Determining relative benefits to communities from urban and agricultural land use change in Napa County, California Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5h73pz598

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  • Urban sprawl and the establishment of greenbelts to separate growing cities and towns has become a popular topic of conversation among land use professionals. Economists focus on urban growth in terms of land rents and have sought market solutions such as transfers and purchases of development rights to slow this growth. Land use planners have offered alternative solutions in the form of conservation easements, land trusts and agricultural zoning restrictions. Few, if any, studies have taken a balance sheet approach to the preservation of greenbelts through strict market mechanisms. The value of fine wine has made the premium wine grape producing area of Napa County, California a good candidate for investigating how changes in agricultural and low density urban growth affect community income and expenses. The premium wine grape growing area of Napa County may offer a rare example of agricultural land rivaling urban land in value This study will demonstrate the fiscal viability of preserving wine grape production and related activities in Napa County through an analysis of urban and agricultural growth and revenue streams to communities resulting from changes in each land use. Scarce housing, rising land prices and economic growth, dynamics attributable to an influx of wealth driven by aesthetic beauty and cultural attributes, are manifestations of the popularity of Napa County and symbolize the challenges facing agricultural preservationists.
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