Quick Intro |
| Not a TDR Program |
Introduction | Example
| Fiscal Impacts | Environmental
Impacts | Tools
other related links:
Fact Sheets & Information Resources
Report of the Governor's Growth Management Study Commission
projects are starting in Florida. Interest is being shown for
the Rural Lands Stewardship Program in
local communities in California, North Carolina and several other states.
For details on these projects, click
information on the Rural Lands Stewardship Program is available
including a quick overview, fact sheets and a letter from a "public
interest" group lauding the RLSP.
Some of this information is available below; the
balance can be found on the RLSP information resources
The Florida Legislature
approved a bill in 2004 that makes the Rural Lands Stewardship
Program a "specifically encouraged designation" on future land use
maps for all counties in Florida.
The bill also includes
several additional provisions to help counties carry out and fund rural
lands stewardship planning efforts.
For a summary of highlights, click
here. For the full text relating to the Rural Lands Stewardship
Program, click here.
All documents are in PDF format, and can be opened and read using the
Here's a two-page
handout that can print front and back.
The first page provides a brief explanation of the Rural Lands Stewardship
Program (RLSP). The second page provides an example of how it works.
fact sheet: click
an article written by Chris Demers, in the
Fall 2003 issue of
The Florida Forest
Steward - A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource
Professionals, provides an excellent description of the program.
To view the article (also in PDF format), click
article, "Innovative Rural Land Planning Emerges in Southwest
Florida" appeared in the March 2004 issue of Florida Planning, published
by the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. The
article is by Al Reynolds and Anita Jenkins of WilsonMiller, two of the
architects of the successful case study, the Collier County Rural Lands Stewardship
Area. To view the article, click
NOT A TDR
people mistakenly compare the Rural Lands Stewardship Program to Transfer of
Development Rights (TDR) programs when they are first introduced to the
concept. This is incorrect.
RLSP includes a provision for transferring economic values from one
location to another, but otherwise it is completely different from any
previously proposed or existing TDR program. To view a 2-page
illustration showing the differences, please click This
is NOT a TDR Program.
INTRODUCTION TO THE RLSP:
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO ...
Accommodate all the population growth that is
projected for a 200,000-acre area near your community over the next 25
- Reduce the development
footprint to just 10% of the land that will be used by current land use
- create “villages” and
“towns” surrounded by extensive areas of open space to maintain rural character;
- permanently protect
90,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands with conservation
- remove development rights
from another 85,000 acres of land that will remain in agriculture and open
This can be accomplished through traditional "land
protection" tools -- by purchasing fee-simple and less-than-fee title over
175,000 acres of land.
There's just one problem: This would require
a public investment of anywhere from $280 to $800 million, depending on
the purchase price of the land. Protecting 175,000 acres at $1,600 an
acre (a possibility in 2000 in the Collier County case study area) would
have cost $280 million. But the average cost of public purchases (as
shown by recent purchases posted on the Trust for Public Lands website) is
now close to $5,000 an acre.
That's not the only cost of public purchases.
These purchases also remove
land from property tax roles, take land out of economic production (or only
allow low-impact economic activities), and incur an ongoing public liability
for operation and management that generally run $10 or $15 per acre
per year, if proper management is being carried out(which, at up to $2.63
million per year for a 175,000-acre area, can double the initial cost of public protection within 10 years.).
But there is an alternative that costs much
less. In fact, it can accomplish the same result -- and perhaps a
little bit more -- for just $500,000.
HERE'S HOW THIS
HAS BEEN DONE IN COLLIER, COUNTY, FLORIDA ...
the fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. 1980-90 and 2nd fastest
growing metropolitan area (after Las Vegas) 1990-2000:
This new "PRIVATE LAND STEWARDSHIP" tool protects 5-10 acres of stewardship areas for every
THE RURAL LANDS STEWARDSHIP
163.3177(11)(d), Florida Statutes) takes a
new approach to rural land use issues to create a comprehensive growth
management policy for rural areas. This planning tool offers the
following SIMULTANEOUS benefits:
- Incentive based
- Controls sprawl
- Separates urban and rural land
- Maintains asset value of rural
- Preserves open space for
agriculture and natural environment
- Accommodates future development in well planned
- Allows for flexibility in
location of future development
- Allows ALL
landowners to economically benefit from development
- Allows landowners to choose
options that offer FUTURE APPRECIATION … even when protecting
- Greatly reduces, or
eliminates, environmental impacts of new human settlements.
$800,000 investment that was made to establish this program in Collier County.
will result in
the protection of 350 times more environmentally sensitive lands, water
features, agriculture and open space than would have been protected with the
same investment using traditional land protection tools. That’s a ratio of
350:1 for every public dollar spent.
way: it would have required a public investment of $280 million to achieve
the same result through fee- and less-than-fee purchases (assuming 2000
prices for these lands in Collier County). With the Rural
Lands Stewardship Program, no public money
is used to purchase easements. All protection is carried out by the
development patterns created by the Rural Lands Stewardship Program are fiscally
-- they generate more in revenues than they
cost in expenses to provide necessary public services (fire, police,
libraries, parks, schools, etc.).
Hence, property taxes are likely to remain low.
how the economics work (as projected by Fishkind & Associates of Orlando,
The "baseline" (red)
indicates the fiscal impact of current development patterns in Collier
County, as applied to the study area. Note that this pattern of
development would result in an annual DEFICIT of $1,200,000 by 2024.
contrast, the Rural Lands Stewardship Program (blue)
accommodates the same population, but does so in a manner that generates an
annual SURPLUS of almost $350,000.
The difference is $1.5 million
illustration courtesy of WilsonMiller, Inc.
That's not all ...
of the environmental impacts of new human settlements can be greatly limited,
or even eliminated. That's
because values can be assigned, and ongoing revenues can be generated to pay
Creating a permanent
greenbelt around each new settlement made up of private lands and
- Using these private agricultural
and open lands as
"processing centers," thus generating new streams of revenue
to keep these operations economically viable,
- Using agricultural and other
rural lands to REPLACE or supplement other types of infrastructure
(water treatment and waste treatment plants, landfills, incinerators,
power generating plants, etc.),
- Making agricultural lands and
open space an INTEGRAL part of each community's infrastructure, thus
- Integrating agriculture into
community planning, and
- Using agriculture for a
multitude of "green" uses, including:
- Accepting waste products,
discards and runoff from human settlements (for a fee),
- Processing wastes, discards and
runoff to eliminate environmental impacts (for a fee),
- Generating power, purifying
water, removing nutrients (for a fee), and
- Using new wastes, discards and
runoff to create new "green"
products for sale.
For more details on this approach, see Integrating
Agriculture Into the Landscape, a program based on concepts developed by
Rural Lands Stewardship Council member Peter Spyke. This program is now being
implemented through a strategic partnership between Stewardship America
and CH2M HILL, Inc.
tools are used in carrying out the Rural Lands Stewardship Program:
Alternative Scenario Planning & Visualization
Consensus-Building & Decision Making
Public & Environmental Resource
Identification, Mapping and Economic Valuation
Creating Market Economy Drivers & Incentives
Establishing Functional Connections between
Different Land Uses & Landscape Features
Integrating Rural Areas, Agricultural Areas and Natural Areas into
Community Economics & Planning.
This builds on the functional land connections cited above, but
Agriculture into Rural Planning —by identifying new roles and
opportunities for agricultural operations adjacent to areas where new
settlements are going to be built, and integrates these agriculture
into community planning and design to greatly reduce the impacts of
Revenue & Expense Studies—provide answers as to which land
uses pay their way and which do not and whether planning for a diverse
mix of land uses makes good fiscal and economic sense.
Cost Accounting—helps policy makers see the long-term fiscal
impacts of current land uses, better understand the impacts of
proposed additions and changes, and ask themselves what if different
approaches were used? Would they generate new revenues, offset
deficits, create a better balance and mix of uses, and result in a
more livable community?
Development – to
attract new revenue-generating enterprises and opportunities, using
federal grants and programs, new technologies, opportunities for credit
trading and conservation stewardship, and entrepreneurial approaches.
(includes development of Goals, Objectives and Policies; preparation of
Comprehensive Plan Amendments; development of Land Development
Regulations; and site planning, design & construction for housing,
commercial, professional, industrial and community facilities and
Project Integration and Coordination
For more information, click "contact
us," or follow the links below:
Fact Sheets & Information Resources
Report of the Governor's Growth Management Study Commission
information on the Ave Maria project, the Collier County
Rural Lands Stewardship Area Overlay and other projects,
visit the website for WilsonMiller, the planning/design firm
that created the documentation to put concepts for the
Rural Lands Stewardship Program in place:
For information on
America's other programs, visit the following links: