urban growth boundaries

Now more than ever, more people are moving from both rural and urban areas—a trend that is slowly redefining urban growth boundaries everywhere. The allure of city living has dwindled over the past five years in exchange for a life in the suburbs. Similarly, those in rural areas who are financially able are moving closer in, as well. For example, economic analyst Jared Kolko discovered a 30 percent increase of college educated populations in nonmetropolitan counties, all around the Pacific Northwest and Idaho. These two opposing trends will inevitably cause a time for flux in urban growth boundaries.

Living outside an urban growth boundary comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. An urban growth boundary is usually decided by a city or metropolitan area. Depending on where these municipalities draw the line can cause serious comparative disparities in land value. Farmland can be valued at 10 times less than similar land merely feet away. It’s important to know where these boundaries are, and what policy trends are occurring.  

You can either save or lose money depending on your intentions. The addition of new infrastructure on your property will increase its value no matter what. It’s a much better route than renovating an old pre-existing structure. Click here for more information about the pros and cons of new construction versus renovation.

Check an updated version of your closest city’s urban growth plan, and find out where your prospective land is in relation to it. Studying policy trends in the past to see how you could be affected later, can help gauge how future decisions on increasing the boundary will be made. Being conscious of these factors can make or break a property’s market value.

Seclusion has been a key attraction for rural living, the price one might pay if land falls too close to an urban growth boundary. Cities can retroactively justify expanding infrastructure near or around your property if it was set aside into a rural reserve. This annexed land around your home can be used for any kind of development. So be sure you are staying privy to the projects being proposed in these areas before buying property as well.

Not many cities in the U.S. adopt urban growth boundary policies. Those that do are typically places where the lines between urban and rural blur. Examples of these places can be found in Portland, Oregon; Boulder, Colorado; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Seattle, Washington. DC Structures knows firsthand the headaches of city planning, and the amount of government regulation that accompanies it. Staying on top of recent trends in rural-urban migration and city planning can make a huge difference when assessing land for your structure.

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