Land is a topic that is rarely discussed anymore. There is very little demand for land by developers right now. The market continues to decline, foreclosures of existing homes are on the rise and banks are not financing newly proposed subdivisions. The risk is too high. Our local planning board has nothing new on its agenda for subdivision approval.
Yet, there are still many land transactions that could be consummated. Some land deals are actually easier and much faster than going through subdivision approval with your local boards. One of my best land transactions was selling a 23 acre parcel of land in Franklin MA to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This parcel could easily have been an upscale subdivision with large custom homes. It was in a prime residential area in Franklin surrounded by homes of that magnitude. The approvals would have taken 2 years.
There are no special permits needed for a church. The transaction was done within a year, and it was a cash deal for $810,000 for that parcel. There are many uses for large parcels other than subdivisions and now is a perfect time to capture a few land deals. Not every concept requires a special permit and knowing your zoning by-laws will open up many more options for future land transactions.