Conservation land acquisition lists and nearby property values: evidence from the Florida Forever programme
Agencies throughout the world are implementing plans to preserve open spaces. The demand to preserve open space is often justified based on the value of the amenities associated with the land. However, many times open space is valued most for what it is not: the absence of negative externalities associated with development of the open space. Florida has the most ambitious programme for acquiring conservation land of any state or nation in the world. Using evidence from Florida, this study determines whether being added to a conservation land acquisition list affects nearby property values. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection claims that being on the list should not trigger any changes in property values. The results of the hedonic regression models contradict this claim and provide evidence that being added to the conservation acquisition list (perceived as permanently undevelopable and publicly owned at some point in the future) does cause a positive increase in nearby property values for at least some of the open space projects analysed in this study.