Win Community Approval for New Business Construction

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning, saintblog, Sector Update


Mike S 2014(1)By P. Michael Saint, CEO, The Saint Consulting Group

Smart corporate real estate managers and property developers have discovered that winning local approval for their new, tax-paying, job-creating, profit-making projects is no longer possible without first building public support at the grassroots level.

Whether it’s an oil refinery in South Dakota, a large residential development in Hawaii, a shopping center in New York, a waste facility in California, or a casino in Massachusetts, many new uses of land find a steady and growing stream of those who are passionately opposed for economic or ideological reasons and who actively participate in the political approval process in an effort to stop it.

In U.S. national polls since 2006, our research has consistently shown that 72% of Americans or more prefer the status quo rather than new construction in their communities. And these polls show that the most likely NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) opponents of any new development are 55 to 74 year-old, home-owning, college-educated, politically-independent, high-earning individuals — the very local residents with the most local political clout to get something stopped.

Mike Saint is chairman and CEO of The Saint Consulting Group, email

The article below ran in the Harvard Business Review on May 29, 2015. If you can’t read the article below CLICK HERE