The Schnucks Challenge
The Schnucks grocery chain faces some tough challenges regarding its plans to open a store in a Ballwin neighborhood, as a growing number of local residents voice rejection of the proposal. The Post-Dispatch ran a story about this yesterday, reporting that an attorney for Schnucks attempted to explain to residents the usefulness of the project.
The noise disturbance, the rezoning, and the (at least temporary) loss of property value are certainly among the reasons that residents might choose to protest, even though these reasons might be counterbalanced by the long-term growth in economic activity that would occur as a result of such a store opening. Today’s protesters could be tomorrow’s shoppers. As Nobel laureate economist Ronald Coase observed, projects of this type would have a much smoother process if developers could focus on economic factors like compensation for property owners with legitimate complaints, rather than having to jump through political hoops.