Scenario 4: Plan/Trend with Sprawl

Trend growth based on 1990-2015 development footprint and densities, constrained by future land use except in agricultural areas.

The landscape of Southwest Florida still reflects the boom and bust of the recent housing crisis. During boom times, a tremendous amount of land was subdivided and entitled for conventional 1/4 acre suburban development. During the housing crisis, much of this land was developed at about 1/3 of the projected density. Thus very large subdivisions exist in which 2/3 of the lots are empty. In the last 4 post-recession years for which parcel data are available, there is little evidence of new building activity in these areas.

A major uncertainty for planning in this region is if these areas will "in fill" or not. In this simulation, we consider a world in which little "in fill" occurs, and future developed shifts elsewhere. Instead of using statewide population forecasts, this scenario uses the historic record of development in the area, with a 20 year baseline. In round numbers, the 1990s and 2000s saw approximately 100,000 acres per decade of suburban growth, 25,000 acres per decade of rural residential, and 7,500 acres per decade of higher density urban development. In this scenario, a lump-sum allocation was made for 2060 in these three categories, maintaining recent densities.

Some additional planning and land management changes have come into effect since the 2010 baseline for scenarios 1,2 & 3. In this scenario, we use the latest "Future Land Use" from Collier County, as well as two new conservation easement datasets. For purposes of this scenario, we assume that current easements remain in effect through at least 2060.