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

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

Housing activists vs environment activists?

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Planning and Zoning, Property Development, Urban planning

By Mike Saint, Chairman For years the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has made it more difficult to build certain kinds of unpopular (but needed) real estate development. CEQA appeals could take years to be resolved and add huge costs to the developers. In his 2009 book, the Housing Boom and Bust, economist Thomas Sowell pointed out that in 2008 the exact same house … Read More

“But it’s a good project!”- The Losers Lament

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Thought Leadership

By Patrick Fox, President & CEO Whether you call them NIMBYs, BANANAs, CAVE* people or simply scared and uninformed, they are organizing to stop your project and, often, they are winning. Regardless of how good you think your project is and how hard you may have worked to address community needs they are still there screaming bloody murder at the public … Read More

Why avoid public hearings

The Saint ReportLand Use In The News, NIMBY

By Mike Saint, Chairman One of the reasons we tell clients to avoid public hearings at all costs is to be found in the story below. A public meeting, especially one not run by a public board or an elected council, presents a real risk of backfiring, as angry, passionate opponents take over and attempt to make the session an … Read More

5 Land Use Campaign Essentials

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning

By Patrick Fox, President & CEO There is a basic foundation to an effective campaign and if you understand some simple principles, you will know the right questions to ask, how to chart your progress and how to manage those unmanageable consultants. More time and money gets wasted in land use political campaigns than you know. An old saying in advertising … Read More

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

Strategic Communications: Using Facebook to Influence and Gauge Voting Behavior

The Saint ReportStrategic Communications

By Owen Eagan We all know that Facebook has emerged as an essential tool for any political campaign. However, the methods for utilizing it to influence outcomes continues to evolve. For instance, we previously discussed the various ways in which we are influenced by others such as through social proof. But social influence can take many forms and extends to … Read More

Strategic Opposition Part 5: 10 Commandments to deal with angry citizens

The Saint ReportNIMBY, Planning and Zoning, Saint Consulting Links, saintblog

By Saint Consulting Staff What can you do when some or many tactics of strategic opposition are staring you in the face?     We can offer two suggestions: for starters, Mike Saint cited first steps from what some might consider an unlikely source – the writings of Prussian soldier Carl von Clausewitz – commit resources, get good info, build … Read More