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Enhancing Subdivision Value Through Conservation Design

Conservation subdivision design offers a way to design land development so that some green space is preserved, property values are increased and the same amount of buildings are constructed as would be without it. The conservation subdivision identifies natural and cultural resources that should be preserved and ways to situate houses in ways that both preserve that land and place houses close enough to it so residents can fully enjoy it. The article provides a basic example of how a partially wooded lot could be converted into a conservation subdivision and examples of how this tool has been used to save significant amounts of money on actual development projects.
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  • Conservation subdivision design offers a way to design land development that allows for the preservation of green space, increased property values, and for the same amount of buildings to be constructed. The conservation subdivision creates value-enhancing open space networks in a community by identifying open space that contains natural and cultural resources that should be preserved and ways to situate houses in ways that both preserve that land and place houses close enough to it so residents can fully enjoy it. The article provides a basic example of how a partially wooded lot could be converted into a conservation subdivision.
  • Most buyers prefer homes in attractive, park-like settings and views of protected green space allow homes to sell faster and at premium prices. Such homes also tend to appreciate more in value than homes with no views or nearby green space.
  • In Indiana, the use of conservation subdivision design added $20,000 in worth to each lot without decreasing the total number of lots, and, in Texas, by respecting natural terrain and designing around existing features for an 80-lot development, a developer cut grading costs by 83% ($250,000) compared to a conventionally engineered plan.
  • For more information on this tool, see the Growing Greener: Conservation By Design guide at ConservationTools.org.

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Last modified by Gayle Diehl

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