Can Dollars and Cents Mitigate Development Impacts?

Elegant is not a word one generally associates with land use law. For instance, in attempting to mitigate the effects a given project has on neighbors and other stakeholders, many planning commissions have spent many a late (late) night attempting to divine whether a given project is “timely” or “reasonably compatible” with neighboring uses. Typically, conditions of approval are slathered on what was originally proposed and, more often than not, these conditions go a Texas-mile further than the applicant ever expected and not nearly far enough for those impacted by the development. Basically, everyone leaves unsatisfied. What if the subjective process of balancing these competing interests were jettisoned in favor of a simpler, bottom-line approach to mitigating the impacts of development? A recent article in the Economist newspaper asks this question. It is an interesting read and we would love to hear your thoughts on it. Could it be done, and if so, should it? Send us your thoughts in the "Contact Us" form in the bar to the left.