Property rights and landscape planning in the intermountain west: The Teton Valley case

Journal or Book Title: Landscape and Urban Planning

Keywords: Attitudes; Citizenship; Conflict; Democracy; Politics; Sustainable development; Values

Volume/Issue: 86

Page Number(s): 126-133

Year Published: 2008


Non-participation in landscape planning presents a formidable challenge to sustainable development.We hypothesize that even when people hold negative attitudes toward unplanned development, natural property rights values (favorable evaluations of property as an inviolable and pre-political right) prevent them from acting on their concerns.We chose an intermountain west community as a case study to evaluate our hypothesis regarding natural property rights values. All groups were equally and strongly opposed to continuation of rapid unplanned growth, but those with natural property rights values were also adamantly opposed to land use planning.We used a multiple logistic regression model to evaluate the relationship between support for landscape planning and a natural property rights values. An overall significance test of the regression equation indicated the independent variables were significantly predictive of the dependent variable (χ2 128, 8 d.f., p < 0.001) and had high (88.7%) predictive capacity. Natural property rights value was the most important predictor variable, but income was also significant. Sustainable landscape planning requires uncoupling property rights from inviolable and pre-political natural rights. Our results suggest a conversation focused on themes associated with loss of local culture, hypocrisy of building practices, and market control over development could facilitate the aforementioned uncoupling and development planning that promotes both security for land owners and public welfare.

DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2008.01.003

Type of Publication: Journal Article