Thursday, August 16, 2007

Neighborhood meetings in Douglas County

When residents butt heads with developers in Douglas County, local government may have a solution. Put everyone at the same table and get to work it out:

The building industry has been notorious for using "Private Property Rights" and
"A man should be able to do what ever he wants with his property" clich├ęs. Usually these "Rights" pertain only to the building industry and they are very reluctant to give the same "Rights" to others. They are also Machiavellian in their development plans preferring to avoid any contact with or sharing of information with other property owners and concerned citizens. Apparently for fear that they may have to forfeit some of their precious private property rights while allowing others to assert theirs.

To now expect the building industry to not only communicate with surrounding property owners but also to even ponder the private property rights of others seem like a big jump. Quite possibly if this "Neighborhood Meeting" plan is put into action developers might find that being candid with surrounding property owners and respecting their private property rights will make things a lot easier on everybody.

One of the reasons for the making official of neighborhood associations in Olympia was this kind of push and pull between the city and developers and current residents. The NAs gives the city a one stop shop for where to send information new developments. A cynical person would say that folks who get involved in NAs would most likely be the ones that complain the most to the city, so keeping them involved in an easy way of disarming them and keeping them engaged in a positive way.

No comments: