THE ACTION PLAN

Because Better Zoning seeks to unify all parties - elected/appointed
officials, landowners, and taxpayers in general - the action plan aims
to achieve a common understanding of the problem and the solution, from
each point of view.

1.    Develop an educational package that reframes the problem for the city.

  • With the twin goals of landowner equity and economic development, define a 'maximum value' view of the land use that both the city and landowners will embrace.
  • For the city, maximum value needs to result in the highest achievable property tax, sales tax and fees - balancing current and future uses.
  • For the landowner, maximum value needs to result in the highest achievable return on equity from current or future use, or from sale of the property.
  • For both, this will entail review of the aspirational land use in the master plan versus the current zoning versus the highest and best use currently achievable versus the immediately possible use/sale.

2. Recruit and educate stakeholders among city officials and staff, among landowners, among land use professionals (real estate agents, developers, bankers and investors), and among influential citizens.

  • Refine the educational package to be most compelling to all involved.
  • Consider personalizing the plight of the landowner by featuring one or two example families in videos that explain the history of both the property and the people who own it, the attempts to sell,the attempts to rezone, the effect of master planning on zoning, the amount of input (if any) sought from the landowners and the real estate development professionals, and the effect on the personal livelihood of the families.

3. Build a formal coalition of stakeholders which will attract support from businesses and homeowners (taxpayers and voters) by appealing to their pocketbooks.

  • The Chamber of Commerce should be recruited early; real estate issues should be part of the Leadership Class lesson plan.
  • Neighborhood Associations, and especially neighbors of affected properties, should be educated about the effect of good or bad zoning on the development they could see, and the effect of that on their taxes.
  • Both groups should make land use philosophy an issue in city elections.
  • Elected officials should be educated about the variety of people who should be appointed to the zoning commission and to long-range planning committees.
  • Consider the need to establish relationships/partnerships/supporters with neighboring cities, County government, and the Legislature.  A PAC may be the right way to institutionalize, and fund, this voice. 
  • Research, develop and publicize case studies of properties, landowners and their families adversely affected by aspirational zoning for five, ten or more years; use press releases, social media, and other opportunities (such as on-site events) to showcase the unintended negative consequences on landowners, neighborhoods and the tax base that results from the denial of orderly, market driven,  development.

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