Building Moratoriums: When Should Developers Slow Down?

Two communities in the region have OK'ed moratoriums on new development. Is that good policy? Or is it OK to slow down sometimes?

The conservative free-market advocate known as the Show-Me Institute has sounded off this week on two development show-downs in the St. Louis area.

The research/educational institute pushes for free-market approaches to dealing with public policy issues. The object of its ire this week is the decisions by city leaders in Ellisville and Frontenac to impose moratoriums on development in parts of their communities.

In a blog post on its site headlined "We Need A Moratorium On Municipal Development Moratoriums," the institute questioned "Is this an appropriate use of municipal powers?" and answered its own question with, "No, it is not."

In Frontenac, according to while the comprehensive plan is updated for land use regulations."

City officials are concerned about moving too quickly on what limited property they have to redevelop at a key intersection at Lindbergh and Clayton roads.

Meanwhile, in Ellisville, officials are considering (and the planning commission has recommended) a .

A resident spoke out against the plan, saying a moratorium would be "time wasted," when a developer could create jobs and provide sales tax.

How much control should cities have over what's built in town? Are you satisfied with the pace of commercial development in your community? Is it managed well? What is the appropriate role for government in managing commercial development?

RDBet September 06, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Well said Elisabeth.
Suzanne Gundlach September 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Cheers and support to Elisabeth and EJ Anderson! Yes!
William Braudis September 06, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Other Cities would be well advised to evaluate the real need for additional buildings in a given location. Owners of parcels within a given city limits understand, or, should understand when they purchase these parcels that local government knows best what is needed to be added to their cities enterprise inventory.
Leann Starr November 01, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Great comment...sustainability, not growth, is needed. What is being replaced? What is being added? Does it improve the community? Is it a burden on taxpayers?
Leann Starr November 01, 2012 at 01:00 AM
E J Anderson has made a very important point. Blight occurs when commercial properties (like aging malls) are abandoned in favor of developing new commercial properties from residential areas or farmland. We need to direct developers to transform existing commercial areas in need of redevelopment through zoning restrictions. There is no need to give developers tax incentives to improve commercial properties. They will do this on there own when the municipalities stop paying them to do the wrong thing. The purpose of government is to provide leadership, not handouts to big corporations - TIFS never go to small businesses.


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