Purpose-Driven Work Products
Does a new planning or policy objective require a new implementation strategy?
Transferable Development Rights for Hillside/Viewshed Preservation in San Jose » M&A prepared an economic analysis of methods to preserve the existing greenbelt at the southern edge of the city. The city was interested in the feasibility of using a system of transferable development rights to compensate owners of designated open space for the land's foregone development potential. M&A's work focused on the relative value of development rights to potential sellers and potential buyers, and identified the essential elements required for a transfer system to be workable.
Public Contributions for Private Benefits in San Mateo » San Mateo's Measure H had been enacted to allow for height bonuses in certain locations of the city in exchange for provision of a suitable public benefit. M&A's analysis addressed a series of issues that such potential exchanges raise, including what constitutes a public benefit, the considerations that affect whether a proposed benefit (for example, a project feature or the improvement of an offsite public facility) qualifies, how to determine the value of the private benefit and its "exchange rate" in terms of building height, and methods of securing the proposed benefit through the development process. The study culminated in recommended guidelines for the implementation of the ballot measure.
Transferable Development Credits for Agricultural Preservation and Enhancement in the South Livermore Valley » Alameda County, in consultation with the Cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, engaged a team of consultants to prepare a Specific Plan to preserve and encourage vineyards and other agricultural uses in the South Livermore Valley. As economics firm on the team, M&A formulated a strategy to support agriculture through a combination of preservation incentives and land use regulation, and identified measures focused on strengthening the local wine grape industry. A critical element of the strategy was the concept of transferable development credits (TDCs) to provide compensation to landowners who agreed to cede to other properties the residential development potential to which their properties were entitled by then-current land use regulations. A TDC system, formulated based on an economic analysis of land values and production returns, served ultimately as the linchpin of the South Livermore Valley Area Plan.