Rob also links to a very interesting Tennessee article that indicates developers might be banding together to fight neighborhoods who fight them:
What should developers do? Zoning hearings are automatic battlegrounds; char[r]ettes (or town meetings) simply give opponents a chance to organize .... Instead, developers should get out in front of their opponents — literally. He recommends going door to door at a project's outset to build support and gather feedback that can be used to head off criticism.Yeah, well, going door-to-door is a double-edged sword. Aside from its reconnaissance value for formulating future PR, it also opens proverbial doors to developers having to negotiate face-to-face with neighborhoods.
And readers should keep this in mind: door-to-door canvassing and perception management doesn't always work, especially when developers tip their more manipulative hand in other venues. We've got a Salemtown developer who tried to work door-to-door magic, but who still lacks credibility with a critical mass of us because of his obvious disregard for our community.