By Owen Eagan
Division Manager, Southern California, The Saint Consulting Group
A small shopping development in Phoenix, Arizona, has bruised community feelings where neighbors feel the city did not listen, the developer did not compromise and their elected representatives failed them. There are several important take-aways for developers from this project.
First, it’s not surprising that neighbors organized to oppose this project, despite the project’s scale. According to the Saint Index, Saint Consulting’s annual survey on attitudes towards land use and development, Americans are now twice as likely to actively oppose a real estate development project as to support one and 73% do not want anything new built in their communities at all.
Second, it’s not surprising that the neighbors feel that their elected representatives failed them, despite the fact that the neighbors had an impact on this project. The Saint Index indicates that 75% of Americans believe the relationship between elected officials and developers makes the public approvals process unfair. This is significant because even before a project is considered this predisposition motivates residents to become engaged in the process.
Third, Margaret Mead’s often-repeated adage about a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens still holds true. In fact, this adage is so often repeated because it is demonstrated time and time again. Therefore, if developers fail to do their homework and assess the political landscape before going forward with their project proposals, they are likely to encounter costly delays, significant alterations to their plans, or even outright denial of their development applications.
Click here for Michael Clancy’s report in The Arizona Republic.
Owen Eagan is a division manager in Southern California for The Saint Consulting Group, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 818 827-7127