After You Beat Them, Join Them
Don’t view permitting as a one-time public relations endeavor. Those old friends may influence new goals as well.
By Christopher Hopkins
The relief of no longer having to deal with irrational neighborhood opponents and their trumped-up arguments can be one of the most satisfying parts of successfully permitting your quarry or plant and opening for business. You’ll never have to deal with those meddling troublemakers again.
It’s an appealing pipe dream. But sitting back and expecting your vanquished foes to ‘live and let live’ won’t cut it.
You may not know it now, but eventually you’ll find yourself needing zoning relief or public approvals for change in your operations or an expansion. You might even want to open a new facility in another community, miles away.
That’s when your old enemies will show up like ghosts, ready to stick it to you. (If they haven’t already made themselves a thorn in your side by complaining every time you release a shot or a truck goes up the road.)
Failing to become an active part of the community backfires in unexpected ways. If you are disengaged from the local community, you don’t know what harmful stories or attitudes might be circulating — and you’ll have no credibility to disarm rumors and misinformation.