Land Use Prof Blog Cites “Eye-Popping” Saint Index Results on Development

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The Saint Index, a recent survey of attitudes about development, provides some incredible insights about the politics of land use, writes Ken Stahl in the Land use Prof Blog.

“I found it especially interesting that the study attempts to measure how the “Tea Party” movement views development. No word on how “Occupy Wall Street” feels though,” wrote Stahl. “The study is worth reading in full, but here are some findings that stood out to me:

  • “NIMBY opposition to development is “stronger than ever,” despite the economic downturn. Respondents were exceptionally cynical about local government land use decisionmaking, and believe local governments have too close a relationship with developers. These findings are nothing really new, although it is nice to see them quantified. The benefits of new development are spread widely, whereas the costs are concentrated locally, so it makes sense that people have a generally negative view of development.
  • “Now this is interesting: those most likely to have actively opposed a real estate development self-identified as either liberals¬†or members of the Tea Party movement. The most likely to have actively supported a real estate development are — also, self-identified liberals and members of the Tea Party. This seemingly unusual finding may mean nothing more than that individuals who self identify as lying on the more extreme ends of the political spectrum are also more likely to be politically active. But it may also signify that land use politics defy traditional partisan lines.

Click here for Ken’s full post.

For more information about the 2011 Saint Index, go to

The Saint Consulting Group offers free webinar presentations of  The Saint Index for general or specific industry sectors. For details, email Paul Mindus at or Steve Shepherd at

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