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Thread: Build-through acreages, ghost plats

  1. #1
    Member hindered's avatar
    Mar 2004

    Build-through acreages, ghost plats

    Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts on Build-Through Acreages?

    I just heard the term the other day. It is basically allowing very large lots or acreages with the proviso that the house is built within the confines of a platted subdivision. You want to build one house on 20 acres? Ok, as long as you plat it as a subdivision (showing lots, roads, etc.) per some density and put your house on Lot 8 so that future owners may sell off and build the infrastructure at will once the area is not as pastoral as it is today.

    Is this a good idea? Seems to make sense in some areas. Providing for an urban fabric when the built city reaches it. What about slow growing areas with little development pressure? It seems to me it would just encourage sprawl whether it is really platted into smaller lots or not unless it really is an intermediate step in a much faster growing area. Meeting a short term market demand (acreages) while still planning for the future. In practice, do any of these really get fully built out? Or must the development pressure be overwhelming to really see an owner transition from 20 acre private acreage to subdivision? Is this really just planning for planning's sake? A "feel good" acreage that is really no better than scattered large lot splits?

    What say you? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    This seems like a very good idea to me, provided that the acreages are large. A developer would be interested in a twenty acre site. It is not always possible to extend water and sewer service to areas which are certain to become part of a city in the future. I have seen places where the city or surrounding jurisdiction allows a home to develop in these areas, which ultimately becomes a challenge for future development. The concept of a ghost plat would ensure its placement in a way that makes future development easy. It also give the existing property owner a chance to build a home in the interim. I like that.

    On the other hand, I am aware of a community which allowed large lot development to an area which it wanted to eventually be a part of the city, but where they could not provide sewer economically in the short run. The idea was to create 2-acre lots which could be divided into four lots when sewer became available. The reality, of course, is that 2 acres is small enough that people would not be inclined to subdivide. The city does not have the political will to assess the cost of sewer. The result is that this large patch of 2-acre lots has become a hurdle that is preventing extension of the sewer and the city has become, in effect, landlocked due to its decisions.
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