Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2011 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Adequate Public Facility Ordinances and Land Use Patterns
Gnagey, Matthew
Co-Authors: David Newburn; Allen Klaiber

Policymakers concerned with the negative impact of undue urban sprawl have supported a set of smart growth principles. Smart growth management frequently incorporate a menu of land use regulations such as clustering development, impact fees, adequate public facility ordinances (APFOs), or growth boundaries. While the concurrency of these policies in principle benefits planners due to the added flexibility, however the policiesí interactions may not prove complementary. The interactions may lead to unintended development spillover or incentivize less dense development where new growth is targeted. We investigate the impact of APFO induced development moratoria on residential development patterns. The goal of APFOs is to ensure the availability of public facilities that support residents, which is operationalized by attempting to manage the timing of new residential development. An ordinance on school capacity restrictions can lead to cessation of new residential development in the overcrowded school catchment area. These moratoria are blunt tools, effectively shutting down larger areas for new residential development in certain locations for years. We find evidence is found that as enrollment in a school catchment zone approaches the state-rated capacity there is a rapid increase in new development as developers race to fill the last few available slots, a tragedy of the commons-like effect.