“The Economic Benefits of Conservation” Event Coming Up

Upstate Forever’s final event in the Shaping Our Future Speaker Series is coming up next Tuesday, October 20. Keynote speaker Jessica Sargent from the Trust for Public Land will be speaking on the economic benefits of conservation and open space. She will also discuss how that information can be used to successfully enhance public funds for land conservation, open space protection, and parks.

Jason Armstrong, Project Manager at Patrick Square (a traditional neighborhood in Clemson), will speak to specific examples of how purposeful land conservation in the Patrick Square development is now paying dividends. Additionally, Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau will present on marketing these new outdoor areas as part of Spartanburg’s Tourism Action Plan.

The goal of the series is to inspire dialogue regarding the connections between land use decisions, transportation options, housing choices, and quality of life.

Click here for more details and to register for the event.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
3:005:00 p.m., Reception to Follow
$10 entrance fee
USC Upstate, The University Readiness Center
800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 
(Building Z on the USC Upstate Campus Map)
HBA Sponsors The Dollars and Sense of Development Patterns

HBA Sponsors The Dollars and Sense of Development Patterns

Robert Dietz, Ph.D.

Your Home Builders Association is the sponsor of a discussion and presentation on May 19 of efficient development patterns in the Upstate.

What: The Dollars and Sense of Development Patterns
When: May 19, 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Where:  The Crowne Plaza, 851 Congaree Road, Greenville

Click here to register.

Produced by Ten at the Top and Upstate Forever, and also sponsored by the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, The Dollars and Sense of Development Patterns is the second of four events this year intended to facilitate a discussion of facilitating a vibrant, growing, and efficient Upstate.

The featured speaker is Joseph Minicozzi, AICP, principal of Urban 3, LLC, an Asheville-based real estate consultancy affiliated with Public Interest Projects.  Urban3 develops geospatial representations of economic productivity which is designed to change the way a community looks at the concept of urbanism and the value of well-designed cities.  Their case studies help drive planning strategies and tax policies related to urban development patterns.

NAHB Economist
Also speaking will be Robert Dietz, Ph.D., Vice President of Ecomomics at the National Association of Home Builders.  Dietz will present a report of market trends and the results of NAHB’s Consumer Preference Study, which focused this year on the preferences of millennials.

Dietz specializes in Tax and Market Analysis for NAHB, where his responsibilities include economic and legal analysis of tax and policy issues, as well as analysis of housing market data. Dr. Dietz has published academic research on the housing and tax issues in peer-reviewed journals. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy on housing and tax issues. Prior to joining NAHB in 2005, Robert worked as an economist for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, specializing in revenue estimation of legislative proposals involving housing, urban development, and other business tax issues. He is a native of Dayton, Ohio and earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the Ohio State University in 2003.

HBA Past President Todd Usher featured on the cover of Greenville Business Magazine

HBA Past President Todd Usher featured on the cover of Greenville Business Magazine

HBA 2008 President Todd Usher, GMB, Master CGP, SC CMB, CAPS, President of Addison Homes, was featured on the cover of Greenville Business Magazine this month (July issue) under the feature, “Greening Greenville’s Homes.”

The article delves into the business of green home building and remodeling. Featured and quoted in the article are HBA members:

  • Dean Benton, Benton Green Energy
  • Scott Johnston, Johnston Design Group
  • Trey Cole, O’Leary Cole

Also in the July issue is a profile of another HBA member, Upstate Forever. The article features their headquarters building, finished in 2008 to LEED Platinum standards.

Addison Homes builds all of their homes to EarthCraft and Energy STAR standards. Todd and his wife, Michelle, an HBA Affiliate member, regularly discuss the virtues of building and remodeling to high-performance “green” standards.

Read the article featuring Todd Usher, Dean Benton, Scott Johnston, and Trey Cole in Greenville Business Magazine by clicking here.

Congress renews tax deduction for landowners

Congress renewed a tax deduction for private landowners who protect land with voluntary conservation agreements.

The incentive had expired at the end of 2009 but was renewed as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed last month. The new incentive expires at the end of 2011.

It allows donors of voluntary conservation agreements to take a 50 percent tax deduction on their Federal taxes for 16 years. Farmers and rangers may be able to deduct 100 percent. Upstate Forever, an HBA Community Partner, is among the land trusts that can assist landowners with a conservation agreement for their property.

Read the entire article at GSA Business by clicking here.

Upstate Forever Adds Four to its Board of Directors

Upstate Forever, a nonprofit conservation group serving 10 Upstate counties, has added four new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Diane Culbertson, president of Gray Court-Owings Historical Society
  • J. Drew Lanham, professor of forestry and natural resources at Clemson University
  • Mary Miller, former journalist and assistant provost at Clemson University
  • Susan Stewart Riordan, former journalist

Upstate Forever is a Community Partner of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

Read more about the new board members at GSA Business by clicking here.