Political Voodoo in Land Use Politics

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Politicians and Planning

By Patrick Fox, President & CEO Every commercial real estate development team is made up of experts from a variety of disciplines. Managing them and the roller coaster-like permitting process is not for the faint of heart. With some team members, their role is clear and you can easily manage them and chart their progress. For example, the traffic engineer completes … Read More

Empowering Fools

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning, Politicians and Planning, Property Development, Saint News, Strategic Communications, Thought Leadership

Dealing with the Idiotic, Irrational and Incomprehensible By Patrick Fox, President & CEO The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. – Albert Einstein Anyone advocating for a controversial initiative today must learn to deal with the fear of change, cynicism and NIMBYism that now permeates the public discourse. True professionals understand and expect vocal and engaged … Read More

Hiding is not a strategy

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Planning and Zoning, Politicians and Planning

By Patrick Fox, CEO The opponents are coming whether they are anxious abutters, political opportunists, competitor funded rabble-rousers or local activists. Keeping quiet doesn’t cut it anymore.  Then why are so many developers still keeping a low profile and walking into public hearings blind and unprepared? Some think they can win approvals simply because “It’s a good project.” Good projects … Read More

Pipeline’s “Universal Opposition” demonstrates systemic failure

The Saint ReportEnvironmental Planning, Land Use Campaigns, Politicians and Planning

By Patrick Fox, CEO There is no reason for any project, regardless of how controversial it is, to have universal opposition. Pipelines, like quarries, mines, power plants, casinos, landfills and a host of other land uses, are very controversial because no one wants to live near one. That’s a fact that everyone knows going in. This is a systemic failure … Read More

NIMBYs vs Planners

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Politicians and Planning

NIMBYs vs Planners- Politics Wins!  Good projects fail despite public need, project merit or quality when local politics are ignored.  It’s an opponent driven system. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/21/development-booms-nashville-council-goes-against-planners-more-often/96585874/

Approval Rescinded because of Local Pressure

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning, Politicians and Planning

To win a local approval on a pipeline project is just about the toughest fight there is. To have it rescinded in the face of public opposition is an outrageous avoidable failure. They ignored the local politics, did not keep an eye on their opponent’s activities and did not organize their supporters. The time and resources lost are devastating and … Read More

The Protestors are Coming

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Planning and Zoning, Politicians and Planning

The protesters are coming in greater numbers. Two ways to handle it: Get in the bunker and hope you can survive the onslaught as the politics of fear and confusion potentially makes your project politically unviable or stand up and fight. Your project had better have great merit and community benefits. Build a supporter base and demonstrate support! The bunker mentality does … Read More

How Opponents Hijacked the Planning Process

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning, Politicians and Planning

By Patrick Fox, CEO Saint Consulting fox@tscg.biz Former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously said that “All politics is local.” It can also be said that “All land use is political.” And the politics of land use has turned against development. Rather than generating a healthy debate on the merits of a proposal and weeding out projects lacking … Read More

Anti-Competitive Organizing- Is That Legal?

The Saint ReportPoliticians and Planning, Thought Leadership

By Patrick Fox, President and CEO Petitioning government is a protected activity even when opposition to a development project is supported by anonymous third parties with anti- competitive motives. The courts have sanctioned the right to organize community opposition that urges government officials and agencies to deny land use permits to applicants, even when the underlying motive of the opposition … Read More