Newer residents of rural, urban-fringe communities are often assumed to have preferences for the development and conservation of rural lands that differ from those of longer-term residents. The existing literature offers little to verify or quantify presumed preference shifts. This paper provides a systematic, quantitative examination of whether stated preferences for development and conservation tradeoffs differ according to length of residency in a rural community, and explores implications of these findings for assumptions regarding development and conservation preferences. Results are based on stated preferences estimated from a multi-attribute contingent choice survey of Rhode Island rural residents. Heterogeneity-according to length of town residency-is incorporated using Lagrangian Interpolation Polynomials. This approach models the influence of policy attributes as a polynomial function of residence time, thereby allowing estimated coefficient values to vary as a continuous function of residence duration.