By Patrick Fox, President, The Saint Consulting Group
According to the 2015 Saint Index, 72% of Americans say their community is overdeveloped or fine just the way it is. They are saying they want the door closed and all development stopped in their community. This is the hurdle eve ry developer starts with on every project. Even communities desperate for jobs, economic development, community reinvestment and new tax dollars rise up to oppose new development these days.
Fear of change is a strong motivator and we often see neighbors act against their own self-interest and the needs of their communities to oppose new development projects. Traffic, fear of over-development and changes to community character are often driving opposition movements. While the general trend shows growing support for most project types, this pervasive “lock the door” attitude is a real problem for new developers and requires additional political due diligence on every project and a real campaign plan to generate, organize and motivate support for new projects. Angry, fearful and motivated opponents show up and continue to dominate the process in many communities.
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Patrick Fox is president of The Saint Consulting Group, email: firstname.lastname@example.org