The Development Review Process

Zoning Practice — January 2005

By James Van Hemert


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Contrary to the goals of all players in the development game, mediocre projects and unsatisfied stakeholders too often are the undesirable fruit of the development review process. Lost opportunities for creative and innovative developments abound. Far too often, the most desirable developments are governed by the most complex regulations and review processes.

Our challenge is to find the right balance between too much red tape (where progress is stunted) and indadequate structures (where anarchy reigns). It is the juxtaposition of cultural and functional elements that offers the most hope for significant progress. A culture of good will and trust as a foundation for customer-client service can effectively lubricate any manner of process from the simple to the elaborate.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses how organizational culture, agency management, and a results-​oriented approach can cut through bureaucracy and make for smarter development review.


Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2005
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

James Van Hemert