Another post offered a negotiation perspective on a “good” planning process using existing rules. This post notes a more radical solution which is used in some places.
The original logic of zoning uses is becoming less important. Classically, there is a fear that a steel mill could be built next to a school and “somebody (i.e. government) should do something about that!!!” (since anything is better than nothing). The problem with this argument is that this issue is becoming less important as the manufacturing sector shrinks relative to the rest of the economy. This argument focuses on costs, by ignoring real benefits, simplifies a relevant trade off. Lots of things are easy to criticize if there is no perfect solution.
The COO of the OHBA noted in Canadian Property Management magazine that the things being blocked by the whole city planning process include “intensification, social housing and special needs housing.” These issues are government priorities which are generally accepted by society as a whole and their implementation is being blocked by the actions of individuals. (I will let you judge whether these examples are merely a cover for a hidden motive, but that is a different issue.) So, is the classic fear really a bogeyman? Continue reading