Issuu on Google+

Why rural communities fight commercial development If you have ever lived in a small town, then you know what it is like to have to drive an hour or so to the nearest convenient store, large open land, and very tight-knit communities. When you take a closer look at things even when there is economic development in a community like this, there is a lot of opposition to commercial development and here is why.

Change The major reason is change. Most traditionalists of such rural communities find that commercial buildings and development will increase the number of people, the amount of pollution, and ultimately change the landscape in a very negative way. The fight is really over changing tradition and changing the very culture of a community and that is why it is such a heated battle at times. The other thing that makes it heated is the thing that attracts many of the wealthy and powerful individuals who move to rural communities; that is the bucolic lifestyle! When people think of eliminating stress, finding a new paradigm, or just getting away from it all, the best place to go is out to the country. Commercialism is seen as an enemy to this peaceful retreat.

Jobs While many boast that there will be an increase in jobs when rural communities decide to develop, there is not a serious look at what kind of jobs sometimes. These jobs may not even be applicable to community members who have been raised on farming or working the mines. It may be a new paper factory, headquarters for the next up-and-coming company, or another out-there company that will end up attracting people from outside the community in order to fill its job slots.

Order disrupted When commercialization comes, it comes fast sometimes. This is another reason that many rural people fight it. They believe that if they don’t that there will be a disorganized and underplanned development in their small towns. While this completely depends on the city planners and the companies that are coming in, there are some serious things to worry about in this regard. Making sure that there is a steady and well planned commercial development in a town is crucial for economic stability and in order to maintain the peace of people. The last thing that a small town should do is scare the members of the community with a disruptive environment. The major fight often comes from those who have a major investment in the community. Whether that investment is emotional, physical, or all together social, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that the individual has some stakes in the land and knows what they want for the future. When commercial projects are suggested in city council meetings, these investors will be coming out of the wood works.


One place that might be considered an anomaly is Williston, North Dakota where many general contractors find commercial construction projects relatively easy to pass through city councils. This has a lot to do with the revenue it brings to the city. While it may seem like the next big step, many towns are not ready to make the plunge into commercialization and it may end up taking further coaxing in the end.


Why rural communities fight commercial development