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
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
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
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
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
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
The Communications Strategy Matrix evaluates various voter outreach methods and charts them on the basis of cost and effectiveness as determined by both quantitative and qualitative research.
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
These seven case studies come from a variety of projects managed by The Saint Consulting Group, where we identified latent support to champion a project, or created a counter-voice to balance opposition groups that had dominated the planning process. Some used video petitions and canvassing to generate community advocacy. All persuaded elected officials it was in their electoral interest to listen to wider voter sentiment, not just the vocal NIMBY minority.
California—the state that invented freeways and suburban sprawl—has become a trendsetter again, with a new law that rewards community plans that reduce car use and greenhouse gas emissions in our new age of global climate change, writes Charles Lockwood in the Jetson Green blog. In October 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB375, which was supported by environmentalists, … Read More