PEC and Homebuilders together?

If only for a one-off.

The Piedmont Environmental Council and the Homebuilders of Virginia, teaming up. Thanks to the Richmond Report for the heads-up.

Balance between the two sides may be possible after all!

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1 Comment

  1. Ray Hyde January 25, 2006 at 10:27

    Moving development from one place to another is not the same as slowing development.

    Sure, Miller would love to compel the developers to trade. He would love to compel local government to implement the policy. He would love even more to compel rural landowners to sell their development rights. Miller and PEC like to talk the free market spiel, but it is all about compulsion and power. As Arthur Arundel put it in a recent editorial, “We have to put our foot down.”

    Since many rural landowners have already had their development rights substantially reduced in recent years, this new initiative would seem to put PEC and the government in an ethical bind. If development rights are worth buying and trading now, then what happened to the ones that simply disappeared a few years ago? Some would suggest that they were stolen.

    Even worse, this represents another transfer of wealth from the rural community to the “desirable” built up areas. The money offered for a building right is no where near the value of a site with a building. True, you have to invest in the building, but having done that both the site and the building are worth more and apprecite faster than the barren land ever will. You could invest the money from the development rights and get some income, but what if you and your family members would actually prefer a house?

    If PEC really wants to save rural open space, then they need to come up with a plan that does not punish the owners into compliance. They need a plan that empowers rural dwellers to participate in the economic benefits of growth on a continuing basis, not a one time shot in the arm (more like a kick in the pants).
    Just as highways need a dedicated continuing stream of revenue, so do those who own and maintain our green infrastructure.

    PEC after all is saying that our open space is “prime farmland”, precious, valuable, and a benefit to all. OK, if it is so valuable, show me the money.