Monday, June 16, 2008

We Need a Holiday: Straight from the "Developers Playbook"

No more than a week ago and straight from Occasional Muse, I posted some of the dirty tricks that some developers use to avoid public scrutiny and feedback on their proposed developments. Here was one of the first developer strategies the Muse relayed:

Schedule Legislation so that the Public Hearing falls near a Holiday

When dealing with a proposed development that you anticipate would face significant community opposition, it is important you get the timing right. Bring your proposals to the Council Member at a time that will allow you to ensure that the Public Hearing takes place at a time that it is inopportune.

One of the most popular Council Meeting dates for such an activity is the first one of the year that often falls one or two days after the new year holiday. Other good dates to avoid public scrutiny include those near the 4th of July

According to signs put up around at the proposed Ardelia Park site at 7th Av. N. and Garfield St., the Metro Council Public Hearing of the proposal is scheduled for July 1, a time when people are checking out for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

I would like to believe that the scheduling was coincidental, but both concerns and opposition were expressed at the community meeting, and the Planning Department seems to be opposed to the plan, so the holiday-proximate scheduling looks a little suspicious to me.

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