Public Access to Lake Superior and Attribute Values of Proximate Non-Shoreline Property

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Increasing shoreline development along the Great Lakes has caused public concern regarding the loss of associated ecological attributes. In more remote areas, such as Lake Superior's shoreline, informal public access to shoreline across private property is becoming less common as lakeshore properties are subdivided and developed. Shoreline development increases property values and is an important source of tax revenue for local governments. Using hedonic analysis 162 non-shoreline properties within 3 miles of Michigan's Lake Superior shoreline were examined to determine if proximity to formal public access to the Lake increased property value. Distance to public access to Lake Superior was a statistically significant variable in explaining land value per acre, as were variables for parcel size, county, stumpage value, view, road access, and distance to towns. Fifty-three shoreline parcels were also examined. For shoreline parcels, parcel size, lakefront length, beach type, county, and distance to a small town were statistically significant. Distance to public access to Lake Superior was not statistically significant for shoreline properties.

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Journal of Great Lakes Research