A lot has changed in CDS since 2008 and the law has failed to keep up with the changes. This forum post proposes ways in which we can get back to the original intent of the law and keep faith with the concerns raised by RA members at the time about the necessary checks and balances around Private Development.
I’ve gone back to the debate which was held in the RA when the Private Development Act was debated and passed. Full transcript is here. It’s clear from the discussion that RA members were concerned that:
- 1) The RA should be involved in decision-making. It could not be solely for the Chancellor
2) All citizens should have a voice and the Chancellor must at least consider their input
In the period since the passage of this Act, The New Guild became defunct and folded despite attempts to revive it. the current ‘Artisan’s Guild’ is an entirely different body. As a consequence the vehicle for input from citizens envisaged by the Act’s authors and the RA members who debated it no longer exists and will need to be recreated.[2008/05/03 10:42] Sonja Strom: Who would actually approve any given private development?
[2008/05/03 10:42] Beathan Vale: Sonja -- the chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:42] ThePrincess Parisi: we cant support it
[2008/05/03 10:42] ThePrincess Parisi: nay
[2008/05/03 10:43] MT Lundquist: i need clarification before voting
[2008/05/03 10:43] MT Lundquist: is it the ra that approves a build or the chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:43] ThePrincess Parisi: if its just the chancellor .. nucare will NOT support
[2008/05/03 10:44] ThePrincess Parisi: its more than one person can decide
[2008/05/03 10:44] ThePrincess Parisi: it needs the RA and maybe chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:48] Beathan Vale: the RA approves a master plan setting development standards; the Chancellor has the job of inspecting developments to ensure that they comply with those standards and can approve or disapprove only based on those standards and on architectural quality concerns (which are outside the scope of the standards) -- I envision that if the Chancellor approves a build that violates the standards, the SC would be asked to decide the case; a builder can appeal to the SC if the build should have been approved but wasn't -- so it is not all down to the Chancellor -- there is multi-branch invovlement and checks and balances
[2008/05/03 10:49] Gwyneth Llewelyn: (and as usual, the RA always validates the Chancellor's decisions )
[2008/05/03 10:49] MT Lundquist: so is each sim first approved in ra
[2008/05/03 10:49] ThePrincess Parisi: can the guild advise the chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:49] Beathan Vale: TP -- no -- the private builder makes those specific design decisions -- but the design must be approved as consistent witht he regional plan
[2008/05/03 10:50] Beathan Vale: aproved by the Chancellor -- the Chancellorreviews and approves both design and build based ont he regional plan
[2008/05/03 10:50] ThePrincess Parisi: ok if we approve then the chancellor, but each build needs to pass RA, chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:52] Sonja Strom: If the Chancellor is acting based on a detailed plan approved beforehand by the RA, is there flexibility for the citizens to object to specific decisions?
[2008/05/03 10:52] Sonja Strom: Or to bring in new ideas, talents, participation?
[2008/05/03 10:54] Beathan Vale: Sonja -- not formally, but that is something that is worth adding -- but I think that it could be brought tot he SC even without more language in the proposal
[2008/05/03 10:54] Sonja Strom: Is there flexibility for the RA to bring in objections or ideas for changes?
[2008/05/03 10:54] ThePrincess Parisi: the citizens all have a voice through the guild, i really think the chancellor should be adivised by the guild on these matters
[2008/05/03 10:54] ThePrincess Parisi: not held to guild
[2008/05/03 10:54] ThePrincess Parisi: but must at least hear them
[2008/05/03 10:55] ThePrincess Parisi: i mean i think the chancellor should have to listen to guild input before making the decision
[2008/05/03 10:55] ThePrincess Parisi: there the citizens have a voice
[2008/05/03 10:55] ThePrincess Parisi: all of them
[2008/05/03 10:55] ThePrincess Parisi: done
[2008/05/03 10:55] Gwyneth Llewelyn: (it's part of the bill indeed)
[2008/05/03 10:55] Beathan Vale: TP -- that is already in the bill --
[2008/05/03 10:55] Sonja Strom: So the Guild would make a report and give that to the Chancellor to give its opinion?
[2008/05/03 10:56] Beathan Vale: yes -- a the BAC in the guild
[2008/05/03 10:56] Moon Adamant: Sonja, first of all, Princess is right - all citizens can bring ideas through the Guild
[2008/05/03 10:56] Moon Adamant: that atm we have TWO ways to do that
[2008/05/03 10:57] Moon Adamant: BAC, which aids the Chancellor
[2008/05/03 10:57] Beathan Vale: I have reviewed the bill -- and it already provides for citizen appeal rights
[2008/05/03 10:57] Moon Adamant: and Masterplan WG, which is KEEN to have citizen's input - thus the curveys, etc
[2008/05/03 10:57] Moon Adamant: surveys*
[2008/05/03 10:57] Moon Adamant: so, any citizen can join the masterplan WG
Proposal: We need to take account of the fact that 'The New Guild' no longer exists and develop new methods for ensuring that “all citizens have a voice” and that the addition of new sims is not down to ‘just the chancellor’.
At the time of the passage of the legislation it was anticipated that the RA and The New Guild would regularly review the ‘General Master Plan’ which acts as the long-term guide to sim development. The GMP provides a framework for expansion so that new regions blend in with the existing ones to form a coherent whole. It is the way in which we retain the high aesthetic building standards which we enjoy in the CDS. Unfortunately, despite attempts to refine it in 2009 the GMP has not had a satisfactory overhaul since 2008. It could use a review to take into account, for example, the fact that we have found the ‘Roman’ theme to be somewhat restrictive and less popular. Locus Amoenus was our second Roman sim but it started to fail after the global financial crash of 2008. One of the issues was that people found the covenant for the sim overly restrictive. LA is doing well now but it has taken several years to settle on the more popular ‘Tuscan’ theme and implement it.
Proposal: The RA should establish a new commission to review and refresh the General Master Plan taking into account all we have learned in the subsequent years since the 2008 plan and previous reviews carried out by the New Guild in 2009.
One further issue we should consider is whether the RA needs to have final approval of any region added to the CDS in this fashion. As currently drafted it would seem that a Private Developer can add a region to the CDS estate, recoup their own investment by setting the initial lot prices and taking all the proceeds, but not have to consider whether the region is sustainable in the long-term. Given that the RA is charged in the Constitution with carrying out long-term planning it would seem sensible that the RA should approve the final proposal in terms of the number of lots, their sizes and the tier to be charged for them and have the final say over whether it can go ahead or not.
Proposal: The PDA should be amended so that the RA has final approval of the decision to deed the sim to CDS through the Estate Owner and that the RA sets the tier rates for each parcel.
Once we have satisfied these conditions and amended the Private Development Act so it fits with the original intent of the author and the people who passed it and respects the RAs Constitutional role in carrying out long-term planning, I think it will be an appropriate means for adding new regions to our Estate.