Land policy should be restricted to zoning and numbers

Land policy should be restricted to zoning and numbers. An open free market allows anyone, with the ability, to purchase. Who has the right to decide who should have or not have public property if the property is priced at a fair market value? Supply

An open free market allows anyone, with the ability, to purchase.

Who has the right to decide who should have or not have public property if the property is priced at a fair market value? Supply and demand is the variable.

Demographics and population growth trends are the tools that municipalities must have at their fingertips to properly feed the marketplace with suitable lots to ease the pressure on prices.

Too many lots, prices drop: too few lots and prices rise. Keep the development lot numbers up just ahead of demand peak and values will balance out.

The cost of homes will regulate themselves and be more relative to construction cost highs and lows.

Fair market value is an estimate of what a “knowledgeable,” willing and unpressured buyer would pay for a property or commodity over a reasonable length of time in an open and free marketplace.

Property appraisers are well trained and certified to establish fair market values for property today, based upon actual sales figures. It’s just math, and the municipality can rely on certified appraisers to set the lot prices on behalf of the taxpayers.

Land policies are created for the purpose of assessing and identifying today, priority land needs for tomorrow.

Urban communities need a mix of lifestyle choices and values to create a social balance and higher density zones in order to reduce costs per person for municipal services.

Municipality-homeowner direct sales restricts lots available to only those people willing and capable of entering a complex legal, financial and managerial task in order to own a home and then imposes additional restrictions outside of standard bylaws. Let the contractors do what they do best, build homes and sell homes.

It’s easier to monitor contractors on a regular basis than individuals in a one-off basis.

Quality is also dependent upon a free-market system and the cost of a lot generally predetermines the value of the home placed on it, we hope.

An old rule of thumb was 25 per cent land value to improvements, but when there’s a limited supply, the land value rises directly related to the demand, which is what you are seeing in Whitehorse. The result is imbalance. When land is priced too high, the quality and economic life of the structure suffers in many cases.

The key to the question is really how many lots do we need over the next five years to match the demand. Zoning and numbers are a planner’s expertise.

Just provide lots for homes or land blocks for contractor development and stay out of the development business.

Municipalities should not impose any restrictions, or we are back in the days of the fiefdoms and the lords waiting for a reason to take the land back. If a lot is for sale, it’s for sale to anyone and the buyer should have full rights of ownership.

To build or build when they are ready.

There a lot more forces positive and negative on a property owner than the imposed restrictions of a third party “Lord” without a personal financial interest.

Sue Greetham

Whitehorse