February 20, 2020
The word “wetlands” is often seen as a scary term in real estate, but they really aren’t as ominous as they seem. Once you know what they are all about.
Wetlands are land areas that are either seasonally or permanently saturated with water. They typically have characteristics of being their own ecosystem. Some examples include ponds, marshes, and lagoons.
Wetlands are essential in helping wildlife habitats, water quality, and flood control. It’s because of their important role to the environment that landowners are often limited by how they can use their land, or where they can build if it contains wetlands. In Greenwich, the wetlands and watercourses keep our vegative and natural life healthy.
Some advantages of having wetlands on your property are:
Tax Consequences: If wetlands affect the market value of your property, then the property tax should reflect this. Appraisers visually assess properties and take into consideration how wetlands may affect the value of them. If someone believes the appraisal does not properly account for the extent of wetlands, and their influence on the market price of the property, the owner can appeal this. However, just because wetlands may be present on a property, does not necessarily mean it impacts the market price. They must be wetlands that limit the use in a substantial way.
Protected Views: Since wetlands are protected, most of them can’t be built on. The leverage of this is that you can be assured of what happens on neighboring property. For instance, if the beautiful woods you share with your neighbor are also wetlands, you can be sure that the lovely view will remain intact. In the absence of wetlands, no one can guarantee that part of the woods, or meadow that leads down to a pond, will remain. You can benefit from stunning views and added privacy.
Wildlife Attraction: If you live near wetlands, you can see a wide array of interesting wildlife. They’re great grounds for birds, and rich in critters, up close. It’s hard to get bored in natural areas, and they provide great venturing spots for children.
Provides Landscaping Opportunity: Patricia Sesto, the director of Environmental Affairs at the Greenwich Town Hall, reminds us that there are countless beautiful plants that are wetlands approved and can be added to supplement existing trees and shrubs. The options of beautiful landscaping is near endless, and if you plant some skunk cabbage, for instance, you’ll be assured deer won’t come around.
The bottomline is that wetlands are essential to our environment, so they may present some technical difficulties for those seeking to develop their property. On the contrary, if you’re fortunate to find a home that makes you happy, and you don’t need to expand it, wetlands can enhance your property with beautiful views and experiences with nature. As long as prospective buyers have clear goals of what they want to do with their property, wetlands may be a perk.
Photo by Dan Sherman, Landscape Architect