Council prerogative is an anachronism that leaves the impression that developers can curry favor with politicians to get their projects approved.
Unfortunately, this unwritten rule that allows district Council members to lord over land use seems more entrenched than ever. Council President Darrell Clarke even held up legislation to create a land bank, needed to untangle the city's confusing property transfer system, until a provision to immortalize Council prerogative was added.
Council members claim that authority helps them to get developers to add low-cost housing and other community benefits. But too often the only benefit seems to be donations to the politicians' campaign funds.