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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

these reasons, local

these reasons, local officials tend to be cooperative to local economies’ demands for new development (Stone 1989; Lubell et al. 2005). Finally, to make a profit from land development, developers and realtors rely on local government’s pro-developmental decisions on land use because they are traditionally specific location seekers. Any land use policy change not amenable to them could lead their lost of benefits. Therefore, stringent land use regulation on development is negatively related to the development interests (Kang and Feiock 2006). Hence, they are the most active participants in local land use decision making processes (Elkin 1985; Logan and Molotch 1987). Since land use policy has consequences for the private risk and return on their investments and production activities, economic and development interests are active participants in local land use decisions. Thus, developers and real estates may influence significantly on land use policies because pro-environmental land use regulation reduce available development space and increase the costs of development (Lubell et al. 2005). H2-2: Shared developmental interests such as construction and real estate industries will decrease the likelihood of pro-environmental amendments to local comprehensive plans. The Influence of Institutional Characteristics Formal Institutions: Local Political Institutions Policy change is directed by societal forces. Land use regulation is considered as objectives of conservation, economic efficiency and social well-being. Thus, human values, incentives and behaviors need to be broadly considered in local land use regulation because rules and norms structure social order and provide incentives and constraints on human behaviors (Ostrom, 1990). From a policy perspective, institutional arrangements are the most important among the three contextual variable sets because “in a rule-structured situation, individuals select specific actions from a large set of allowable actions in light of existing incentives” (Tang, 1991 p.43). From a political economy perspective, the government institutions play a critical role in land use regulation 41

decisions because those institutions are the arenas through which community values and motives are carried out. Maser (1985; 1998) also argues that the political institutions at the local level are relational contracts that provide incentives and constraints for individual behaviors. In the land use regulation, political institutions, which consist of executive and legislative branches, affect the political market of land use policy in terms of incentives and constraints, and benefits and transaction costs. Clingermeyer and Feiock (2001) argue that local political institutions play roles as determinants of rules and procedures of policy making process and provide incentives and constraints on the actors in land use political market. Different institutional arrangements are expected to produce different policy outcome. Hence it is important to understand the characteristics and consequences of different structural arrangements. Executive institutional structure. Local political institutions started to vary since the Progressive reform movement. Progressive reform movement at the local level focused on the corruption and inefficiency of strong mayor systems (unreformed form) replacing the strong mayor form with manager council form (Lineberry and Fawler 1967; DeSantis and Renner 1994; 2002; Lubell et al. 2005, forthcoming). Currently, each city usually defines its form of government in a dichotomous way: Mayor-Council (usually called “unreformed”) and Manager-Council (reformed) 35 . DeSantis and Renner (1994) argue that when the government authorities are fragmented, local governments are difficult to function appropriately for new demands from growth pressures. Thus, in terms of centralized authority, either mayor council or manager council form is able to deal with these pressures. However, because of the nature of manager council form, it is less likely to provide pro-environmental land use policy. Frederickson and Johnson (2001) argue that the manager council form of cities is corporate and parliamentary because elected body makes a policy and a professional manager appointed by elected body take charge of the whole administrative processes. Hence, this type increases the efficiency (corporate) and gets easily the agreements 35 This is a very basic and academic dichotomy. Practically, local charters provide various types of governmental forms such as mayor-manager-council form. However, these are not reflecting actual dimensions of government system. 42