Airlie Gardens is a pretty amazing place and likely worth millions in terms of potential (private) land rents. Its preservation surely generates massive rents to the public at large (via recreation, education and aesthetics). Environmental rents are a public good, and as such those rents will not likely be provided by markets. Preservation may indeed be what's best for society, but without government intervention of some sort, it won't happen.
Because of tough economic times we're experiencing, the opportunity cost of Airlie preservation (lost revenues from sale) made its way into budgetary discussions by the county. The need to safeguard Airlie is therefore getting some attention.
Read the story here at the StarNewsOnline
Read an editorial comment here
What do you think about the easement?