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Overview of Emerging Conflicts Over Agricultural Land Use
Special Reports No. 1, July 2000
by Douglas Jackson-Smith

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The focus today is to leave you with a vision that there are things that can be done to both manage conflict over agricultural land, and also to develop reasonable policies to balance the public and private interests over farmland resources. We may not give you all the answers, or give you the plan, or give you a particular policy that you want to adopt, but we will give you a vision of how some communities like your own have grappled with this issue. Why is land use an issue? Like I said, I got to the issue of land use through working with farmers, so to me it was all about agriculture. From time to time, I have to remind myself that it’s a lot more than agriculture. Indeed what I think drives a lot of the statewide discussion are concerns about other issues like the fiscal cost of development. Is local government experiencing fiscal problems as they try to meet the increased service demands that come with development? Are there problems with transportation, traffic jams, difficulty with finding appropriate and affordable housing? Are there issues of natural resource importance and preservation? Clearly all of these things are important drivers of the land use issue.

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