A fellow AR member recently wrote a blog indicating that new development in her area (Edina, MN) is a big problem. What am I referring to here? Who would oppose new construction? Don't we all want our economy to grow? Doesn't a property owner have the right to do whatever it is he/she wants to do on his/her property as long as it's legal?
Therein lies the problem. Sometimes greed and money-hungry construction can lead to poor development plans if the interested persons (See: Developers) are left unchecked by the local government (Town Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board, etc). This, in turn, can lead to an about-face in the character of any neighborhood. Case in point:
This is a huge problem all over the country. For local Rhode Island residents, the result is quite obvious when you see what they're doing to all of the coastal cottages. Drive down to the areas that were once overrun with the typical "quaint" seaside cottages. Nowadays you will see a small street lined with apples and oranges (a small cottage, a huge 8-bedroom 4-bath McMansion montrosity, a couple more cottages, a couple more Mc-Mansions, and so on). Caution: You may become ill at such a sight.
Then again, property rights advocates will argue that it is the owners' right to do whatever is allowed by the local agency. I tend to disagree. But it's not up to me. Luckily, it's not up to the developer either. If you want to preserve the rural character of your neighborhood, you MUST hold your town council, planning, and zoning boards accountable. A comprehensive plan is a good first step. Attending your town meetings is another necessity if you want to preserve character or initiate a comprehensive community plan. After doing the same for numerous clients, I recently assisted neighbors with stopping a condo complex from being built in my own neighborhood! It can be done!!! You just have to make your voice be heard in the community.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is an official long range policy statement traditionally adopted by the Town or City Council. It is a major component of the planning process for the municipality as it guides the long-range, comprehensive decision making process involving primarily physical development and those actions expected to influence development in the long-term. A comprehensive plan contains goals, objectives, policies and guidelines for growth and redevelopment for the municipality.
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