Economic Analysis of Residential Land-Use Alternatives

by David C. Curtis, Research Hydrologist; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Md; formerly, Grad. Research Student, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,
Richard H. McCuen, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 2, Pg. 109-116

Document Type: Journal Paper


To establish optimum land-use policies, it is important that local planners understand the economic implications of various land-use alternatives. Data were collected for two alternative forms of residential housing, single-family detached homes and apartment complexes in Frederick County, Maryland. A benefit-cost analysis was performed to determine the relative profitability of these housing forms in Frederick County. The results compared favorably to a similar study conducted in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Additionally, sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the relative importance of factors affecting the benefit-cost ratio. These factors included (1) The property tax assessment rate; (2) the average household income; (3) the average number of school children per dwelling; and (4) the average number of inhabitants per dwelling.

Subject Headings: Sensitivity analysis | Economic factors | Land use | Housing | Benefit cost ratios | Data collection | Residential buildings | Profits | Maryland | United States

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