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Many reports and articles describe the potential benefits that low-impact development (LID) stormwater controls can provide—benefits that conventional controls can not offer. Very few studies, however, quantify these benefits, either in biophysical measures or in dollar amounts. In this study, we quantify one potential, but often overlooked, benefit of LID: the effect of LID on property values. A preliminary analysis of the effect of LID on property values in Seattle indicates that the introduction of LIDs increased property values by 3.5 – 5 percent. Compared to similar houses (e.g., in terms of square feet of living space, building quality, lot size, etc.) in the same zip-code, houses in Seattle's Street Edge Alterative (SEA), Broadview Green Grid, Pinehurst Green Grid, and High Point projects sold for 3.5 – 5 percent more during the period after the adjacent streets were converted to LID. This increase in value appears to be the result of the LID. Prior to the introduction of LID, the houses affected by these projects did not command a premium over their neighbors. These results suggest people are willing to pay for the combination of neighborhood amenities and environmental services provided by LID stormwater controls. The results of the study give policy makers a more complete picture of the economic benefits provided by LID, which they should recognize when considering stormwater control policies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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