Passive Aggressive behavior is a terrible character failing. It is a sign of immaturity or stunted development. I know something of this and work to avoid it.
In the legislative arena, passive aggressive behavior often takes the form of a bill that seeks to destroy regulations not by, you know, actually eliminating regulations, but by changing all of the conditions that make the regulations work. Kind of a DDOS, arising from the same sweaty-palmed basement-dwelling solipsistic milieu.
I remember the passive aggressive anti-land use regulations of the Contract with America back in 1994. There was a 3-page bill stating anyone who lost economic value from a land use regulation could get the offending agency to pay them. Of course, the intent was to get rid of the regulation by bankrupting the agency, but this way the sponsors could play pretend that’s not what they meant. (It went nowhere)
A new one cropped up the other week in the Texas State House, a two-pager that added brand new criteria for landmark designation to ALL LOCAL ordinances limited only to famous people and events; required 3/4 vote of all bodies to approve, and a 30-day response time for any request. So, the result – besides no architectural or cultural landmarks – would be to gut local ordinances and make them unworkable. Totally passive aggressive.
Stupid old buildings!
The logic behind the passive aggressive legislator is usually the specific beef of a particular supporter, perhaps one not clever enough to understand the local landmarks ordinance or devise a workaround. Certainly someone who needs government help in order to do their job.
There are two ironies here. The first is that government infrastructure and land use regulations are what GIVES property value in the first place. Can you develop without any access to roads or sewers? Would you?
The second irony is that land use regulations often filter out bottom-feeding types of development, the cookie-cutter kind that can go anywhere because it doesn’t really depend on much more than roads and sewers.
Can you guess where this is? Within 1000 miles?
So why would you want dumbed-down development? You want to build on the San Antonio Riverwalk, you are going to have to go through commissions and reviews and nine times out of ten you will get a more interesting, more intelligent and more sustainable result.
People will always complain about development, but one that has worked to please a wide group of people who understand real estate, architectural design and urbanism will be a better product than one foisted on the public without consultation. The first route requires adult conversation and negotiation. The second is passive aggressive.