attention to their land as a long term investment and; by the urban worker who looks forward to retirement in a quiet environment with lower living expenses.
In this situation, the ex-city dweller is seen as the invader of the countryside and the destroyer of its amenities and economic viability The following is a comparative list of some other "world views" held by urban and rural people (which indirectly affect the planning process
Man controls nature for his own ends
Problem solving, no limit to man's potential
One should aim for mastery over nature and people
Rewards of life largely material
World characterized by potential abundance
Time is pressing; must exploit present in interest of future: future orientation
Do i ng
Save for future
Social contacts numerous, mostly impersonal
Object-oriented life pattern
Man subject to nature, cannot control it
Man is small, very limited
One should aim for accommodation to nature and people
Rewards of life largely immaterial
World characterized by degrees of scarcity
Time is vague; life proceeds in slow and natural rhythms: present orientation
Live for today
Social contacts few but personal
Person-oriented life pattern
Goal in life is success, that is, increased income or social rank
Moral behavior includes the impersonal treatment of others as customers, competitors, employees, separating person from role ^
Goal in life is virtue, that is, a reputation for moral conduct
Moral behavior is personalized, specific to the individual
Because of these differing life philosophies, there typically develops
conflict between the rural/farming/conservationist attitude and the
urban/financial/commercial interests. While traditional land owners
see land in terms of its productive capacity, nontraditional landowners
often focus on the land's amenity value and disregard its productivity.
Each group has its own interpretation of the planning process as
H. G. Bracey has noted:
In general, the countryman sees planning as a body of legislation which can be invoked to
keep cities within bounds ____ for example to
prevent townsmen from building dormitory suburbs which swamp the countryside. City residents and many politicians regard planning as the instrument which will secure a supply of land wherever it may be found, adequate to provide for schools, houses, recreation for an ever-increasing, mainly urban population.2
Both attitudes may be unfair and narrow, but they do exist. The
relationship between city and country is often one of mutual distrust.
Recently, economic and environmental factors have made farming more difficult, adding fuel to this conflict. Although many new rural arrivals are seeking a "gentleman farming" lifestyle, they often bring urban problems for the serious ranchers and farmers. Their dogs kill farm animals, motorbikes chase cattle and vandals damage crops and farm equipment. New migrants adjacent to farmland are irritated by dust and noxious or toxic chemicals farmers use, and annoying odors.
Farming, once the dominant use, is frequently regarded as a nuisance and farmers have learned that residentially zoned land is the "highest and best use."
Rural Planning Needs a Rural Perspective
As urban Americans move out to exurbia, they are more likely to accept familiar planning programs to control growth whereas the traditional rural landowner is likely to view land use controls with suspicion. The older landowners do not want sprawl, but they do want to be permitted some growth that will benefit them economically. The differing values and motivations of new and old residents have important implications for how the land is used. Rural planners must understand these underlying forces if they are to find allies in their attempts to implement land planning strategies. The diversity of new and old inhabitants may explain why planners who are taking on the task of implementing innovative land use programs in rural areas find a mixed response to their plans.^
Rural planners must know the local diversity of interests, determine whether there exists a general desire for land use controls and present policy alternatives to the locality. Planners have typically been educated in urban universities, worked in urban environments and been faced almost exclusively with urban problems such as pollution, traffic congestion, crime, etc. There are similarities in rural area planning, but there are also differences that planners need to be aware of A
Urban planners typically believe that the protection of land is possible only by the strict segregation of land uses. They propose
agriculture-only zones based upon the assumption that farmers will welcome the protection from suburban "creep", developers and builders, and that the countryside is important to preserve. But what may actually be the case is that people living in rural areas want protection from urban type ordinances, eminent domain and even preferential tax treatment for maintaining their land in agricultural use. They do not want to be restricted by an urban zoning ordinance which prevents or limits the sale of their land.
Another widespread myth is that rural land not farmed and without structures is vacant and ready for development. Often this type of farm or ranch land has been only temporarily abandoned because of the decreased price of crops or cattle. It certainly may be returned
to farm or ranch land in the future or in any case, it has intrensic
value as open space or aesthetic value.
Another misconception is rural activity patterns and their socioeconomic implications. As an example, rural residents accept the inconvenience of traveling to several communities for their purchases. This does not imply that rural residents lack urban activity patterns, but rather the different patterns need to be observed and recognized prior to developing rural policies.?
The principal obstacle to solving the rural land use problem has been the ineffectiveness of traditional zoning methods. In traditional zoning, all regulations are within a few zone districts. Individual zones such as agriculture (A) must be applied to a wide range of areas throughout a jurisdiction. But these zones do not always respond to local sites and conditions. To acerbate the planning problem, restrictions are added to a single zone to address a problem in one
area that is not applicable in another. Each zone contains an inseparable package of use, setback, height, and parking requirements.
Yet, in many situations, each of these elements should be considered separately or sometimes not at all. As a result, conventional zoning can force government to often enforce unrelated and unnecessary regulations in many areas to achieve desired objectives in a few.8
For example, one ordinance in central Virginia has a zoning ordinance requiring minimum lot sizes of 2 to 5 acres on rural land with slopes of less than 14%. The minimum increases to 25 acres where slopes are greater. This has the effect of encouraging building on the flat agriculturally valuable lands. Smaller permitted lot sizes could accommodate the same amount of growth on a much smaller amount of land.9
If the courts do not break down large lot zoning first, the market place will. Economic pressures for higher density development are very strong. If a landowner can get his property rezoned from two acre to one acre or less, the market price can rise 1000% or more. 10' Considering such windfalls, it is little wonder that the pressures for rezoning are so relentless. The ultimate force for knocking down zoning, however, is not the developers, but the pressure of people looking for a place to live. For these reasons, new innovative zoning concepts are being devised and implemented to offset the problems of traditional zoning.
The most successful rural planning programs show some sensitivity to the desire of some farmers to make a few dollars from selective development. Other farmers want to provide housing for relatives who work the farm. Most farmers are not out to turn their pastures into suburbs. Still many of them react strongly to the suggestion
that they must maintain every square inch in production. Thus, many local programs, especially the more innovative ones, provide carefully designed and monitored safety valves.
Rural planning then needs to contain land use policies that reflect a rural perspective and sensitivity. The farmer or rural resident is suspect of regulations which he has never had to be concerned with and the new rural migrant is seeking a less regulated life style.
Because of the recent growth in exurbia, urban-type land use tools have often been applied in rural areas as a reactive measure. What is needed instead is a rural planning framework that considers the actors, their motivations, and expectations.
A RURAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK: CONCEPTS AND TOOLS
V. A RURAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK: CONCEPTS AND TOOLS
It is an undeniable fact that a significant number of frustrated urbanites are seeking the elixir of rural living for spirtual, emotional and financial relief. Unfortunately, the land use that has resulted is often helter skelter while ultimately working to the detriment of new and old residents alike. The task of rural planning then is to wisely designate areas and policies which will best absorb this new growth and yet simultaneously protect agricultural land. Mr. Justice Douglas surely would have agreed on the validity of rural planning when he wrote in the majority opinion for Boraas vs. Village of Belle Terre:
A quiet place where yards are wide, people few, and motor vehicles restricted are legitimate guidelines in a land-use project addressed to family needs....The police power is not confined to elimination of filth, stench, and unhealthy places. It is ample to lay out zones where family values, youth values, and the blessings of quiet seclusion and cleari air make the area a sanctuary of people. 1 \
A Rural Planning Framework
The following suggested planning policies are recommended for a county, region or state and not only for rural counties.2 It is important to realize that many counties or regions considered urbanized still contain large acreages of undeveloped non-urban land. Land uses for these areas can be divided into the following basic categories(Figure 1):
Urban Areas contain compact, high intensity, residential, industrial and commercial development. Urban policies normally relate to the extension of urban services and the
Basic Land Use Categories in the Rural Planning Framework
Source: Scott Lefaver, A New Framework for Rural Planning,
Urban Land (April 1978), p. 8.
prevention of urban sprawl. Counties and cites use these policies to define areas which will be subjected to urban development within 5 or 10 year time-frames.
. Agricultural Areas Although agriculture may no longer be the economic backbone of the economy in urbanizing areas, it remains an important segment of the economy. However, there is agricultural land and agricultural land; the difference is in production capability as defined by the U. S. Soil Conservation Service. Agricultural preservation is a way of guaranteeing that "prime" or Class I and II farmland will continue to be used for its important food growing quality. The soil Classes III and IV, which are marginal at best for agricultural, are the ideal location for other rural-type activities.
Riverine areas are environmentally sensitive areas and need to be protected.
Rural Land Is that land area excluded from the agriculture and urban categories. Three basic criteria are typically utilized by governments when planning for rural areas: subduing urban sprawl, minimizing costly public services, and preventing damage to environmentally sensitive areas.
In essence, the main reason for planning is to exclude urban-type development from rural land. Typically, zoning and growth policies are techniques used to specify the amount of land that can be developed and under what conditions.
It should be noted that planning the land areas mentioned above are characterized by "cannot" planning.^ The government unit cannot provide utilities and servides to certain areas; well and septic
tanks cannot be installed because of environmental problems and the landowner cannot develop his land if located in certain areas.
Buffering Rural Areas
Basic land uses have already been mentioned, but further explanation is necessary for the lands buffering the rural and urban areas. The two proposed buffer categories are the urban service area and the urban transition zone.^
The urban service area is that incorporated and unincorporated area within and around the urban area where a city has decided to extend urban services within a stated number of years. In the unincorporated area, landowners know they will be able to annex and develop within this time frame. It is suggested that the land develop under the criteria of rural residential (RR) variable density with a minimum acreage such as 10 acres. The concept allows development to occur when specific performance standards are met. In addition to the performance standards, are two important criteria: that the development would be compatible with the city plans for the area; and that there be an agreement to annex to the city when the city is ready to extend urban services.
The transition zone is primarily a buffer zone between the urban and rural areas where the local government plans to develop within 25 years. A rural residential variable density formula similar to the one used in the urban service area is recommended. The same performance standards would apply as within the urban service area and the same approvals would be required by the city.
Once these large land area designations have been accepted, it is necessary to focus on the rural areas. Prior to providing for new growth and development in these areas, two steps must occur:
1) designation of prime agricultural land and; 2) adoption of rural zones and uses on the non-prime agricultural land.
1) Agricultural Preserve Designation
Rural land that should be retained for productive cropland needs to be delineated on maps. The most widely used method employs the U. S. Soil Conservation Soil Maps which rates soil types relative to one another. Recently, the Agricultural Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) method has been devised and is a more sophisticated
tool for land evaluation.5
The U. S. Soil Conservation Service has mapped and classified all
agricultural land into four categories. This classification system provides a relative, not an absolute, basis of comparison. Land is calssified according to suitability for agricultural use in four categories: Class I best suited for agriculture; Class II moderately suited for agriculture; Class III poorly suited for agriculture and; Class IV unsuitable for agriculture. Land currently in nonagricultural uses and not likely to return to agriculture is included in Class IV. Inactive farms not now in production but capable of returning to production should be noted.
A newer more sophisticated agricultural land evaluation system (LESA) has also been developed by the U. S. Soil Conservation Service.
Local agencies can employ LESA to determine which lands should be set aside for agricultural and which should be permitted for development. In the first part of the process, farmland is tested for quality.
The second test evaluates land for its economic and social viability as farmland.
The computer program evaluates a site by land capability, soil productivity and soil potential. If the land is placed into the categories of cropland, forestland or rangeland, the soils are ranked Soils with the highest yields and fewest limitations will naturally have the greatest value for farmland.
Then the site assessment analysis determines which farmland has the greatest potential for continuing production within an area. Several factors within the evaluation include:
Land Use, including the percentage of land used for commercial farming within a certain number of miles and percentage of the site commercially farmed within the last ten years;
Land Use Regulations, including the zoning on and around the site;
Urban Infrastructure, including the distance to an urban area, and distance to water and sewer systems.
Finally, the site assessment figure is combined with the relative value from the land evaluation. The sum is then compared to a locally derived range that indicates if a site should be retained for agricultural use or allowed to convert to rural development.
By utilizing a soil evaluation methodology, it is now possible to ascertain long term and short term agricultural land (Figure 2 ).
Long term agricultural land:
1) Land having soil with demonstrated commercial productivity; and
Methodology for Determining Long and Short Term Agriculture
2) Not affected by existing or planned urban development; and
3) Being in large enough parcel sizes for economical farm units, and in ownership that will be interested in perpetuating the agricultural use.
Short term agricultural land:
1) Land having soils with demonstrated commercial productivity; but
2) That is served by public sewer and water facilities or
3) Is subdivided or adjacent to existing urban development.^
Preparation of a final agricultural land map will alert officials and citizens about the soil capabilities and urban pressures that are affecting the agricultural base in the community. The adoption of specific policies and zone districts to protect the long-term agricultural base is an important final step before considering the other rural land uses.
2) Adoption of Rural Zones and Uses
Within the rural land designation, two primary zones are proposed: a ranch/farm zone (A) and a general rural zone (GR).^ While the (A) zone applies solely to the prime agricultural, farming and ranching may occur in the GR zone, but it is not restricted only to that use. The GR zone is designed to maintain the rural character of the countryside and to provide areas which are appropriate for typical rural developments of various kinds. The following more specific
zones are proposed within the GR zone:
Rural Center Zone would apply to a small isolated settlement which would contain rural residential and commercial uses (The Denver Regional Council of Governments has already designated these zones in the Denver Metropolitan area Figure 3).
Rural Recreation Zone applies to areas where vacation or seasonal homes can be mixed with farming and/or ranching activities.
Rural Residential Zone is a zone for areas where low density residential and farming or ranching are mixed.
Planned Rural Development Zone is a flexible mixed use zone, not unlike an urban planned development. Special attention would be given to site selection, review and performance. Clustering will encourage reduced road networks and joint water and sewage systems. Special assessment districts can be utilized to operate necessary services within a PRD zone.^ Performance Zoning
Inflexible zoning encourages a landowner to withhold small parcels from development in anticipation of rezoning the land for a higher intensity use.^ If the landowner is successful, the high intensity use changes the character of the area and overloads roads and other services that were designed to serve traffic generated by lower intensities.
Performance zoning, rather than rely on the conventional standards that have typically dictated zoning ordinances, allows any of a variety of considerations to govern. Performance standards deal with
BOULDER CO. (MOUNTAIN)
: Denver Regional Council
of Governments, 1981-82 Development Monitoring Report (Denver: Denver Regional Council of Governments,r c 1982), p 8. ; '
DOUGLAS CO (MOUNTAIN)
PERRY PARK DOUGLAS CO. (NON-URBAN)
land use intensity measures, site variables, design variables and facilities. In essence, performance zoning places the responsibility for sound design on the land planner and developer. Most importantly for rural planning, performance zoning enables different types of housing to be mixed in the same district while preserving an overall character.
It is the concept of performance zoning which is instrumental to the success of most of these zone areas. The goals of performance zoning are flexibility and the reduction in the number of large lot subdivisions. Three criteria are typically employed to calculate the potential intensity of the site: 1) density; 2) open space; and
3) the carrying capacity determined from soil maps.H Within rural areas properties will undoubtedly vary in density because performance zoning usually results in higher density mixed use development within less environmentally sensitive area.
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County in California has utilized the Rural Residential Zone (RR) in an effort to permit sensitive low density rural residential development!2 It is one of the first attempts to coordinate subdivisions, cluster developments in order to minimize the costs of urban services. Detached and attached dwelling units, and agricultural uses are all permitted uses within the zone.
The important characteristic of this RR zone is the variable density formula used to ascertain the extent to which a property may be divided and the minimum lot size that will be permitted. Initial average lot size is calculated by totaling and averaging the point system in Figure 4 The result of this arithmetic is the "initial"
Santa Clara County, California Performance Criteria
Environmental Constraint Criteria Condition (Points)
1. High water table on site? Transition Area No 8 Yes 15 Urban Service Area 2.5 10
2. Slopeif less than 10% Points 8.0 5
. if greater than 10% Use Slope Density Lot Size
3. Slope stability hazard Minor 8 2.5
Moderate 12 5
Severe 15 10
4. Seismic hazard zone Minor 8 2.5
Moderate 12 5
Major 15 10
5. Soil limitation for septic system Slight 8 2.5
Moderate 12 5
Severe 15 10
6. Is site subject to flooding? No 8 2.5
1% Flood 12 5
7. Fire hazard severity Minor 8 2.5
Moderate 12 5
Major 15 10
Development Measure Taken \ Subtract From Initial Average Lot Size
1. Hookup to sanitary sewer or package treatment'plant. 12%
2. a. Hookup to municipal water system. 12
b. Use of mutual water system having recorded agreement among all users
providing for maintenance assessments. 8
c. Use of common well. 4
3. Install road improvements to county rural subdivision standards at the time of development. 8
4. Install drainage improvements to county rural subdivision standards at the time of development. 4
5. Process development as major subdivision. 12
6. Restrict at least 60 percent of the gross acreage to open space whereby further development
is precluded. 12
Lefaver, "A New Framework for Rural (April 1978), p. 11.
average lot size. From the average lot size, a percentage for each of the six development measures taken is then subtracted, leaving the lot size that can be developed. This lot size cannot be less than a minimum acreage (2 acres in the urban service zone and 3 acres in the transition zone). Two additional conditions have to be met before development can take place: the property owner must be willing to annex at the city's request and have the development reviewed and approved by the city.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
In the mid-1970's, land in Bucks County was facing a number of the same demands for rural land. People from the suburbs and cities were seeking rural lifestyles causing environmental impacts and escalated land prices. Meanwhile, the existing rural residents voiced a strong concern that the County's unique character was being jeopardized. With these conflicting interests in mind, Bucks County planners explored alternatives to traditional zoning which had failed to protect the aesthetic, natural and historic amenities of the County. Their final adopted recommendation was a performance zoning applicable to the entire County. Figure 5 shows the performance requirements for the different zoning districts.
Costs and Revenues for the Local Government
An attractive characteristic of this planning framework is that new revenue is generated for the local (and State) government through sales, use and property taxes. Only a carefully determined amount of land is eligible for agricultural preserve designation where reduced property assessments are based on agricultural use or production levels (as it is in Colorado). The remainder of the rural area is
Bucks County, Pennsylvania Performance Criteria
TABLE OF PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
OPEN NET DENSITY imp. MIN. MIN. MAX. Explanatory Material (not needed in Ord.)
ZONING DISTRICT & SPACE SURFACE SITE LOT NO. OF URBAN AVG. DU TYPE& GROSS DENSITY
USES PERMITTED____________________RATIO wo/bonus w/bonusU) RATIO AREA SIZE LOTS FRINGE CLASS wo/bonus_____________________w/bonus(l)_____
Single-family - .04 - - 25 Ac 25 Ac - Resource Pro- S.F. (.04)
Performance Subdivision .95 .8 .04 50 Ac - - Rights sold S.F. (.04)
Single-family - .3 .06 3 Ac 3 Ac 4 Resource S.F. (.3)
Single-family Cluster .90 3.0 - .08 10 Ac 20,000(4) Protection S.F. (.3) #
Performance Subdivision .90 5.0 7.0(3) .08 20 Ac - - Village (.5) Duplex (.7)
Single-family - .3 - .06 3 Ac 3 Ac 4 Resource S.F. (.3)
Single-family Cluster .85 1.8 - .08 10 Ac 20,000(4) - Protection S.F. (.3)
Performance Subdivision .85 4.6 7.0(3) .08 20 Ac - - Village (.7) Patio (1.1)
Single-family - .18 - .06 5 Ac 5 Ac 10 Rural Holding S.F. (18)
Single-family Cluster .80 1.8 .08 10 Ac 20,000(4) - S.F. (.35)
Performance Subdivision .80 3.7 - .10 20 Ac - - S.F. Lot (.7)
Single-family - 1.2 1.8 .16 20,000 20,000 10 Development S.F. (1.2) S.F. (1.8)
Single-family Cluster .40 2.74 4.12 .16 5 Ac - - S.F. (1.68) S.F. Lot (2.52)
Performance Subdivision .40 5.6 8.4 .35 10 Ac - - Village (3.3) Atrium (5)
Single-family - 2.13 3.2 .16 10,000 10,000 15 Urban/Devel. S.F. (2.13) S.F. (3.2)
Single-family Cluster .30 3.6 5.4 .20 5 Ac - - S.F. (2.4) Village (3.7)
Performance Subdivision .30 6.66 10 .38 5 Ac - - Duplex (4.5) Town- (7)
URBAN CORE 1
Performance Subdivision .25 8.66 13 .44 5 Ac - - Urban/Devel. Atrium (6) 3 story (10)
House garden apt.
URBAN CORE 2
Performance Subdivision .20 13.35 20 .46 10 Ac - - Urban/Devel. 3 story (10) 4 story (IS)
garden apt. mid-rise
(1) See Section 508, this indicates the maximum possible units on a tract, developer must select bonuses to be used.
(2) This district is created only where development rights transfer is used. Once development rights are sold the land is rezoned to Agricultural Preservation.
(3) Bonus here should only be for a transfer of development rights within this district.
(4) The minimum lot size may be as per Section 503(B) provided public sewer or a community septic system is provided, the table governs for on site sewer and water.
Source: Bucks County Board of Commissioners, Performance Zoning.
Pennsylvania: Bucks County, 1976, p. 52.
available for some lesser or greater degree of residential and commercial development which in turn generates revenue for the municipality and school district(s). Unfortunately, any attempt to direct/and use away from the principle of highest and best use will erode the tax base of local governments. This situation suggests that tax reform may be the answer to maintaining a large prime agricultural area.
It is often asserted that the homeowner living in a new development is subsidized by those living in the older sections of the City.
Many of the discussions of this point are, unfortunately, not based upon good cost accounting.
Two factors tend to confuse the situation. First, many of the capital facilities are paid for over a period of time far less than their actual physical life. Water supply mains, for example, have a physical life of as long as 75 years, and yet are paid for in from 20 to 40 years. Thus, the question of "subsidy" from one generation to another is always involved no matter where one lives in a city. Second, given our high mobility, it is rare for a particular resident to
live in the same house for the full period during which the physical capital facilities are being paid for. Thus, it confuses evaluation of where the burden may fall to talk about residents of older sections of a city paying for particular facilities, when what is involved is that charges are assessed against particular pieces of property under the property tax system which dominates the local tax structure. Unless taxes are somehow capitalized in the price of a piece of property, it is difficult to determine the extent to which particular
individuals subsidize other individuals because the amount of movement from one residence to another makes analysis of the burdens and
benefits in personal terms difficult if not impossible.
Volumes of academic studies have detailed the costly expenses of sprawl. This planning framework through its suggested organized development, attempts to alleviate expensive and unanticipated service expenses. Each development area is carefully documented to receive services in a stated number of years. And, those developments in rural areas must meet performance criteria which shifts the infrastructure costs to the user rather than the municipality.
The public service and facility costs of farmland are low. Generally, the taxes paid to the community from the farms are greater than the service and facility outlays they require. Therefore, in terms of tax returns versus public costs, the farms are producers, not consumers. With leap-frog development, however, the public service and facility costs usually exceed the taxes collected. By controlling the timing, rate or location of development as the rural planning framework has attempted communities are able to control their public costs.
Rural Land Planning: At What Level of Government?
A critical issue in this planning strategy has to do with the level
of government that should be responsible for undertaking planning
for rural areas. The United States has traditionally held strong
to the principle that government closest to the people is the most
responsive and, thus, the best. However, this very accessabi1ity
tends to be contradictory to the ultimate planning process where the
long term objectives may not be compatible with the short terms of elected local governments. Additionally, local governments tend to be responsive to pressures for land use changes further negating the effectiveness of zoning. There are a number of examples which suggest that responsible growth management can only take place at the regional or state level. This point is made in a sharp criticism of the Ramapo decision by Fred Bosselman who indicates that the vested interests of a local government hardly permit it to make wise decisions with respect to its own growthj.6
A number of court cases have begun to emphasize that local municipalities cannot make land use decisions out of context from the larger area of which they may be a part. This view was expressed in the Petaluma opinion and more recently by Chief Justice Hall of the New Jersey Supreme Court, in the case of Southern Burlington County NAACP vs. the Township of Mt. Laurel. The Court stated:
However it is fundamental and not to be forgotten that the zoning power is a police power of the state, and the local authority is acting only as a delegate to that power and is restricted in the same manner as is the state. So, when regulation does have a substantial external impact, the welfare of the state's citizens beyond the borders of the particular municipality cannot be disregarded and must be recognized and served.17
Chief Justice Hall, stressing that local governments are not little
states but must act with statewide or regional factors in mind,
cited with approval an earlier New Jersey case, Duffcon Concrete
Products, Inc. vs. Earl of Crefskill, 1 N.J. 509 (1949) in which
Chief Justice Vanderbilt had stated:
.... the effective development of a region should not and cannot be made to depend upon the advantageous location of municipal boundaries, often prescribed decades or even centuries ago, and based in
many instances on considerations of geography, commerce, or of politics, that are no longer significant with respect to zoning. The direction of growth of residential areas, on the one hand, and of industrial concentration on the other, refuses to be governed by such artificial lines.
Changes in methods of transportation as well as in living conditions have served only to accentuate the unreality in dealing with zoning problems on the basis of the territorial limits of a municipality.1^
These court cases clearly indicate that managed growth decisions cannot be based solely on the desires of individual jurisdictions. This factor along with new federally mandated requirements for regional government agencies has brought regional planning into greater prominance.
The central dilemma of regionalism is to reconcile differences between regional problems and jurisdictional solutions.
In trying to institute a rural planning policy, it is clear that small jurisdictional self interests would be prohibitive to planning. A more likely vehicle would be a regional agency(s) mandated by the state.
In 1980, the Natural Resources Task Force of the Colorado Front
Range Task Force concluded that:
Decisions regarding land should be made at the local level. These decisions should be made with concern for transportation problems, energy consumption, air pollution, the maintenance of a strong agricultural base, and the preservation of natural resources.19
Politically, this may have been a prudent statement but realistically, there is a significant gap between local government authority and its ability to grasp or even influence regional problems of air pollution or the agricultural economy.
In 1982, discussions among Colorado farmers and ranchers regarding
their needs and interests indicates a willingness to accept a
stronger State role. Only two years have elapsed since the same
coalition objected to the Colorado Agriculture Department's study
of agricultural land conversion, fearing that efforts to preserve
prime farmland would infringe on these property rights. Yet in a
recent Colorado State University survey, farmers and ranchers
ranked agricultural land conversion as a high priority item for
Colorado State Legislative action. Thirty percent of those surveyed
also said voluntary programs to reduce agricultural conversion
should be developed, and 29 percent said mandatory controls should on
Governmental efficiency compels coordination at the regional scale for reasons of self interest and economies of scale. Regional imperatives which were first experienced in terms of regional limits on
local growth, may increasingly be felt as pressures to increase certain types of growth. Regional imperatives will be a consideration in any local growth policies for the foreseeable future.
SOME OTHER INNOVATIVE IDEAS
VI. SOME OTHER INNOVATIVE IDEAS
With little fanfare, local communities across the nation have established various programs designed to conserve prime farmland and provide for rural living. Each program is unique in its design and application.
Each capitalizes on specific planning techniques and each includes a different combination of planning tools. Some are complex and some are quite simple. Some work under intense development pressure, and some experience hardly any. Several are even actual market projects which have successfully mixed farmland amenities with urban type housing in financially viable "rural communities." All these tools are similar in one respect; they have attempted to balance rural living and farmland preservation and provide for economic gain to the property owner. Some of the more innovative ideas include:
Oregon Land Use Act
Provisions for moderating the conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses are included in the Oregon Land Use Act. The two provisions of particular importance are requirements that (1) cities and counties
jointly establish urban growth boundaries; (2) all agricultural land outside of urban growth boundaries not designated for non-farm uses must be zoned for "exclusive farm use." *
The urban growth boundary (UGB) separates land which can be urbanized from rural land. The UGB serves as the outer limit to urban development, thereby helping to ensure that population increases will not interfere with farm uses. The boundaries are designed to accommodate the anticipated population growth of about 20 years; but they are not
intended to be permanent. Urban growth boundaries are not the only means of channeling development away from agricultural lands, however, over 340,000 acres are being planned in the Williamette Valley alone to provide dwelling opportunities for people seeking rural lifestyles
who are not commercial farmers.
In the process of drawing up local plans an "exceptions" process permits agricultural lands already developed, or needed for urban or rural non-farm uses to be exempted from the exclusive farm use classification. Farmlands exempted from the agricultural land category are usually designated for rural residential use.
It will be some time before the evidence is sufficient to assess the performance of the Oregon program. However, a brief look at the current situation in the northern Willamette Valley provides some insight. The six county area of the Willamette Valley has the highest population concentration of any region in Oregon. This region accounted for 46 percent of the total population growth in Oregon during the 1970's. 3
Meanwhile, the six counties have experienced a substantial decline in farmland. Statistics from the U. S. Census of Agriculture show that land in farms declined by over 20 percent (nearly 270,000 acres) between 1964 and 1978.
Evidence on the effectiveness of the Oregon program is inconclusive.
The success of exclusive agricultural zoning will depend primarily on
the level of demand for the minimum size parcel for rural residential
or "hobby farm" uses. Recent land transaction data indicate that the
market value of the smallest allowable parcel (20 to 50 acres) zoned
exclusive agriculture in 1980 was approximately $70,000.^ Relative to
the other two main residential locations (a one-third acre suburban lot inside the UGB or a four acre parcel in a rural residential zone) the price of a residential site in the exclusive agricultural zone was two to four times more expensive.
It would seem risky to make generalizations about the stability of commercial agriculture in exclusive agricultural zones on the basis of these data. On one hand it appears that the demand of nonagricultural users for exclusive agricultural land has been reduced. On the other hand there is some indication that the reduction in farmland conversion is not uniform among counties.
Fulfillment of the Oregon Land Use Act goals does not imply that local governments must impose an inflexible permanent freeze on all conversions of agricultural land. Good public policy requires the recognition of conflicting social objectives: efficiency in the allocation of land among competing uses and protection of private property rights. The objective is to control sprawl and prevent nonagricultural demands for farmlands from adversely affecting agricultural viability.
Quarter/Quarter Zoning is a new and innovative tool that has been
adopted by a number of Minnesota Counties Dakota, Rice, Carver,
Blue Earth and Scott. Under quarter/quarter zoning each landowner
is permitted one dwelling unit per quarter/quarter section of land.
Thus, if a farmer owns one-quarter section, he is permitted four
units a quarter/quarter section (40 acres) of one quarter (160
acres) with one dwelling unit per quarter/quarter section (Figure 1).
This is in contrast to zoning ordinances that by virtue of 10-20-30-
or 40 acre minimum lot sizes force the farmer to sell large chunks
of the farm to develop a single site.
The quarter/quarter ordinance further details the type of lot development so that the remainder of the 120 acres will stay in agricultural use. Once the farmer has developed the lots, he has reached the end of the zoning entitlement. This technique allows the farmer to profit from subdivision of his land and at the same time insure that the remainder stays in agricultural use.
This technique is defined further by the use of one acre minimum per lot and standards governing setbacks and access to public roads. Although each landowner is entitled to one nonfarm lot per 40 acres, the individual lot must still meet the following criteria: 1) the soil and water conditions shall permit a well and an onsite sewer system; 2) access may be from an existing driveway, however it shall be as to provide specified spacing from any existing driveway or public road.
The force of these standards is to push the density far below the one unit per 40 acres. The Land Use Coordinator for Carver County says, "The idea is to keep the agricultural land in production. For that reason the standards are designed to keep units spread out and by keeping water and sewer lines out, we believe we'll retain our agricultural base."^
There are also several adaptations to the basic ordinance. In Blue Earth County, for instance, owners of adjacent parcels may transfer permitted lots from one parcel to the other. The ordinance also provides for bonus lots that may be granted for land that has not been used in the previous five years for agricultural purposes.
In Dakota County, Douglas Township has adopted quarter/quarter zoning but the township has increased the permitted lots per quarter/quarter section. In one area of the township, two lots per quarter/quarter section are permitted. In another area, six lots per quarter/quarter section are permitted.
Communities using this new tool report good success and solid public
support. Many local planners feel the technique is adaptable and 9
Under the sliding scale approach, permitted density in the agricultural area varies inversely with the size of parcel ownership. For example, if a farmer owns a 20 acre parcel, the sliding scale might permit two lots, an average of one per 10 acres. However, if the farmer owns 100 acres, the sliding scale might permit only four lots, or an average of one per 25 acres. ^
Sliding scale ordinances have been adopted in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Minnesota. The number of lots permitted varies as the sliding scale varies, depending on pressures from urban development and patterns of land ownership.
An attractive feature of these ordinances is that they pay close attention to the type of land that may be used for residential development.
In York County, Pennsylvania, for example, the ordinance specifies that residential lots must be placed on less productive soils or on lands that are not suited to agricultural production due to size, shape, topography, etc. In the event that a farm only contains prime soils, the units will still be permitted. ^
York County even provides for additional lots if the land is not suited for agricultural production. To this extent, the ordinance is performance oriented.
Communities report that the sliding scale technique is working. The use of performance criteria to identify the location of permitted lots and to guide future residential development is also meeting with success. The net result for most communities is a reduction in the number of premature rural subdivisions and an increase in farmland maintained.
The concepts of clustering and contracting may be combined to provide a program for rural areas. In Vermont it is based on a voluntary landowner-town contract. Typically, the contract contains four agreements:
1) states that the farmer agrees to deed to the town, the development rights on 90 percent of all prime agricultural land in exchange for $1.00; 2) the farmer's remaining land will be zoned for a total number of dwelling units equal to the total number permitted by the zoning ordinance plus a 10 percent bonus; 3) the prime land will be taxed on
agricultural production; 4) the non-prime agricultural land will be
taxed as pasture land until development occurs.
The advantages of this program are as follows:
1) development rights are gradually removed from prime agricultural land.
2) prime agricultural land (and open space) are protected at little expense to taxpayers.
3) the farmer's development rights are not lost.
Contract Clustering is another new technique which permits controlled mixed uses on farmland in order to allow the farmer some financial gain.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, northwest of Charlottesville, Virginia and 100 miles from Washington D.C., is "Farmcolony" one of the most successful projects designed to prevent the loss of agricultural land (Figure 2 ) It is not a commune, organic homestead community or isolated experiment in land reform trying to end-run the System. These projects typically remain outside the money economy, accumulating social and economic lessons in self-sufficiency but never competing for the more expensive land. The underlying concept of Farmcolony is to retain as much agricultural land in actual farming operations as possible while utilizing the remaining nonfarm land for residential development. In essence, Farmcolony is the prototype for the rural community concept. ^
In the early 1970's, Michael Redd, a landscape architect, and Gilbert Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Farm Development Corporation, began planning for an agricultural and residential settlement. Regulations requiring roads, sewers, etc. had made land development capital intensive since the late 1960's. Furthermore, expensive amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses, required to sell homes and sites, caused heavy up-front investment. The Farmcolony idea, however, was to utilize an existing farm. If the right farm could be selected all that would be required would be access roads, fencing and some handyman labor. The farm would be the ameni ty.
After surveying numerous sites, they finally settled on a 285 acre farm in Greene County, Virginia. The development now consists of 48 home sites, clustered on 95 acres, 150 acres of working space and 40 acres of mountain open space. All sites average two acres and are
Farmcolony Site Plan
Joseph H. Nash, Jr. "Farmcolony: A Development Alternative to the Loss of Agricultural Land," Urban Land. Vol. 35, No. 2 February, 1975.
situated on non-prime land. Redd comments, "We chose only the land which may have formerly been used for timber or left as woodland for our residential lots." By 1976 all 48 sites had been sold at an average price of $20,000 primarily to middle and upper income classes seeking a haven from the large metropolitan areas. The mix of people varies from young professionals who work in Washington D.C. and plan to use Farmedony for a weekend retreat, to people who plan to live full time at the farm. ^
Farmcolony has been set-up by lawyers so that the price of land includes a 1/48th interest in the working form. The community association owns and operates the farm, but they retain a farm manager to carry out the day-to-day ranching activities. Owners are able to purchase steaks, roasts, and fresh eggs from the farm at substantial savings. Cattle raising is used as low labor intensive agriculture to minimize operational problems. Another advantage of a livestock operation is the potential multiple use of land for vegetable gardening, hiking, and horseback riding. ^
One of the most frequent complaints against a subdivision of this nature is the cost to the county government. In fact though, Farmcolony may eventually generate nearly $23,000 for Greene County. One reason is that there are no school age children living at the project, although they are not discouraged. Another reason is that utility service extensions are not necessary. Each lot has its own well and septic tank. ^
Farmcolony will generate annual revenues for the County of $30,980.00 and will require estimated county expenditures of $7,320.00. This is an annual net gain to the county of $23,660.00. (This figure is based
on the fact that Farmcolony does not have any school age children).
As school expenditures are a large portion of public service expenses, the addition of only a few students to the county system could add a considerable amount ($3,950.00 per student, annually) to the county's expenditures. Since Farmcolony will have little impact on the demand for public services, few additional public service jobs are required. There will be some impact on short term private employment (construction jobs) and long term employment will result as Farmcolony residents seek domestic services.*9
The Farmcolony type of project can answer the challenge of maintaining orderly land use in rural areas near expanding urban areas.
First, the project can be financially beneficial to the developer and to the farmer selling the land. Secondly, Farmcolony can provide housing for an increasing number of middle income homebuyers seeking a residence in a rural environment. Thirdly, since the land remains virtually in the same use, there is little environmental impact to the site. Finally, Farmcolony development can be a viable method for preserving agricultural land and open space.
The versatile Farmcolony concept could be encouraged in both short and long term agricultural areas. In permanent or long term agriculturally designated areas, residential development would be permitted only on non-agricultural land such as steep sloping land and woodlots. The prime land would be farmed. In urbanizing areas where sewer and water will eventually be extended and low density development will soon engulf the area, a rural community project would be an effective tool for orderly land conversion.
The Farmcolony approach has been so well received by developers
that Redd has franchised the idea throughout the United States.
Anticipated or operational Farmcolonies are presently in Minnesota,
Florida, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Redd says
that he sees the Farmcolony idea eventually being expanded so that
lower income people can also enjoy a rural lifestyle. "I think
about the possibility of using mobile homes rather than houses to
make it more economical", he comments.
Easton, Massachusetts is a small semi-rural town of 20,000, about 20 miles from Boston which is devoted primarily to dairy farming and cranberry growing. Here the Society of Friends purchased an 87 acre rural site to create "an intergenerational community of like minded persons who share such common goals as simplicity of lifestyle, mutual support, self-sufficiency and conservation of energy."21
Plans call for approximately 300 persons (50% of these are to be elderly) to be housed in 160 townhouses on a 17 acre portion of the site (Figure 3 ). Phase I consisting of 69 units was completed in
Spring 1978. The completed Friends Community Project will be based on the European village concept with clusters of housing joined to a common center on a village green. The remaining 60 acres will be used for farming and forestry operations.
Further, Easton town residents will enjoy free access to the recreation areas, nature trails, and community facilities. It is significant in new fringe developments that this project permits a large portion of the landscape to remain undeveloped while yet providing for human requirements.
Hi) .u ics in die village of Noiill Fusion, Mass. of which 12 m a s are devoir d to UiO solar'-healed lownhouses oigani/cd as a housing c oopciaiive.
Rt si of land lot woodlot,
I mi ul, Im y le N walking nails, play ing fields, i oiiiimiiiiiv gaulcii N on haul, inline slndy, w11 11iIt-. ( mnnnnnity building Is: meeting
house lo he hm 11 i ill v mage ga i n.
Figure 3 Friends Community Site Plan
TOWN OF EASTON RECREATION ARE
Friends Community Fact Sheet, North Easton, Massachusetts February 1979.
Nearly 25 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, 949 acres of rolling grassland are being developed by Earth Services, Inc. into a new farm community. The Plum Run plan envisions 388 acres of farmland to be reserved for food crops and the ownership to be vested in the purchasers of the 1949 condominium units. The nonprofit farm corporation will be supported by $20.00 monthly fees from all lot buyers and managed by professionals to raise food only. So far the Plum Run enterprise has been well received. The president of the development firm claims that on opening day, the project did a million dollars in sales of lot reservations.
East of Plum Run, near the Kentucky River, is another farm oriented settlement, Hickory Hill Estates.23fhe owner is selling off 30, 10 acre minimum sites of what was until recently a family farm. According to the convenants, owners may fence only one acre and the remainder must be part of the common land. The remaining 187 acres will continue to function as a cattle and tobacco farm and will be offered as a cooperative to lot buyers. James B. Moore, the owner remarks, "A lot of people are just attracted to the idea of looking out the window at cattle roaming around." 24
We are not here ... to decide the question or rural versus urban. But rather, what we can do to preserve and improve both. So that people will have meaningful opportunities to choose either.1
In the last decade, a new pattern of human settlement has been gaining momentum throughout the U. S. which is certain to significantly influence future land use planning: non-metropolitan areas have'increased in population more than the traditional metropolitan growth centers. This nonmetropolitan growth has several distinguishing characteristics: it is expansion of suburbanization into the semi-rural fringes and; a smaller migration of people into small rural or farming towns. Nearly every socio-economic group is involved: professionals, blue collar workers, retirees and; back-to-the-earth supporters are all contributing to this new migration.
The desire to seek the solace of the "middle landscape" between urban and rural is not a new phenomenon but rather a human aspiration for privacy, self-sufficiency and a slower paced life style. Regardless of the increasing costs of energy and services, these urban to rural converts are more convinced and more numerous than ever before in American history.
Urban planning, with its successes and failures, has served to remind us that unless planning for these newly areas is undertaken soon, not only will we find dissatisfaction with the hodge podge of land uses, but our agricultural land may be seriously jeopardized.
For at least 70 years it has been more or less taken for granted that, under any forseeable set of circumstances, farmland would not be a limiting factor in food production. Recently, however, two new factors
have significantly altered national attitudes towards the loss of farmland the world-wide grain shortage of 1972-1974 and the foreign exchange value of grain. The answer to the basic question of agricultural land loss is not easily determined. The problem is one of trade-offs rather than a need for some absolute quantity of land.
Primarily, the rural planning problem concerns allocating land uses between the new demand for residential/gentlemen farm land and the existing agricultural land. But there are other concerns: urban land uses bidding away rural land and; the expectation of the farmer to enjoy some financial rewards from inflated property values.
The proposed rural planning framework attempts to weigh "windfalls" and "wipeouts" equitable among these actors. Policies and concepts have been noted that are in use nationwide specifically designed to cope with these very problems. If there is any single lesson learned, it is that no one tool or method will work in all situations.
Planning the use of rural land from a public policy point of view is not an easy endeavor. It is frought with economic, political and social problems. Perhaps the least understood but most significant of these problems has to do with the value systems of all of us.^ Individually and collectively we tend to be ambivalent; we support long run community objectives at the same time advocating that policies not interfere upon our personal freedoms. The political process theoretically is designed to resolve these conflicts. The ultimate resolution of effective public policies regulating the uses of land will be most effective when no interest is completely satisfied with the outcome.
APPEND I X
Appendix A. Model Quarter/Quarter Ordinance: Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities Area
AGRICULTURE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE
An ordinance promoting the health, safety, and general
welfare of the citizens of_________, Minnesota,
by amending the zoning ordinance, by repealing sections ______________5 thereof, and by adopting new
sections pertaining to agriculture districts.
I. LEGISLATIVE INTENT AND FINDINGS OF FACT3 The governing body does hereby find that land lying within
the boundaries of the ____________for which the logical
and proper use is agriculture is threatened by rapid expanding growth and urban development. The governing body further finds that urban development must be accommodated in a logical and orderly fashion in order to minimize the conflicts between urban and agricultural uses. The governing body further finds that the development and urbanization of high-quality agricultural land is detrimental
to the health and safety of the citizens of________,
It is the purpose of this ordinance to identify and classify
such lands lying within the boundaries of _________,
Minnesota, for which the logical and proper long-term use is agriculture and to preserve and protect said agricultural land from unnecessary encroachment by nonagricultural uses.
The governing body further finds that urban development must be accommodated. The designation of those lands and areas that are, or will in the near future, become suitable for urbanization will direct urban growth within the___
1. Since this is a model ordinance, the name of the adopting local governmental unit cannot be inserted. Fill in the appropriate blanks throughout with the name of the government adopting the ordinance; i.e., Kalamazoo County, Anderson Township.
to the most appropriate areas and away from prime agricultural land. It is the purpose of this ordinance to identify land currently in agricultural use which is suited to urban uses and to preserve it in agricultural use until such time as streets, sewers, water supply, and other community facilities, utilities, and services are provided or scheduled so as to ensure orderly and beneficial conversion of such lands to nonagricultural use and to prevent their premature conversion.
1. Accessory Structure: A structure whose use is associated with but incidental to the main use of the parcel on which it is situated.
2. Building: Any structure used for the shelter of persons, animals, or property of any kind.
3. Capital Improvement Program: An itemized program for a five-year prospective period, subject to at least biennial review, setting forth the schedule, timing, and details of specific contemplated public improvements by year, together with their estimated cost, the need for each improvement, financial sources, and the financial impact that the improvements will have on the local governmental unit.
4. Commercial Agriculture: The use of land for the growing and/or production of field crops, livestock, and livestock products for the production of income including but not limited to the following:
a. field crops, including: barley, soy beans, corn, hay, oats, potatoes, rye, sorghum, and sunflowers.
b. livestock, including: dairy and beef cattle, goats, horses, sheep, hogs, poultry, game birds, and other animals including dogs, ponies, deer, rabbits, and mink.
c. livestock products, including: milk, butter, cheese, eggs, meat, fur, and honey.
2. Many local governmental units already have ordinances that establish an agricultural district. If this is the case, it is likely that this agriculture preservation ordinance will be replacing the existing agricultural districts. If an old agricultural district is being replaced by the new agriculture preservation ordinance, the old section is repealed. If no section of the old zoning ordinance is being replaced by this amendment, it is unnecessary to include this language in the ordinance heading and text.
3. This section sets forth the findings of fact and logic that led to the adoption of this agriculture preservation ordinance. Courts traditionally give great deference to the legislative findings and conclusions of local governmental units. For this reason, setting forth the logic behind the ordinance can be of assistance should the ordinance be challenged in court. Finally, setting forth the intent and findings can be of great assistance to those who must interpret and apply the ordinance and to those landowners who must operate under its restrictions.
5. Comprehensive Sewer Policy Plan: A plan adopted by a local governmental unit describing, designating, and scheduling the areas to be sewered by the public system, the existing and planned capacities of the public system, the standards and conditions under
4. Terms which are essential to the operation of the agriculture preservation ordinance are defined in this section. I he local governmental unit adopting this ordinance should include these definitions in the definition section of the already existing zoning ordinance. Some of the terms defined will most likely be defined in the existing zoning ordinance. When this occurs, it may e possible to combine the two definitions, or it may be necessary to make slight changes. In order to ensure continuity, the definitions of Capital Improvement Program and Comprehensive Sewer Policy Plan incorporate the language of the Metropolitan Land Planning Bill.
J William Toner, "Saving Farms and Farmlands: A Community Guide," Planning Advisory Service #333 (July 1978).
which the installation of private sewer systems will be permitted, and, to the extent practicable, the areas not suitable for public or private systems because of public health, safety, and welfare considerations.
6. Drainage System: Any natural or artificial feature or structure used for the conveyance, drainage, or storage of surface and/or underground water, including, but not limited to, streams, rivers, creeks, ditches, channels, conduits, gulleys, ravines, washes, lakes, or ponds, and structures such as culverts, drainage tile, dams, bridges, and water-storage basins.
7. Driveway: A private road or path for vehicle access to a public road, which is wholly located on the parcel which is afforded access.
8. Farm Dwelling: A single-family dwelling located on a farm which is used or intended for use by the farms owner or a person employed thereon.
9. Farm: Real property used for commercial agriculture or horticulture comprising at least 40 contiguous acres and which may contain other contiguous or noncontiguous acreage, all of which is owned and operated by a single family, family corporation, individual, or corporation.
10. Farm Building: Any building or accessory structure other than a farm or nonfarm dwelling which is used in a farming operation, including, but not limited to, a barn, granary, silo, farm implement storage building, or milk house.
11. Feedlot: A confined area or structure used for feeding, breeding, or holding livestock for eventual sale in which animal waste may accumulate but not including barns, pens, or other structures used in a dairy farm operation.
12. Historic Site: Structure or area of land or water of historic, archeological, paleontological, or architectural value which has been designated as a historic site in the Federal Register of Historic Landmarks, by the Minnesota Historical Society, or by a local governmental unit.
13. Horticulture: The use of land for the growing or production for income of fruits; vegetables; flowers; nursery stock, including ornamental plants and trees; and cultured sod.
14. Irrigation System: Any structure or equipment, mechanized or other, used to supply water for commercial agriculture or horticulture, including, but not limited to, wells, pumps, motors, pipes, culverts, gates, dams, ditches, tanks, ponds, and reservoirs.
15. Parcel: A separate area of land, including a lot, having specific boundaries and capable of being conveyed and recorded.
16. Nonfarm Dwelling: A single-family dwelling located on a farm or otherwise which is not a farm dwelling.
17. Poultry Facility: A confined area or structure used intensively for raising, feeding, breeding, or holding chickens, turkeys, and other poultry for eventual sale or the production of eggs.
18. Quarter/Quarter Section: The northeast, northwest, southwest, or southeast quarter of a quarter section delineated by the United States Government system of land survey and which is exactly or nearly 40 acres in size.
19. Recreation Area: A parcel which may include water bodies and incidental buildings thereto used or intended for active or passive recreation, including, but not limited to, parks, playgrounds, golf courses, hunting preserves, polo grounds, nature trails, bridle paths, beaches, campsites, ski and snowmobile trails, and canoe routes; provided that parcels on which there are located stadiums, arenas, bowling alleys, swimming pools, (except privately owned pools not open to the public), and other recreational activities conducted primarily in structures are not recreation areas.
20. Road: A public thoroughfare, including without limitation, streets, highways, freeways, parkways, thoroughfares, roads, avenues, boulevards, lanes, or places, however described; but not including private driveways or routes.
21. Single-Family Dwelling: A free-standing mobile or permanent structure used or intended for habitation by just one family.
22. Structure: Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having a location on the ground.
III. DESIGNATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF DISTRICTS
1. The following zoning districts together with the appli-
cable requirements contained herein are hereby established as a part of the zoning ordinance of_______
AgP-1 (Agriculture Preservation District)
AgP-2 (Agriculture Preservation/Urban Expansion District)5 '
2. The locations and boundaries of the districts established by this ordinance are set forth on the zoning
map(s) of this_________________and said map(s) are
hereby made a part of this ordinance. Said map(s) consisting of sheets and all notations, references, and data shown thereon are hereby incorporated by reference into this ordinance and shall be made as much a part of it as if all were fully described herein. The zoning map(s) shall be kept on file in the zoning administrators office.
3. With the adoption of this ordinance, the agriculture
district and requirements established in sections ____________of the zoning ordinance adopted in Ordinance No.___on the_____________day of_____________*
5. The district boundaries of the Agriculture Preservation District and the Agriculture Preservation/Urban Expansion District should be established by following the guidelines set forth in the agriculture handbook. Those areas which can be identified as long-term agriculture areas should generally be included in the Agriculture Preservation District (AgP-1). The AgP-2 District is intended for use in those agricultural areas which will become urbanized in the immediately foreseeable future as urban facilities become available. It may be that a local governmental unit would wish to establish more or fewer districts in order to better tailor its ordinances to the local situation. It is also possible that a local unit of government may want to apply a given district to more than one area of land. This is legally permissible; however, agricultural districts, like all other zoning districts, must be designated on the zoning map.
6. See comment number 2. If sections of an existing zoning ordinance are to be repealed, this section should be included. The repealed sections should be referenced by section number, ordinance number, and the date of adoption.
are hereby repealed. All lands within the_____________
currently located in these districts are hereby rezoned to lie within the AgP-1 or AgP-2 District pursuant to the zoning maps adopted as part of this ordinance.
IV. AgP-1 (AGRICULTURE PRESERVATION DISTRICT)7
This district is intended to contain those areas of the
...______________where it is necessary and desirable,
because of the high quality of the soils, availability of water, and/or highly productive agricultural capability, to preserve, promote, maintain, and enhance the use of the land for agricultural purposes and to protect such land from encroachment by nonagricultural uses, structures, or activities.
2. Permitted Uses and Structures:
The following uses shall be permitted by right:
a. commercial agriculture and horticulture.
b. feedlots and poultry facilities.
c. farm buildings.
d. farm drainage and irrigation systems.
f. one farm dwelling per farm.
g. one nonfarm dwelling per each quarter/quarter section not already containing a farm or nonfarm dwelling provided:
1) the dwelling unit shall be located entirely
within one quarter/quarter section on a separately owned parcel which shall be at least one acre in size. \
2) the parcel on which the dwelling unit is located must have at least 100 feet of frontage along a road which was in use before the effective date of this ordinance. ,
3) the driveway serving the parcel shall be separated from adjacent driveways on the same side on the road by the following distances depending upon the road types.8 *
a) local road: 100 feet;
b) collector road: 300 feet;
c) county highway: 500 feet;
d) minimum distance from intersection of two or more of the above: 100 feet.
4) the dwelling shall be set back at least 75 feet from the road right-of-way and be separated
7. The AgP-1 (Agriculture Preservation District) is, with minor exceptions, an exclusive agricultural-use district. Agricultural uses and structures are permitted by right. Residential uses are limited to the farm dwelling unit and one nonfarm dwelling unit for each quarter/quarter section (40 acres more or less) which does not already contain a dwelling unit. However, the required lot size for a residential dwelling unit is one acre. In the AgP-1 District, development is restricted by a density factor rather than by lot size. After the nonfarm dwelling unit has been built, 39 acres still remain in agricultural use through the use of density rather than large lot zoning.
8. The terms local road, collector road, and county high-
way are commonly used terms in most county thoroughfare
plans. Before adopting this ordinance, you will want to check to make sure that these are the terms used by your county. Should your county use other terms in its thoroughfare plan, those terms should be substituted here.
at least 300 feet from the nearest farm building.
h. historic sites. -
3. Permitted Accessory Uses and Structures:
The following accessory uses and structures shall be permitted:
a. Uses and structures which are customarily accessory and clearly incidental and subordinate to permitted uses and structures, including:
1. Private garages; . .
2. Playhouses and swimming pools and storage buildings appurtenant to single-family dwellings;
3. Landscaping items.
4. Conditional Uses: - .....
The following conditional uses may be approved by the -----------------8 in the AgP-1 (Agriculture Preservation District) provided that the provisions and requirements of Section IV.4 (standards for conditional-use permit) of the zoning ordinance are fulfilled: ;v
a. Outdoor recreation areas;
b. Churches, cemeteries, airports, schools, local government buildings and facilities, and government-owned facilities for the maintenance of roads and highways;
c. A second farm dwelling in the quarter/quarter section containing the farm dwelling, provided that it meets the requirements of Section IV.2.g.
d. Agricultural service establishments primarily engaged in performing agricultural, animal husbandry, or horticultural services on a fee or contract basis including corn shelling; hay baling and threshing; sorting, grading, and packing fruits and vegetables for the grower; agricultural produce milling and processing; horticultural services; crop dusting; fruit picking; grain cleaning; land grading; harvesting and plowing; farm equipment service and repair; veterinary services; boarding and training of horses; commercial hunting and trap1 ping; the operation of game reservations; roadside stands for the sale of agricultural produce grown on the site.
e. Public utility and public service structures including electric transmission lines and distribution of substations, gas regulator stations, communications equipment buildings, pumping stations, and reservoirs;
f. Home occupations.10
5. Standards for Granting Conditional-Use Permits:
No conditional-use permit shall be issued by the------
9. Local governmental units treat applications for conditional-use permits in various ways. The body given responsibility for issuing conditional-use permits in your local governmental unit should be inserted in this blank.
10. Home occupations is a term that is commonly defined in most zoning ordinances. For that reason, it has not been defined in this ordinance. If the local governmental unit s existing zoning ordinance does not include a definition of home occupations, the term should be defined as the local government sees fit.
unless following review and written findings it determines that the proposed use satisfies the following
conditions and the conditions set by Section________of
a. Nonfarm structures shall be sited on a separately surveyed and described parcel.
b. The use shall not be one to which the noise, odor, dust, or chemical residues of commercial agriculture or horticulture might result in creation or establishment of a nuisance or trespass.
c. All agricultural service establishments shall be
located at least___________feet from any driveway
affecting access to a farm dwelling or field and at least__________feet from any single-family dwell-
d. All agricultural service establishments shall be
screened on the perimeter of the establishment by a solid fence, wall, or natural vegetation not less than_____________feet in height.
e. An agricultural service establishment shall be incidental and necessary to the conduct of agriculture within the district.
f. Public utility and service structures shall be located and constructed at such places and in such manner that they will not segment land of any one farm and will not interfere with the conduct of agriculture by limiting or interfering with the access to fields or the effectiveness and efficiency of the farmer and farm equipment including cropspraying aircraft.
6. Prohibited Uses and Structures:
All other uses and structures which are not specifically permitted by right or by conditional-use permit shall be prohibited in the AgP-1 (Agricultural Preservation District). '
11. Several uses are permitted in the Agriculture Preservation District by conditioned-use permit. If the local governmental unit has an existing zoning ordinance, they probably already have standards governing the granting of conditional-use permits. The more specific the standards are, the better the process works. Those standards are referenced by section and ordinance number in this section. If the local governmental unit does not already have standards for the granting of conditional-use permits, the following additional specific concerns should be addressed in this ordinance:
(a) Ingress and egress to the property and proposed structures thereon with particular reference to automotive and pedestrian safety and convenience, traffic flow and control, access in conformance with the county thoroughfare plan;
(b) Offstreet parking and loading areas where required or necessary with particular reference to the items in 1 above and the effects of noise, glare, odor, and congestion on adjoining property and properties generally in the district;
(c) Refuse and sanitary service areas, with particular reference to areas specified in items 1 and 2 above;
(d) Utilities, public utilities, water supply, and sewage disposal with reference to location, availability, and compatibility;
(e) Screening and buffering where necessary with reference to type, dimensions, and character;
(f) Signs, if any, and proposed exterior lighting with reference to glare, traffic safety, economic effect, and compatibility and harmony with property in the district;
(g) Required yards and other open space;
(h) General compatibility with adjacent properties and other properties in the district and the intent of the district.
7. Minimum Lot Sizes, Yard Requirements, and Structure Spacings:
a. Lot sizes:
For permitted uses: None.
For conditional uses: One acre.
The minimum lot width at the front building line shall be__________________
b. Yard requirements:
For permitted uses: None.
For conditional uses: 1. front yard90 feet;
2. rear yard50 feet;
3. side yard15 feet.
c. Structures spacing:
Nonfarm uses shall be separated at least 500 feet from the nearest farm building.12
V. AgP-2 (AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION/ URBAN EXPANSION DISTRICT)12
This district is intended for application to land located adjacent to existing cities and towns where agriculture is a current logical and proper use, but which in the future will gradually be required for expansion for urban uses as urban facilities and services become available. This district is intended to preserve said land in agricultural usage and in large parcels until capital funds for the extension of urban facilities and services are committed in an adopted capital improvement program.
2. Permitted Uses and Structures:
The following use shall be permitted by right:
a. All uses and structures permitted by right in the AgP-1 District, except feedlots and poultry operations.
3. Permitted Accessory Uses and Structures:
a. All permitted accessory uses in the AgP-1 District as specified in IV.3 herein.
4. Conditional Uses:14
The following conditional uses may be approved by the zoning board of adjustment in the AgP-2 (Agricultural Preservation/Urban Expansion District) provided that the provisions and requirement of Section IV.4 are fulfilled:
a. All conditional uses in the AgP-1 District as specified in Article IV, paragraph 4 herein.
b. Single-family dwellings in subdivisions.
12. These setbacks and separations are suggestions, but can be modified to meet the local situation.
13. The Agriculture Preservation/Urban Expansion District (AgP-2) is in many respects an agricultural holding zone. It is recognized, however, that this land is best utilized when preserved in agricultural use as long as possible. In addition, it is desirable to keep land in large parcels in order to facilitate subdivision when urban services become available.
14. The conditional uses allowed in the AgP-1 District are also allowed as conditional uses in the AgP-2 District. In addition, single-family dwellings in subdivisions are allowed as a conditional use in the AgP-2 District. The comments of footnote 11 apply as well in the AgP-2 District.
5. Standards for Granting Conditional-Use Permits:
No conditional-use permit shall be issued by the______
unless following review and written findings it determines that the proposed use satisfies the following
conditions and the conditions set by Section__________
of Ordinance Number_____________________:
a. nonfarm structures shall be sited on a separately surveyed and described parcel;
b. single-family dwellings in subdivisions shall be connected to common water distribution and public sewage treatment systems which have been constructed in accordance with a comprehensive sewer policy plan.
6. Prohibited Uses/Structures:
All other structures and uses which are not specifically permitted by right or by conditional-use permit shall be prohibited in the AgP-2 (Agricultural PreservaT-tion/Urban Expansion District).
7. Minimum Lot Size, Yard Requirements, and Height Restrictions:15
15. The minimum lot size, yard requirements, and height restrictions established in this section are mere suggestions. The intent is to apply the same restrictions applied in the AgP-1 District except that, when sewer and water service becomes available, development should be allowed to occur in urban densities. The local governmental unit adopting this ordinance may wish to reference this section to one of the residential districts included in its existing zoning ordinance. This could be
a. Lot size:
i t. For permitted uses: None.
For conditional uses other than single-family dwellings in subdivisions: One acre.
For single-family dwellings in subdivisions connected to common water and sewage systems: 10,000 square feet.
b. Yard requirements:
For permitted uses: None.
For conditional uses other than subdivisions:
1. front yard90 feet;
2. rear yard50 feet;
3. side yard15 feet.
c. Height restrictions:
For permitted uses: None.
For conditional uses: Maximum height 35 feet.
VI. EFFECTIVE DATE
This ordinance shall be effective on the________day
accomplished by language of this type: For single-family dwellings in subdivisions connected to a common water and sewage distribution system, the lot size, yard requirements, height
restrictions ... established for the____________district in
ordinance No.________adopted the_________day of____________
16. This blank should be filled in with the date the agriculture preservation amendments take effect, which is normally the date of adoption.
Appendix B. Sliding Scale Ordinance: Ravenna Township, Minnesota
100 DISTRICT PROVISIONS
The zoning districts are designed to implement the intents and purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.
The zoning districts are based upon the Comprehensive Plan, which has the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, convenience, and general welfare. Before any amendment to the boundary lines of the established zoning districts are made, any necessary amendments must first be made to the Comprehensive Plan.
For the purposes of this Ordinance, Ravenna Township is hereby divided into the following zoning districts when the regulations outlined herein will apply.
RR-I (Rural/Residential District)
MWP (Marsh and Wetlands Protection District)
FP (Floodplain District)
The locations and boundaries of the districts established by this Ordinance are hereby set forth on the zoning map of Ravenna Township, and said map is hereby made part of this Ordinance.
101 RR-I (RURAL/RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT)
This district is intended for application in those areas of the Township where whole sections of open land have become subject to increased amounts of single-family residential development. Despite the fact that poor soils, rough topography, and insufficient irrigation make sections of this land uneconomical for agricultural purposes, there are some suitable sites for single-family home construction. However, because of the fact that there are severe environmental constraints on residential development in this area, and because of the fact that urban services such as central sewer and water will not be provided for at least fifteen (15) years, and because significant amounts of residential development will adversely affect surrounding agricultural operations, residential development in this district must be kept to a reasonable rural density of five nonfarm residential homes per forty (40) acres.
101.2 Permitted Uses and Structures
The following shall be permitted uses by right:
a. Any and all forms of commercial agriculture and com-