||Make Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost-Effective
What Does It Mean to Make Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost-Effective?
What if our educational system rewarded students for doing badly in school? What if our health care system rewarded patients for taking poor care of themselves? That’s how our transportation and land development system treats our communities. Development will follow the path of least resistance, and that path leads toward the kind of development that’s more expensive for taxpayers, harmful to the environment and wasteful of resources. We have the incentives all wrong. Our rules make it harder, not easier, to do the right things. There should be fewer barriers to reusing old buildings and creating infill development, not more. There should be fewer barriers for transit projects and walkable, mixed-use developments, not more.
What Making Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost-effective Is NOT
- Expecting the free market to lead to the best outcomes
- Closed-door decision making
Benefits of Making Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost-effective
- Propels the community’s vision
- Adds transparency for design standards, construction processes and government review for all types of projects
- “Access Minneapolis,” a city transportation project, is aimed at reordering priorities in ways that emphasize transit, walking and biking, especially in the downtown core
- The Urban Partnership Agreement, a federal-state-local project that changed the transportation emphasis by adding toll lanes and bus-rapid-transit service between Dakota County (Lakeville, Burnsville and Apple Valley) and downtown Minneapolis. (The project also rebuilt two downtown streets as transit-friendly walkways.)
Challenges to Making Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost-effective
- Lack of recognition that the current incentive system is dysfunctional
- Belief that the current market functions fairly
- Political rivalry among outstate, metro, auto, transit, development, environmentalist and banking interests
- Uncertainty about these processes creates misunderstanding, costs developers money and stirs cynicism about government