Develop Here

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All development is not created equal. Some development projects will make a community a better place to live, work and visit. Other development projects will not. The biggest impediment to better development in many communities is a fear of saying “no” to anything. In my experience, communities that will not say no to anything will get the worst of everything. The proof is everywhere. Communities that set low standards or no standards will compete to the bottom. On the other hand, communities that set high standards will compete to the top. This is because they know that if they say no to bad development they will always get better development in its place.

Too many elected officials have an “it’ll do” attitude toward new development. Worse yet, they’ll accept anything that comes down the pike, even if the proposed project is completely at odds with the community’s well thought out vision for the future. They are simply afraid to place any demands on a developer for fear that the developer will walk away if the community asks for too much. This is especially true when dealing with out of town developers or with national chain stores and franchises.

The bottom line for most developers, especially chain stores and franchises, is securing access to profitable trade areas. They evaluate locations based on their economic potential. If they are asked to address local design, historic preservation, site planning or architectural concerns they will usually do so.