Making Your Development Approval Process an Economic Development Tool

June 25, 2013

As we emerge from the Great Recession, communities with a predictable development review and approval process have a powerful competitive advantage in attracting private investment and economic development. Now, more than ever, limited access to capital, weaker markets, and less ability (or willingness) to share financial incentives is steering good development toward "easier" environments. "Winning" communities are delivering a predictable entitlement process that advances the community's planning and development objectives and rewards good development with less stress and less delay.

This concept is not about giving away the store, "padding" anybody's bottom line, or accepting undesirable development. The focus is on a balance between the assurance that communities must have from an approval and the predictability a developer seeks in navigating that process. In this program, Michael Blue, FAICP, from Teska Associates drew on his experience managing municipal development departments and serving clients as a consultant to outline how communities can evaluate their approval systems with an eye toward securing desirable outcomes. The session focused on questions such as: What parts of the approval process are most essential? What elements may be missing from your process that can provide greater confidence to city and developer?

PowerPoint presentation (ppt)

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)

Michael Blue, FAICP

Michael Blue, FAICP

Michael Blue, FAICP, is a principal with Teska Associates of Evanston, Illinois, a firm providing public and private sector clients with services related to planning, landscape architecture, site design, economic development, and community engagement. In Illinois he also has worked for Highland Park and Mount Prospect, focusing in both locales on development review and approval, long-range planning, and policy-related projects. As a consultant, Blue has prepared numerous long-range plans, development impact studies, and public participation efforts.