Green Infrastructure Fosters Sense of Place Helps us define quality of life Helps us define community Facilitates and contains the activities that create community Defines the visual character of rural working landscapes Vegetation and open space have a quieting effect
Green Infrastructure Enhances Property Values Monon Trail and other greenways in Indianapolis have increased value of homes (CUPE study) –Average premium paid for house within ½ mile of greenway trail: $4,384. –Average premium paid for house within ½ mile of conservation corridor: $5,317.
Green Infrastructure Enhances Property Values 2001 Indiana Trails Study: –86-95% of trail neighbors indicated they felt the trail had either no impact or a positive impact on their property value –81-93% indicated trail had no negative effect or made it easier to sell property
Green Infrastructure Provides Economic Benefits Owners of small businesses rank recreation, parks and open space as the highest priority in choosing a location for their new business (Crompton, 1997) 1999 Economic Impact of Open Space in New Hampshire study shows that each acre of open space provides $1500 of economic benefit to the state and communities
Green Infrastructure is Critical for Environmental Health Health of our environment depends on how land is used Plants and animals need space These spaces must be connected Natural areas also absorb and neutralize pollutants
Green Infrastructure Has Positive Fiscal Impact Numerous studies have found that tax and other revenues from open space more than cover the public service costs these lands incur. Average cost of community services per dollar of property tax revenue raised: –$0.27 for commercial/industrial land uses –$0.36 for farmland, forest, open natural areas –$1.15 for residential development
Green Infrastructure Helps with Stormwater Management Increases filtration of stormwater Filters and removes pollutants Provides valuable aquifer recharge areas Protects integrity of streambeds and rivers Mitigates flooding
Green Infrastructure Supports Local Business / Ecotourism Landscapes attract tourism Farm land needed for agri-business Forest land needed to support Forest Products industry Habitat for wildlife Hunting & fishing opportunities
Green Infrastructure is Critical to Other Community Objectives Economic Development Farmland protection Preservation / enhancement of water quality Rural character Natural or scenic views Historical or archaeological value Floodplains, streams, and wetlands Wildlife and forestland Minimizes soil erosion Cultural arts and attractions
Additional Thoughts Open space does not equal open access Open space is not wasted space Green infrastructure is appropriate for all levels of urbanization Increased density with great design means more open space for everyone
Harrison County, Indiana Increasing development pressure from Louisville metropolitan area Citizen driven initiative led to the creation of the Farm, Forest and Open Space Task Force by County Commissioners in 2003
Task Force composed of 17 residents, representing diverse stakeholder interests of farmers, developers, and private citizens Additional appointees (ex-officio members) represent the County Planning Department, Agricultural Extension Agency, the Nature Conservancy, and County Government
Purchase of Development Rights Program Farm, Forest and Open Space Task Force developed an ordinance that would establish a PDR program for the county – Ordinance received first reading at the December 20, 2005 County Commissioners Meeting.
Voluntary program Individual land owners receive compensation for restricting future development on property Development rights are permanently removed from the property in the form of a deed restriction Allows for continued farming and timbering operations on the property Task force currently pursuing partnership with non-profit land trust to monitor properties, ensuring that land is permanently protected
Hendricks County Formed a Planning with Power group. –Subcommittee to county plan commission Developed conservation design subdivision ordinance Keys to success: –Formation of diverse planning group –Daily involvement of planner or plan department director –Regular communication –Key leadership to initiate / advocates
Land Use Team Module Available for dissemination to variety of audiences Covers issues such as: –Importance of green infrastructure –Common misconceptions –Examples of green infrastructure A subsequent module will focus on nuts and bolts of implementing a green infrastructure program in your community For more information contact Linda Prokopy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 765-496-2221