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Land use planning, development, and redevelopment is critical to the economic future of our cities and towns. The process and policies that help administer land use change applications are directly linked to the success and prosperity of our communities. A robust economy with a diverse and broad tax base will help ease the tax burden on homeowners.

Attracting investment and boosting our local economies is a goal all real estate professional share and the hope of every elected official. But hard-working taxpayers need relief. And relief can come in all shapes and sizes, including streamlined code and predictable rules.

Local REALTORS® must support thoughtful updates to existing policies and should champion streamlining the development application process to improve both the internal city staff review processes but also for property owners and applicants. A more transparent and predictable process should be the goal.

Civic engagement is critical to the functions of government. Local Boards of REALTORS® should renew their civic engagement efforts to assist developers and builders achieve improvements to the land use application process.

As we all you know, local associations serve as the Voice of Real Estate. We focus on protecting property rights and promoting the ability to freely transfer property. We view this as a fundamental right and also our duty.

In fact, the Preamble to our Code of Ethics states,

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS ® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment. Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS ® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS ®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS ® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

It is the duty of a REALTOR® to be involved in the advocacy for a transparent and predictable development approval process and clearly defined codes. Any effort to help streamline these processes is worth consideration.

Why? As we know, the costs of land, lumber, and labor are all skyrocketing right now. With these hard costs escalating, it is fitting that we look at creative ways to reduce costs and avoid unintended consequences of government regulations.

The health of a community is found in the safety and vibrancy of its neighborhoods and its churches and civic organizations. Numerous studies provide evidence that Housing is at the foundation of a community’s strong economy.

The crossroads of commerce is a rule of law that allows for free transfer of property and an exchange of goods and services. Now is the time for local Associations to help streamline municipal guidelines to send clear messages to developers and indicate a willingness to partner with those building great products for home buyers (all types of housing products), job creators, and entrepreneurs.