There is a large 300 acre farm in the northwest corner of a neighboring town. The property has moderate appeal with some trees, some farmland, and a slightly hilly topography. The town is semi rural with light-moderate population density. It has been growing rapidly with several developments built in the last twenty years. However, significant tracts remain undeveloped or are used for farming. Approximately 65% of the town is developed. The town to the east is virtually fully developed. The land to the west is largely vacant or devoted to farmland.
A developer has offered to purchase the property for $13,000,000. On half the site in the first phase of development, the developer plans to build 500 large single family homes, 400 townhouses, a 200 unit garden apartment complex, a 150,000 square foot office building, and a 225,000 square foot shopping center, anchored by a major department store, and a large grocery. A similar development is planned for the second half of the site if the first phase is successful four years from now. Upon redevelopment the property would generate $10,000,000 in additional taxes each year, but costs for roads, schools, police, water and sewer connections, playgrounds, etc. would rise about $8,500,000 per year permitting a tax cut of $20 per household per year.
Roads, schools, and recreational facilities are currently congested. Schools are in double sessions. Rush hour traffic is heavy adding 15 minutes each day to commutes. Property taxes are approximately $3,500 per house.
A City Council Member has proposed that the county purchase the property to stop the development, create a park and hiking trail, and leave a 100 acre farm on site. The park would cost $1,000,000 in addition to the $13,000,000 purchase price.
Would you favor the purchase of this property and development with a park if it were to cost you each year in additional taxes.
Amounts range from $15 to $150
Assuming this opportunity arose in your area with the conditions as they are in your community would you favor the fee?