We can all agree that land development is essential for a community’s success. While development can sometimes be frowned upon, as it changes the face of the landscape, creates more traffic, changes ecosystems and habitats, it is imperative for the prosperity of your community. It can generate more jobs, bring more housing, and maintain or increase home values. Whether the development is residential or commercial, construction brings economic stability. Finding a balance between growth and maintaining the character of your community is key to the planning of development, as well as, weighing the pros and cons.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: CON
Construction and land development can create added waste to our landfills and not all materials are environmentally friendly. In metropolitan or urban areas that are highly populated and built up, a heat island effect can occur. Thus, making it warmer in these areas than rural areas due to the volume of energy being consumed. Land Development can change ecosystems and force wildlife to relocate. At the same time, land development can have a positive impact on our environment. Governing entities may require developers to bring buildings up to current code or clean up contaminated sites from a previous business. Site cleanup is costly, but it brings added value to our environment. Incentives are sometimes offered for using sustainable materials or building Green or a LEED certified structure. Oftentimes developers will clear out invasive/non-native trees and replace them with native trees.
INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS: PRO
Some townships/cities will require the developer to make improvements to infrastructure. This might include, enhancing the road condition, replacing old water or sewer pipes, installing sidewalks, adding additional landscaping and increasing the number of public parking spaces. Holding developers accountable for community improvements removes some of the financial burdens your city/township can endure.
ECONOMIC/SOCIAL IMPACT: PRO
When you see businesses expanding, new commercial buildings being constructed, new neighborhoods being built and existing homes being renovated, it signifies a growing community. Growth can present challenges, however, it is a necessity for the prosperity of your city. Construction has a direct impact on our economy, as it creates jobs. Construction also has a trickle-down effect on industries, other than its own. Commercial and residential construction stimulates growth in retail, real estate, equipment, manufacturing plants, schools, and tourism, to name a few. Even though to community members, construction and development can seem invasive and unnecessary, it is vital for your economy.