11 August 2009

Corruption in development

Land use controls and municipal zoning may seem like small issues in a big city, but they are really the meat and potatoes of local politics. If you had any doubt, the recent FBI corruption sting provides new evidence since each of the three arrested mayors are accused of taking bribes linked with allowing development in their cities. The AP ran a lengthy story late last week that highlighted how much of the local planning process, especially along the New Jersey banks of the Hudson, is influenced by the developers themselves. Of course, it isn't that way everywhere, but like steroids in baseball it casts doubt on everyone involved in development and urban planning and urban politics in New Jersey until things gets significantly better.

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