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The role of the land developer in converting agricultural land to urban use: subdivisions in Tualatin, Oregon Public Deposited

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  • The study of the interactions between man and his environment is the eminent domain of the geographer. An excellent example of this kind of study is the urbanization of a formerly rural town on the urban-rural fringe. The area in this instance is Tualatin, Oregon, with the focus on the role of the land developer. This paper concentrates on the attitudes of the developer and how he defines his role in converting agricultural land to urban use. The growing dominance of subdivisions in providing new homes and the promise of Planned Unit Development are explored. The impact of tougher building regulations and zoning ordinances are examined and a cursory look is taken at regional planning as one solution to controlling urban growth. In recent years the attention of the public in general and public officials in particular has been focused on the activities of large land developers and community builders. It would appear that a majority of new homes are being constructed in large subdivisions by fewer builders than was the case ten to twenty years ago. These land developers and builders have the financial resources and the technical expertise to achieve economies of scale not available to the small builder and typical homeowner. Because of these and other factors which will be discussed later, most people who want a new home will usually buy in a subdivision. This topic has many facets, but the one of most interest in this study relates to the attitudes of the developers and how they see themselves as community builders as well as home builders. Other factors referred to are: the growing conflict between builders and environmentalists, zoning regulations, building restrictions, influence of new water and sewerage systems, transportation facilities, new methods of making subdivisions more attractive and urban sprawl. All of these factors are directly or indirectly associated with the development of large subdivisions.
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