Buying The Farm

Voters in northwest Michigan will decide in November whether to pay farmers to waive their development rights.
October 12, 2004, 5am PDT | Deborah Myerson
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The scenic Lake Michigan shoreline and attractive communities are home to brisk population growth in northwest Lower Michigan, creating an economic boost that is also generating rapid change in the local landscape. To preserve the area's scenic beauty and local character--and deter the transformation of local farmland to new strip malls, housing developments, big box stores, and office parks--voters in five townships in Grand Traverse and Antrim Counties will consider a new tax that would raise up to $10 million to fund the purchase of farmers' development rights. The vote is thought to have state and national significance, providing evidence of whether the public will pay to implement land use policy based on smart growth principles.

Thanks to Deborah Myerson

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Published on Sunday, October 10, 2004 in Michigan Land Use Institute
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