Cynicism in US Development: Approval Process Seen Unfair, Saint Index finds

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62% of Americans believe the way projects get approved in the United States is unfair, according to this year’s Saint Index.  This is down from a Saint Index high of of 75% in 2007.  73% give their communities a C or worse when it comes to deciding what gets built.

It should come as no surprise that the American public is cynical about our political process. The way land use decisions are made IS a political process.  Developers need to understand that they often do not have the credibility and the influence to get projects approved in the face of passionate local constituent opposition.

In fact, 67% of Americans believe that the relationship between developers and elected officials makes the process unfair.

Back room deals and “quiet” holiday season hearings are increasingly failing strategies.  Faced with a hearing room full of angry constituents, elected officials are unlikely to commit political suicide to approve an out of town developers project.

The Saint Index is the only international survey that quantifies and studies opposition to development.  For more information on the Saint Index go to or contact us directly for a briefing focusing on your industry. Email: or call 781 749 7290, ext 7121 on your industry.

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