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Study of Subdivision Requirements as a Regulatory Barrier



Release Date: 
April 2007 (131 pages)
Posted Date:   
February 13, 2008



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This study addresses the characterization on a national basis of the regulatory cost barriers associated with land subdivision, specifically barriers to the subdivision of land that can be developed with single-family detached (SFD) dwellings. Previously, this issue has been addressed only on a very small geographic scale. Previous approaches have not been used to examine regulatory cost barriers at the national level.

As discussed in the Executive Summary, there are two distinguishable types of regulatory barriers for the subdivision of land to construct single family detached dwellings: - a) barriers which lengthen the time for approval of a subdivision and b) land development and site development standards which are more costly than a set of minimum "benchmark" standards selected to provide for public health and safety. Benchmark standards are intended to be appropriate for affordable single-family detached dwellings without adding costs that would not bring commensurate public health and safety benefits. There are added costs when land is developed according to standards larger than the benchmark standards and there may also be benefits associated with those larger standards. The question of whether the added benefits are commensurate with the added costs is dependent upon many considerations. The evaluation of whether some of the benefits may be commensurate with the costs is an area that merits considerable investigation but is outside the scope of this study.