Thursday, March 29, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Average lot sizes, Open Space compared to Non-Open Space

2018-03-29 Parcel Map

I have been working on enhancing and refining the lot size data information I received from our pressurized irrigation billing system for the past several months. I’ve learned some things which run counter to “common knowledge.”

I’ve heard also heard from others about an Open Space vs. Non-Open Space divide in the city but I have never really understood it. Based on the study Open Space lots are on average about 50% the size of non-Open Space. That is understandable as the those living in open space areas chose to live in an area where they share the maintenance of common areas (parks, trails and other open areas) in exchange smaller lots. Not a bad trade off in my mind, especially for those who would rather not spend as much time in the yard.

2018-03-20 Mitchell Hollow Park

Yes, there are issues with the maintenance of trails and parks but these are not unique to Open Space and they shouldn’t be used to try to divide us. Of course there is the matter of the fee and whether it is too high, too low, or just right. It will take time to sort this out. Staff has been busy the last 4 years reviewing utility rates, impact fees, and the cost of roads. Issues that are relatively more important than Open Space fees but I believe there will be time over the next 18 months to get real data and work through this as I’ve discussed before (see item 2 under Community Issues in my 2018 Goals post).

Below are charts from my research. Click here for a link to the Google spreadsheet that contains the charts, raw data and data summaries.

I have also kept track of lots developed since 2014 (I last updated it in April of 2017 so it is a bit out of date at the moment). Here is a link to the Google spreadsheet that includes a summary sheet and a number of different charts should you wish to explore deeper.

Below is a chart from this spreadsheet.

2018-03-29 Lot sizes by zone

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