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Thread: Alternate verbage for the term "Development"

  1. #1
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    Alternate verbage for the term "Development"

    I am working on a comp plan for a rural community. I have based my Land Suitability Analysis in terms of classes more or less suitable for "development"; however, this seems to be a rather broad term, not to mention the negative connotations that are carried with the word. The comp plan committee was none too pleased with the term, which I can't blame them for.


    Anybody have some better suggestions or experience in their personal comp plan endeavors?
    Last edited by macsurf; 19 Dec 2008 at 10:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Development is certainly a broad term, but any alternatives can be cumbersome or equally broad, such as:
    • Zoning rights optimization
    • Construction
    • Land repurposing
    • Utilization
    Though, "Improvement" could be a safer term and get across a similar intent.

    But "Development" is such an unbiased term that I am surprised you and your committee think it has negative connotations.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    How about Sprawl instead?

    Investment is a good word.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Repurposing is good, but sounds orwellian
    Improvement is good, but assumes that the intended land uses are improvements over the existing and can be subjective.

    Investment gives me positive vibes. I like it.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    What about: growth?

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    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    The real trick here is education.

    The negative connotation is connected with "subdivision developers"

    The best thing I have found to do is to break down the words and explain to them that it generally doesn't mean 40 houses an acre in the rural area and that the pioners actually came to the west and subdivided ( to split one into two or more pieces) and developed ( a homesite) (settled here).

    The goal is to manage growth in the rural area so that funds for utilities and roads are not spread so thin as to cause additional hardship on those that already live in these areas and the governmernt that support them. When you put it in those terms people generally say that they understand and don't want the current system strained by over development and subdivision of the rural area.

    Our Comp Plan addresses it well. PM me and I will get you to a copy. If you would like.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  7. #7
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    Re:the term "Development"

    I agree Queen B "The negative connotation is connected with "subdivision developers""

    I don't necessarily disagree with the term, and do believe that it's rather unbiased when complemented with a proper definition, explanation, etc.; however, the connotation seems to stick regardless.

    The citizens are not the typical rural uneducated, more the equestrian trust-fund, savvy type, which is quite different from some past experiences. Usually we're received as rocket scientists out of MIT (I work as a consultant), but not with this group.

    Thanks for all your help and keep it coming......

  8. #8
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by macsurf View post
    I am working on a comp plan for a rural community. I have based my Land Suitability Analysis in terms of classes more or less suitable for "development"; however, this seems to be a rather broad term, not to mention the negative connotations that are carried with the word. The comp plan committee was none too pleased with the term, which I can't blame them for.


    Anybody have some better suggestions or experience in their personal comp plan endeavors?
    In rural areas, if your parcelization is down below ~60 acre parcels, then folks are planning to develop some time in their lifetimes. This is a fact of life.

    Your job is to make your comp plan state that haphazard development is unacceptable. Neal Peirce has a good column out recently that overviews what you are trying to do. Make copies and send to your committee along with your goals and policies to prevent cr*ppy cookie-cuttering and McMansioning.

    This is part of the framing issue that Queen B gets at above. Development is scary because of all the cr*ppy development out there, not because development is inherently scary. Make it so that cr*ppy development is hard, and good development is easy.

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