Things that just occurred to me, in no particular order

Sausage

Let’s say you own a plot of land. Your neighbor dies and his heirs sell to a local developer.

Now that guy’s bringing a plan forward to turn the land on the other side of your fence into something. Could be a factory or a church or a chicken farm. It doesn’t matter what because it’s going to change your life drastically.

Of course, this local developer knows the process. He knows what forms to fill out and where to sign and what boards he needs to meet with before he can get started. So, it’s no surprise that this guy is halfway to breaking ground before you realize what’s on his mind.

From your perspective, it looks a lot like he getting a special deal and you raise holy hell. A few other neighbors do, too. You write a few letters, meet with a few local officials yourself and do what you can to unravel all that he’s done.

And suddenly, people start to pay attention and what looked like a slam dunk for this guy starts looking much less likely.

Now, from your point of view, it looks like a conspiracy. He greased all the right palms and settled the deal before you knew what happened. The officials must be on his side. “What happened to the public process?” you cry.

The thing is, it looks a lot like a conspiracy from his point of view, too. He’s invested a lot of money and done a lot of work to get to this point. And now, when there’s no turning back, it all starts to look different. It was anything but easy getting to this point, he says, but his  sure thing ain’t so sure anymore. Maybe some people stop returning his calls.  The officials must be on your side, he thinks.

About the only thing both would agree on is that is that something fishy is afoot. And they’d both be right.

It’s the way government works, top to bottom. Nobody is rewarded for doing their work early. Nothing is settled until the last vote is cast and counted and things can change on a dime. I’d gather it was that way in Ancient Greece, with some last-minute Athenian wheeling and dealing. And I guarantee it was that way back in the late 1700s when our Founding Fathers made their deals.

Keep that in mind this week when there’s a debt deal nationally or a zoning deal next door. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just government.

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Comments on: "Sausage" (2)

  1. Dan Bilodaeu said:

    It looks like it is human nature for people or neighbors to want to OWN vacant land near them or areas in other places in which they live or recreate.

    For you Scott, it appears it is all about the story, that would be my interest if I were a news reporter/journalist. You must have your own opinion on the matter.

    From my perspective, whether it be a Center Street or watershed property, the owner on the deed, paying the taxes, has to make some sort of decision as to what to do with the property at some point in their life. It’s their right and until the “people” or the “neighbor” complicate matters it should be easy in our great country to get it done.

    What is interesting is you can look at any property, anywhere, do a little due diligence in research and you can somewhat predict the future this land will bring, it shouldn’t be such a surprise when it does change !

    Dan

  2. I’ve seen land owners argue both sides, that it’s too easy and too difficult to do something to a hunk of land.
    When a neighbor wants to do something you don’t like and it seems to sail through the review process, then it’s too easy. When you want to do something and you have to buy permit after permit and please neighbors and zoning commisars, it’s too hard.
    I guess, what I’m saying is, both are true: It’d be great if everyone could just do as they please, and everything they wanted to do didn’t bother their neighbors.
    But sometimes people want to do things their neighbors won’t like. Should that be allowed? That question is why we came up with this process in the first place.
    I had an editor tell me long ago that if you covered a controversy and pissed off both sides a little, you did your job. Maybe the same thing is true here, to some extent.

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