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Thread: 100% build out in NJ

  1. #1

    100% build out in NJ

    A report notes that The Garden State is down to its last 100 acres of developable land and will be plumb out in 40 years. Yikes!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/re...Njzo.html?_r=1

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    A report notes that The Garden State is down to its last 100 acres of developable land and will be plumb out in 40 years. Yikes!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/re...Njzo.html?_r=1
    Buddy,

    Missed a few zeros on that available acreage, more like 1,000,000.

    That said; that's almost 23 square miles. However, I have a hard time believing that. Being an Ex-Pat there is well over 23 square miles of developable land left in Warren County or Burlington County.

    When I worked at Middlesex County, in 2000 I did a county wide buildout and showed that the county still had the capacity to carry an additional 250,000 citizens and many millions of sq. ft. of warehouse and commercial office space. I used ArcView3.2 at the time and most of my actions had to run over night. I took unbuildable lands out of the equation such as; wetlands, parks, golf courses, etc. and based the remaining available lands on the individual town's zoning standards.

    I believe this study was done from aerial photos which is going to miss a lot of small parcels and areas available for infill development depending on how detailed the raster data is.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Buddy,

    Missed a few zeros on that available acreage, more like 1,000,000.

    That said; that's almost 23 square miles. However, I have a hard time believing that. Being an Ex-Pat there is well over 23 square miles of developable land left in Warren County or Burlington County.

    When I worked at Middlesex County, in 2000 I did a county wide buildout and showed that the county still had the capacity to carry an additional 250,000 citizens and many millions of sq. ft. of warehouse and commercial office space. I used ArcView3.2 at the time and most of my actions had to run over night. I took unbuildable lands out of the equation such as; wetlands, parks, golf courses, etc. and based the remaining available lands on the individual town's zoning standards.

    I believe this study was done from aerial photos which is going to miss a lot of small parcels and areas available for infill development depending on how detailed the raster data is.
    Yep that is what I meant to type. I can't vouch for the study.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    yeah right! What about the 90% of the state that is RIPE for redevelopment?

    Oh no I didn't......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I must have looked at that map incorrectly because it seemed like there was plenty of land. Did I miss something?

    http://gis.rowan.edu/projects/luc/map_urban.html
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Mr. Hughes lives in East Amwell, in Hunterdon County, a rural community with a minimum 10-acre lot size. “That was established some years ago during the push to preserve farmland,” he said.

    But building houses on such large lots is not “preservation” of open space, Mr. Hasse said in a separate telephone interview. “It is the opposite.”
    I'd like to know how it's not. A 10 acre parcel is a good sized piece of property so there's going to be a lot of space between houses. In the Adirondak Preserve in NYS, a wilderness area, the minimum lot size is 40 acres.

    I think when people have an agenda, they frequently create definitions that fit the agenda. If you define "open space" as "publically accessible space", then large, privately owned lots can't be "open space", and you can then push for more controls that will make it more difficult if not impossible for people to live the life-style they wish to live as opposed to the life-style some academicians think they should live.

    This article seems like a real "the sky is falling" type article.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I'd like to know how it's not. A 10 acre parcel is a good sized piece of property so there's going to be a lot of space between houses. In the Adirondak Preserve in NYS, a wilderness area, the minimum lot size is 40 acres.
    I'll bite,

    Large lots = much more infrastructure cost per lot
    More roads to maintain/plow
    More miles of waterline and sometimes sewer
    More miles of power/phone/cable
    Extended response areas for fire/EMS/PD

    Also, putting 40 homes on 400 acres each land owner is responsible for their own little kingdom of 10 acres, mowing, possibly fertilizing and my guess most trees would be knocked down.

    Putting 40 homes on even 1/4 of that still yields 2.5 acre lots, enough to not know your neighbors, yet you have then "preserved" in the true sense of the word 300 acres and developed on 100 and in theory you have reduced your cost for infrastructure and services by 3/4 in the process.

    Conservation subdivision design is lagging in the planning profession and rarely obtains what it's intent was set out for.

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I must have looked at that map incorrectly because it seemed like there was plenty of land. Did I miss something?...
    Isn't there lots of property in NJ protected from development in perpetuity through the TDR program?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Isn't there lots of property in NJ protected from development in perpetuity through the TDR program?
    There is a ton of property protected in the Pine Barrens, most of south coastal and interior NJ, and also the Meadowland Commission, but that land isn't very developable i.e. areas around Seacaucus and Bayonne.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Isn't there lots of property in NJ protected from development in perpetuity through the TDR program?
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    There is a ton of property protected in the Pine Barrens, most of south coastal and interior NJ, and also the Meadowland Commission, but that land isn't very developable i.e. areas around Seacaucus and Bayonne.
    Pine Barrens: http://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/
    Meadowlands Commission: http://www.njmeadowlands.gov/

    There is also the Highlands: http://www.state.nj.us/njhighlands/master/tdr/
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    I'll bite,

    Large lots = much more infrastructure cost per lot
    More roads to maintain/plow
    More miles of waterline and sometimes sewer
    More miles of power/phone/cable
    Extended response areas for fire/EMS/PD

    Also, putting 40 homes on 400 acres each land owner is responsible for their own little kingdom of 10 acres, mowing, possibly fertilizing and my guess most trees would be knocked down.

    Putting 40 homes on even 1/4 of that still yields 2.5 acre lots, enough to not know your neighbors, yet you have then "preserved" in the true sense of the word 300 acres and developed on 100 and in theory you have reduced your cost for infrastructure and services by 3/4 in the process.

    Conservation subdivision design is lagging in the planning profession and rarely obtains what it's intent was set out for.
    My point is that a 10 acre minimum lot size puts the brakes on subdivision development and retains the rural character of an area. The lots are going to be much too expensive and the cost of infrastructure too exorbitant to attract enough buyers to make subdivision building feasible. Consequently, developers are going to go elsewhere.

    What development does take place will be individuals purchasing land and building houses. These individuals are moving to this kind of area specifically because they want the rural life-style. There might be 2 or 3 new homes built in a town in a year. Most lots will be larger than minimum, and few home owners will clear off all the trees; in many cases, they'll clear off only enough to site their home. If they want to get into truck farming or keeping livestock, they'll buy already cleared land. The homes will front on existing roads, use existing electric and phone service along the roads. No water or sewer lines but wells and septic systems. Home owners will go with satellite TV because cable is unavailable.
    The area will retain its rural character and there will be plenty of open space, just not necessarily open space accessible to the general public.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I must have looked at that map incorrectly because it seemed like there was plenty of land. Did I miss something?

    http://gis.rowan.edu/projects/luc/map_urban.html
    You did. That's the urban growth animation. The remaining land map is here: http://gis.rowan.edu/projects/luc/map_remaining.html

    Everything but the 1,000,000 acres is masked out; this includes developed areas and undeveloped areas that are preserved (farmland preservation, open space) or regulated (wetlands, steep slopes).

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    My point is that a 10 acre minimum lot size puts the brakes on subdivision development and retains the rural character of an area. The lots are going to be much too expensive and the cost of infrastructure too exorbitant to attract enough buyers to make subdivision building feasible. Consequently, developers are going to go elsewhere.

    What development does take place will be individuals purchasing land and building houses. These individuals are moving to this kind of area specifically because they want the rural life-style. There might be 2 or 3 new homes built in a town in a year. Most lots will be larger than minimum, and few home owners will clear off all the trees; in many cases, they'll clear off only enough to site their home. If they want to get into truck farming or keeping livestock, they'll buy already cleared land. The homes will front on existing roads, use existing electric and phone service along the roads. No water or sewer lines but wells and septic systems. Home owners will go with satellite TV because cable is unavailable.
    The area will retain its rural character and there will be plenty of open space, just not necessarily open space accessible to the general public.
    Rural, in my mind, means that agriculture is viable. When areas have been developed into ten-acre lots, agriculture is no longer a viable use. The other possibility is that the land was "wild". Again, dividing it into ten-acre lots fragments the habitat, and as Tide suggested, you will see different ideas of how to manage the land. (The owner of the ten-acre lot in the so-called conservation subdivision next to my house prefers to mow every inch of his lot.)
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrd View post
    You did. That's the urban growth animation. The remaining land map is here: http://gis.rowan.edu/projects/luc/map_remaining.html

    Everything but the 1,000,000 acres is masked out; this includes developed areas and undeveloped areas that are preserved (farmland preservation, open space) or regulated (wetlands, steep slopes).
    I checked out this map and looked at several places around where I used to live. I saw many many mistakes where parking lots were called developable but the building on them wasn't. Even had the Rutgers Eco Preserve highlighted as developable??? I don't know what the methodology was, I'll have to read up on that, or the data sets, but that will give the answer as to why 1,000,000 acres and not more/less.

  15. #15

    1 Million Acres at 640 acres/sq mile

    NJ Down to its last 1M acres to develop - At 640 acres/sq mile that's 1562 sq miles of 7400 sqmi total --- 80% is developed (or set aside.) Scary - not really

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Rural, in my mind, means that agriculture is viable. When areas have been developed into ten-acre lots, agriculture is no longer a viable use. The other possibility is that the land was "wild". Again, dividing it into ten-acre lots fragments the habitat, and as Tide suggested, you will see different ideas of how to manage the land. (The owner of the ten-acre lot in the so-called conservation subdivision next to my house prefers to mow every inch of his lot.)
    I have no problem with innovative conservation zoning like Tide suggested. I just disputed the person whom the author quoted as saying that a 10-acre minimum lot size contributed to the loss of open space. I thought it was a very self-serving and arrogant comment from somebody who thought his ideas were the only ones with merit.

    Here in the East, a lot of marginal agricultural land has reverted back to forest and brush since the 1930s. It doesn't make these lands less "rural" just because the people who own them don't farm their 150 acres but work in town and only keep a couple of horses in a paddock off the barn. The areas remain rural because there's not a lot of people living in them.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I have no problem with innovative conservation zoning like Tide suggested. I just disputed the person whom the author quoted as saying that a 10-acre minimum lot size contributed to the loss of open space. I thought it was a very self-serving and arrogant comment from somebody who thought his ideas were the only ones with merit.

    Here in the East, a lot of marginal agricultural land has reverted back to forest and brush since the 1930s. It doesn't make these lands less "rural" just because the people who own them don't farm their 150 acres but work in town and only keep a couple of horses in a paddock off the barn. The areas remain rural because there's not a lot of people living in them.
    Once of the problems with your argument is that you are assuming that people who buy and own property in these areas are always responsible property owners and concious to limit their effects on the environment and will only cut down enough trees for their structures. This simply isn't the case even with wealthier people. Sometimes even those with good intentions do things that are harmful. People do things like mow to the edge of retention ponds because they think it looks nice and tidy without realizing it's a bad thing. Even at 10 acres there is plenty you can do to your own lot that can have an impact on the area surrounding it.

    To me, preservation of open space is prohibiting growth altogether and making lands not viable for Ag available for common use as parks, preserves, etc. Nature should not preserved only for those wealthy enough to buy 10+ acre lots.

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