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Thread: Who owns your municipality's open space?

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Who owns your municipality's open space?

    Who owns your municipality's open space? The municipality, a land trust, conservation groups? Someone else? Is the land protected (deed restricted) or vulnerable to sale?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    In all of my comprehensive park planning work I differentiate between different kinds of public or quasi-public open space:

    1) parks and related open space owned by the municipality
    2) parks and related open space owned by another unit of government
    3) open space - typically conservancy lands - owned by a non-profit or land conservancy
    4) common lands owned by home owner associations, where there is a permanent grant of public access through the deed/development agreement
    5) school lands - although these are more likely to be sold or developed by the district than lands in other ownership
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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Who owns your municipality's open space? The municipality, a land trust, conservation groups? Someone else? Is the land protected (deed restricted) or vulnerable to sale?
    All of the above. It depends.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Sadly we don't have any land trusts or conservation groups that work in our area so the city is really the only one to own any open space. We don't have a lot of natural land but I'm afraid of losing the little that we do. *sigh*
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Sadly we don't have any land trusts or conservation groups that work in our area...
    Maybe you should start one.

    Seriously - are there really no groups active in land conservation, agricultural protection, etc. in your county or region that could get involved?

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Who owns your municipality's open space? ..........
    The vast majority of our open space lands are owned by the water management district or are under highly restrictive conservation easements that serve as mitigation lands for the construction of our airport.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Its a mix of the municipality, the state and various local and regional land trusts.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    As far as designated public and semi-public open space goes, a little bit of everything: the municipality, a couple of large state parks, land trusts, and two large institutes of higher learning. The outlying towns have quite a bit of state forest land.

    Our community has the opposite problem of many others: loathe to develop anything because it might impact "open space", regardless of its quality, accessibility, function, or role in the larger ecosystem. Open space of any kind is seen as desirable for its own sake, which makes densification efforts challenign.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Our parkland & open space fall into three categories:

    City-owned: virtually all of your "classic" parks in the city--from a larger park of about 60 acres (planned for expansion) with nature trails, etc. to pocket parks & playgrounds to a "sportsplex" with a bunch of organized playing fields & facilities. About 244 acres total in a city of 9,000 and 7 square miles. In some cases the public parks have an agreement whereby the HOA maintains the park (usually when adjacent to one of their facilities like a HOA pool/community center), but they are still open to the public.

    HOA-owned: These are usually recreation facilities, like a HOA-owned pool & community center, though there are a few true-blue HOA parks from before our policies changed. If you include HOA parkland/open space, that's another 92 acres. Parks located in neighborhoods in our extraterritorial jurisdiction are owned by the HOA.

    Conservation Easement: These are a big thing in Central Texas in order to preserve habitat, open space and protect aquifer recharge. It totals 2200 acres and is located just outside our city limits. 380 acres is open to the public for nature education & programs. It is held by The Hill Country Conservancy, an affiliate of The Nature Conservancy.

    If you are having big problems with loss of open space, The Nature Conservancy for your state would be my first call. I don't know how your state affiliate is, but The Nature Conservancy of Texas does a pretty bang-up job and also can help you organize if you need.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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