Table of Contents

Amenities and Rural Development

Amenities and Rural Development

Theory, Methods and Public Policy

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Gary Paul Green, Steven C. Deller and David D. Marcouiller

Amenities and Rural Development explores the paradigmatic shift in how we view land resources and the potential for development in amenity-rich rural regions. Amenity-based growth can lead to several paths, based largely on proximity to urban areas and the type of development that occurs, whether it be seasonal residents, retirees, or tourism. The distributional implications of amenity-led development are an important consideration for policy, both within and between communities and regions. The contributors conclude that public policy needs to focus on maximizing complementary and supplementary uses while minimizing antagonistic uses of amenities.

Chapter 13: Seasonal Residents: Members of Community or Part of the Scenery?

Greg Clendenning and Donald R. Field

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Greg Clendenning and Donald R. Field ‘There is a real commitment to take care of the community, shared by people who live here full-time and those who come for summers,’ said Kate Wenner, a New York novelist. (Hughes 2004, p. F6) INTRODUCTION Rural regions across the United States, particularly those rich in natural amenities, have been experiencing dramatic demographic, social and economic transformations over the past 30 years. One of the key characteristics of this rural change has been substantial population growth that is due largely to the in-migration of urban residents (Beale and Johnson 1998; Beyers and Nelson 2000; Davis et al. 1994; Frey and Johnson 1998; Johnson and Fuguitt 2000; McGranahan 1999; Nelson and Dueker 1990). Population increase alone does not capture the extent of growth and development in many amenity-rich regions because of dramatically increasing numbers of seasonal homes (American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO) 1976; Beale and Johnson 1998; Green and Clendenning 2003; Marans and Wellman 1978).1 Though seasonal homeowners are not considered in population estimates they can have significant impacts on local infrastructure and services, surrounding natural resources, and community social structure (Fitchen 1991; Green and Clendenning 2003). As Fitchen (1991, p. 97) notes, ‘Recreational land development is not really a local demographic trend in the strict sense of the term, as it does not refer to people who reside in the area . . . But where it is occurring, it is an important population trend, in the broader sense, in that it...

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