The logic of compromise, the rationalism of give and take, crumbles when it is applied to land.
In fact, democratic rationalism in land use decision making often yields a profound sense of discontent.
Decision makers feel burned; they are following the rules of democracy and nobody is happy.
And citizens likewise feel burned, because they cannot make the system of democracy respond to their wishes.
Moreover, a special problem with land use decisions is that participants often get only one shot. Decisions to allow land use changes are often irreversible. And yet, the system is doing precisely what it is supposed to do.
Quotation from Harvey Jacobs in “Fighting Over Land: America’s Legacy…America’s Future?” Journal of the American Planning Association (Spring 1999) Vol. 65, No. 2: 141-149.
For the record, I’m against Ho’opili (irreversible loss of farmlands), think the process around the rail sucks and generally am suspicious of large showpiece infrastructure projects.