The National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) works to advance the notion that research, collaboration, engagement and thoughtful policy development hold the key to a smarter and more sustainable approach to urban and regional development. NCSG is based at the University of Maryland, College Park, housed under the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with support from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the School of Public Policy, and the Office of the Provost.
Browsing National Center for Smart Growth Research Works by Subject "agricultural preservation land markets"
More than 110 state and local governments have implemented agricultural land preservation programs to permanently preserve farmland. Assigning a value to the development rights to determine the cost of acquiring an easement on farm properties is difficult and can be costly. Data was collected on 409 preservation transactions from three Maryland counties and supplemented with farm-level spatial data via GIS. A hedonic price analysis is conducted to determine the marginal return to different farm characteristics using a spatial econometric model to correct for spatial correlation. Parcel characteristics such as distance to city and town, number of acres, prime soils and current land-use explain 80 percent of the variation in easement values. As expected, characteristics perform least well in explaining easement values in transfer of development right programs. This information can help formulate policy decisions and selection criteria to maximize the preservation of the agricultural economy and/or maximize public preferences. A supply curve is constructed using simulations that determine nonparticipant parcels’ easement values. To preserve the remaining eligible acres in the three counties, $167 million would be needed. This method can support programs choosing to use a point system rather than the more costly and difficult-to-apply standard appraisal methods.