Beautiful Hazardous Places:
How is Private Land Development Regulated in High-Hazard Settings?
Local stakeholders of Paradise, California and Grand Haven, Michigan must decide how to best address growing controversy over proposed development or redevelopment in these high-hazard areas.
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Because much of the land in the United States is in private ownership, there are substantial opportunities for landowners to build residential structures in natural settings that are highly desirable aesthetically but that also provide substantial ecological values and pose substantial risks to people and property from hazards. Wild-urban interface lands susceptible to wildfires as well as coastal shorelands susceptible to erosion and catastrophic storms are notable examples.
What policy options, including land use regulatory options, might local governments in the U.S. use to advance the goals of promoting environmental protection, promoting public safety, and minimizing public expenditures--all while respecting private property rights--when addressing pressures for private and commercial development within high-hazard areas like wildfire and coastal zones? How do those policies address the strongly held concerns in the American ethos over the regulation of private property? What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of those policy options?