CEDS Initial Strategy Analysis

If you’re concerned about a threat to your neighborhood or environment anywhere in the USA then contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 (call-text) or Help@ceds.org for an initial no-cost discussion of strategy options.

What’s the quickest, least expensive way of preserving your community and environment from the impact of a poorly conceived development project? A CEDS Initial Strategy Analysis can get you the answer to this question in one- to two-weeks and for a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer.

For most land use and environmental issues there are a dozen or more potential strategy options. Identifying these options, then selecting that most likely to produce victory, can be a daunting task for those new to land use and environmental advocacy.

In Chapter 35, of How To Win Land Development Issues, CEDS president Richard Klein explains how you can identify possible strategy options then determine which option is the most promising. This 300-page book can be downloaded free by clicking the title above. If your case is simple and you have the considerable time required to win most cases, then begin by pursuing the actions described in Chapter 1: The Easy Solution.

If you lack the time or your case is complex, then consider retaining CEDS to prepare an Initial Strategy Analysis for you.

Examples of Recent CEDS Strategy Analyses

Examples of recent Initial Strategy Analyses can be viewed by clicking the following links:

Steps in Researching & Formulating Strategy

Generally, the analysis consists of the following steps.

  1. We will have a lengthy conversation with you and others active in your group to gain a clear understanding of:
    • what you hope to accomplish;
    • what steps you have taken thus far, and
    • what your sense is of the most viable strategy options.
  2. We will review plans, reports, and other relevant documents provided by you along with those we obtain from the local government and others.
  3. Some projects are so fatally-flawed that there really isn’t any choice but to defeat the proposal. For most projects though a solution is available which resolves our client’s concerns while allowing the project to proceed. These win-win solutions provide the quickest, least expensive path to victory. If you wish, we will identify possible win-win solutions and, after getting your approval, we will make an initial contact with the applicant to explore their willingness to adopt the solution.
  4. We will identify all permits and other approvals the applicant must obtain.
  5. We talk with regulatory staff overseeing each permit-approval to assess which offers the best opportunity for resolving your concerns.
  6. We will identify at least one attorney in your area with a good reputation for representing citizens in similar cases, then discuss possible legal strategies with the attorney to get their assessment of the probability of success and what this may cost.
  7. We will research political options for resolving your concerns. Many of our victories result from winning the support of elected officials. In fact, this is frequently the quickest, least expensive way of resolving development impacts.
  8. We will provide you with a verbal report of our findings via a conference call among you and your allies. If you wish we can also do a written report similar to those listed above though this will add $400 to $800 to our fee. Frequently, a written report is not necessary since the strategy is simple. In these cases a written report would add to expense while providing little actual benefit. Generally, we discourage our clients from requesting a written report. But the choice is your’s

We can usually complete the research described above for a fee ranging from $1000 to $1500 depending upon the complexity of the issues, the availability of essential documents, the cooperativeness of local officials, and whether a verbal report will suffice.

The research can usually be completed within one- or two-weeks of receiving a retainer. The actual fee is based upon an hourly rate of $150 along with expenses such as copying charges, purchasing documents such as zoning ordinances, etc. If travel is required, which usually isn’t necessary, then a rate of $50 per hour is charged while in transit along with lodging and plane fare.

To discuss a strategy analysis for your case contact us at 410-654-3021 or Help@ceds.org.