A Community Development Model for
Social Impact Assessment
George F. Blankenship
Urban and Regional Planning/Community Development College of Environmental Design University of Cclorado/Denver
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is a developing art. Although clearly authorized by both the NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality's guidelines for preparing Environmental Impact Statements, SIA has generally been given minimal attention. Often it has been performed as an appendage to a socioeconomic study or has taken the form of demographic projections.
It is well documented that the social impacts of rapid growth resulting from large scale development are usually devastating to small rural towns. Recent nationwide attention to these "Boom Towns" has resulted in an emphasis being placed on SIA. There is an emerging body of methodology for SIA, which includes:
1. Quality of Life indicators;
2. Resident attitude surveys;
3. Ethnographic studies;
4. Cost/benefit analysis.
These techniques have shown varying degrees of usefulness for predicting social impacts.
The one common element that these methods share is that they interact with the residents of the community area as objects of study, informants, or survey respondents, few if any ask the active participation of the community residents in the SIA process.
This model seeks to combine the SIA with a Community Development (CD) process which actively seeks citizen and community organizational participation at each step of the assessment. Purposes for citizen participation include:
1. Obtaining input from those people that experience the environment directly and therefore have an intimate knowledge of it.
2. More accurate assessment of values, perceptions, and opinions of residents.
3. Simultaneous performance of a community education process.
4. The right of those affected by a proposal to contribute to its assessment.
In addition, this model for SIA/CD goes beyond the assessment process to include planning for impact avoidance/ mitigation.
It is the thesis of this model that incorporating community involvement in the assessment process will:
1. Promote community awareness of:
a. the strengths and weaknesses of the social aspects of the community
b. the strengths and weaknesses of the human service organizations of the community
c. the impacts both of the above will face should large scale development occur.
2. Provide the community with an excellent base to plan impact avoidance/mitigation measures.
The institution of the Colorado Review Process provides for integrating all levels of government jurisdiction not only in the EIS and the SIA, but in coordinating procedures for action. This process legitimizes the SIA/CD function in
the state of Colorado.
The model contains six (6) steps:
1. Initiating Community Involvement. Methods for this step include:
a. Forming a Community Impact Committee
b. Forming a Human Services Coordinating Council
c. Creating linkages with groups and organizations
in the community by presenting the SIA plan to them and soliciting their involvement in future SIA steps.
2. Performing a. Baseline Historical, Cultural and Social Study which includes:
a. Demographic study including history and current trends.
b. Description of locality units including social organizations, patterns of interaction, places of social activity, some measure of attitudes, opinions and values.
c. A profile of human service agencies including: History, funding source, purposes, programs, characteristics of client populations.
These tasks are accomplished by meetings with the groups and organizations that were contacted in step 1, as well as other informants and groups or aggregates of individuals identified in the locality units.
3. Impactor Description. This step involves compiling information on the demographic and physical characteristics associated with the proposed development.
4. Social Change Analysis
Performed for the no action and each of the proposed action alternatives, this step outlines methods for comprehensive estimation of the social changes likely to be experienced by each of the organizations, groups and aggregates of individuals outlined in step 2.
It also includes methods for verifying these identified changes with the above categories.
5. Social Impact Inventory
This step contrasts the action and no action alternatives and assigns values for the social changes identified in step 4. This inventory is then presented to each of the above categories of community residents for review and comment.
6. Social Impact Avoidance/Mitigation Plan.
Having identified impacts for specific categories of community residents, the next step involves planning to alleviate the effects of these impacts.
Planning considerations are listed for:
Human Service Agencies Land Use and Public Policy Planning Impacted Groups, Aggregates of Individuals and Organizations
The completed SIA/CD process will provide the CRP and its member agencies with:
1. A realistic representation of the attitudes of the
various elements of the community toward development.
2. A citizen generated assessment of the social impacts related to development.
3. A citizen generated plan to avoid and mitigate those impacts where possible,
The SIA/CD process will provide the community with a chance to participate in their future.
A community development model FOR
SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
STUDIO III Department of
Urban and Regional Planning/Community Development College of Environmental Design University of Colorado, Denver Center
April 28, 1980
The impetus for this model came from a belief that people have the right to be informed about and participate in.decisions that affect their lives. I also subscribe to the theory stated by the emminent psychologist, Dr. Thomas Gordon, that "people who 'own' a problem have the best data for solving that problem," (with the help of a little outside facilitation, I would hasten to add).
Information for the model comes from three major areas:
1) My experiences as a participant in various Human Service Planning efforts over the past several years;
2) Research in the areas of Social Impact Assessment Theory and practice;
3) My experiences as a participant in the Social Impact Assessment being conducted for the Mt. Emmons Environmental Impact statement in Gunnison County Colorado.
I would like to acknowledge Dan Schler for his sage counsel and endless wealth of resource ideas; and the people of the counties I have worked with for constantly reminding me of their right to participate in the decision making process.
Table of Contents
Legislative and Administrative Base..........................2
Role of SIA/CD Researcher/Community Developer...............10
Role of Local Government in SIA/CD Process..................16
Function of the Community Developer.........................16
Community Impact Committee..................................18
The Human Services Coordinating Council.....................19
The Community Developer and the
Comrunity Impact Committee...............................21
Presentation of the SIA/CD Schedule
to Community Organizations..............................21
Elements of Baseline Study..................................23
Baseline Study Methods......................................24
Locality Unit Analysis......................................25
Human Service Agency Profile................................27
Characteristics of Development..............................30
Demographic Characterictics Associated with Development.... 30
Physical Characteristics Associated with Development........32
No Action and Action Alternatives...........................33
Social Change Analysis Components...........................33
Criteria for Analyzing No Action Alternative............... 34
Criteria for Action Alternative........................... 34
Community Involvement in the Social Change Analysis.........36
Educational Function of Social Change Analysis..............37
Purposes of Social Impact Inventory.........................38
Methods of Developing Social Impact Inventory...............38
Groundwork for Impact Avoidance/Mitigation Planning.........40
Human Services Agencies Planning............................41
Land Use and Public Policy Planning.........................41
Planning for Impacted Groups, Aggregates of
Individuals and Organizations............................42
Product of the SIA/CD Process...............................46
-0 C 0.0 -i '-3
Social Impact Assessment
A social impact assessment (SIA) is (1) an analysis of past and present impingements upon local social conditions and processes, and (2} a projection of likely future consequences of proposed interventions upon these aspects of life.l
A process of social action in which the people of a community organize themselves for planning and action; define their common and individual needs and problems; make group and individual plans to meet their needs and solve their problems; execute these plans with a maximum reliance upon community resources; and supplement these resources when necessary with services and materials from governmental and non-governmental agencies outside the community.2
SIA is performed for a number of reasons and
a variety of sponsoring interests. Generally, it is used by public agencies to determine the social effects of: natural resource or artifactual (man-made) development; or, public policy decisions such as land use plans.^
This study will focus on SIA as a segment of the Environmental Impact Statement process (EIS) required by the National Environmental Protection Act of 1970 (NEPA). However, the model described herein may be applied to SIA
performed for other purposes as the principles and techniques outlined may accommodate a variety of needs.
In addition to identification and evaluation
of impacts, the model discusses the planning
and implementation of methods of impact
avoidance and mitigation in an effort to
combine these processes into a wholistic
approach to growth management. As has
previously been noted:
Models of population growth and knowledge of estimating procedures are important because they allow the planning process to begin. It is extremely important, however, that local citizens go beyond the prediction of added population and the resulting impacts to: 1) the planning process, and 2) the implementation of programs to alleviate the negative consequences of rapid growth.4
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is a developing art. Although Environmental Impact Statements have been required for nearly a decade on legislation or any major federal action having a significant effect on the quality of the human environment, attention has just recently been focused on the social impacts of policy and development.
The purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1979 is:
To declare a national policy Which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man (emphasis added)5
To accomplish this purpose, the mechanism of
the environmental impact statement was estab
lished. The EIS process requires that:
all agencies of the Federal government shall utilize a systematic interdisciplinary approach which will insure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and decision making which may have an impact on man's environment.6
In addition to these direct references to social concerns in the Act, the Council on Environmental Ouality (CEQ) in its' guidelines, The Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements, noted that:
Secondary or indirect as well as primary or direct consequences for the environment should be included in the analysis. Many major federal actions, in particular those that involve the construction or licensing of infrastructure investments, .... stimulate or induce secondary effects in the form of associated investments and changed
patterns of social and economic activities. Such secondary effects through their impacts on community facilities and activities, through introducing new facilities and activities, or through changes in natural conditions may often be even more substantial than the primary effects of the original action itself. For example the effects of the proposed action on population and growth may be among the more significant secondary effects. Such population and growth impacts should be estimated if expected to be significant ....
Problem Despite such explicit language in both the
NEPA act and the CEQ guidelines, SIA has been a neglected segment of most Environmental Impact Statements. SIA has typically taken the form of an assessment of the economic impadt of a project on a community and its public services or demographic projections for land use regulations and spatial allocations. Although these estimates and projections are vital, such limited interpretations of SIA has neglected some of the most important impacts on human beings; those that act upon the social structure of the community, the human values of individuals in the community, and the quality of life shared by
To be fair, part of the reason for this neglect is that SIA has been an ill defined process. Only recently has the development of SIA methodology by social scientists, social planners and human service practitioners emerged. Coupled with this lack of methodology is the difficulty and expense of assessing such diaphanous concepts as "human values," and "quality of life."
The methodology of SIA varies from comparative studies of quality of life indicators, through values and opinions questionnaires, to ethnographic studies and sundry other techniques. Each of these assessment tools holds value in determining what changes may
occur (or may already have occurred) to the social structure and organization of an area subjected to the rapid growth resulting from development.
However, these techniques are typically performed by a researcher who interacts with the residents of a study area as informants or survey respondents. The researcher compiles the data, interprets the findings, makes projections and submits the SIA to the spon-
soring agency. In some instances, this is the first opportunity the general public has had to study and comment on the draft of the report.
These circumstances violate the spirit of NEPA in that it does not: "Encourage and facilitate public involvement in decisions which affect the quality of the human environment."8
The central thesis of this model asserts that the performance of Social Impact Assessment in an area in which significant development is under consideration affords an excellent opportunity to initiate a Community Development (CD) Process by soliciting citizen participation at each step of the assessment. The purposes of such citizen participation are eloquently summarized by Armour, et al.:
Present community impact assessment processes have little involvement by members of the public, and then only after commitments have been made. Ideally there should be a broad spectrum of involvement; first, because to uncover the qualitative aspects of the affected environment it is necessary to complement technical knowledge with the personal knowledge of those experiencing the environment directly; second, because varying perceptions of effects
are legitimate; third, because involvement is an educative process assisting in community development, here considered desirable; and fourth, because those affected by a proposal have a right to contribute to its assessment.9
The CD component of the SIA changes the role of the residents of the potentially impacted area from passive objects of study to active participants in the planning of their future.
Combining CD and SIA benefits both researcher and community. The researcher gains greater access to information, attitudes and values. The community gains:
1) clearer understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of its existant social struc-
ture, and human service agencies;
2) greater access to information concerning the changes the proposed development would bring and the implications of those changes for the community's social structure and human service agencies;
3) greater opportunity to plan and implement avoidance/mitigation measures should the proposed development become reality.
Assumptions This model assumes that a community aware of
the strengths and weaknesses of its social structure and aware of the quantitative and qualitative changes likely to occur with rapid growth will be better able to plan and implement avoidance and mitigation measures should that development occur than a community not involved in the SIA process.
The model also assumes that despite the devastating effect of rapid growth on small rural communities, measures can be taken to avoid and mitigate those effects to a degree. The degree to which avoidance and mitigation will be successful is dependent on such
variables as: lead time before development
occurs; citizen interest and involvement; availability of front end funding; and the size of both the proposed population impact and the impacted community.
It also assumes that it is vital to begin measures to avoid and mitigate impact as soon as possible after an area's potential for large development is identified. This is necessary because impact occurs almost simultaneously with that identification. When the
first geologists, surveyors, drillers or consultants arrive on the scene the impact is accelerated. Resident attitudes .begin to change as they perceive the potential for development as beneficial or harmful. Housing prices and rents inflate as landlords begin to speculate. Newcomers appear in the community to get in on the ground floor of the boom. People begin to make decisions that affect their futures based on the possibility of development and growth. If communities wait to prepare for growth until it occurs, the battle is lost and they often spend the next five years trying to catch up. The price for this lag is measured in human misery and suffering for newcomers and long time res-
iaents alike.10 Although the economically disadvantaged bear the brunt of this impact, ill-prepared boom towns are generally an unpleasant place to live for even those individuals and families whose financial resources are high. Indeed the per capita income of boom towns in the west is significantly above the national median.-*-^
Finally the model assumes that impact/avoid-ance measures must go beyond the obvious
Role of the SIA Researcher/ Community Developer
expansion of existing human services.
Although the strengthening of staff and facilities in existing programs such as law enforcement, mental health, schools and social services is necessary and important; the essential ingredient in successful avoidance/mitigation measures is anticipatory social structural change. This includes aggressive outreach policies in voluntary social service, religious and recreational organizations, as well as land use planning measures.
The researcher/community developer has two primary tasks:
1) To assess the anticipated impacts of
proposed development on social processes and conditions in the study area. The resultant assessment will aide the
responsible agency in the decision making
process relative to the proposed development .
2) To assist the residents of the study area in planning and implementing measures to avoid and mitigate the impacts of the proposed development, should it occur.
An effective synthesis of the research and community development functions will require that the researcher/community developer perform a variety of roles. These include:
The researcher/community developer must learn the existing social structure by spending time in the community and observing the social processes that occur during everyday interactions between members of the community.
The researcher/community developer must organize the observations gained from participation in community life into social concepts to form a workable model relative to community functions and likely reactions to rapid growth and resultant changes.
The educative function is vital to the SIA/CD process. Efforts to educate as wide a segment of the study area as possible are essential. The community needs to know the scope and magnitude of influences the proposed development would bring and the resultant changes in their lives.
In order to unify the citizenry behind a plan to manage rapid growth, the community must be organized. Any plan for avoidance/ mitigation will fail unless it has widespread citizen support.12
As the community becomes organized and aware of the impacts that development will bring, it will need information and training in methods of impact avoidance and mitigation. The researcher/community developer is the logical person to either provide such training or facilitate the linkage between the community and these resources.
Much has been said concerning the conflicts inherent in combining research and action functions in the social sciences. Indeed, it may require a strong conscious effort on the part of the researcher/community developer to remain objective in light of the personal attachment and empathy that naturally arises when working with other human beings on such a close day to day basis. However, the risks involved become worthwhile considering the
advantages to be gained in providing a continuous, coordinated approach to impact assessment; mitigation and avoidance planning; and program implementations. The researcher/ community developer has the opportunity to become a catalyst and focal point for potentially impacted communities.
Authorization In May of 1975, a Joint Review Process was
developed in the state of Colorado to:
coordinate the responses of governmental levels and agencies to any proposal which would significantly effect the social, economic, ecological or other conditions of the human environment of Colorado.
The purpose of the Colorado review process is summarized in the Joint Statement issued by the U. S. Forest Services, the state of Colorado, and the Gunnison County Board of Commissioners in response to the AMAX Inc. application to develop a molybdenum mine on Mt. Emmons in Gunnison County, Colorado.
The purpose of this Joint Statement is to identify and coordinate local, state, and federal government jurisdiction and review of land use planning, environmental impact analysis, socioeconomic evaluation and any similar activity related to the evaluation and development of a proposed AMAX molybdenum mine in Gunnison County, Colorado; to establish coordinating procedures for
required action, where possible; and to develop the means for these procedures to be undertaken in a timely manner (emphasis added)!4
The C.R.P. not only authorizes coordination of socioeconomic evaluation, it is also intended to establish coordinating procedures for action. Clearly the C.R.P. legitimizes combining the SIA with a community development process, at least in the state of Colorado.
The Model The structure for this model is adapted from
the Social Impact Assessment process developed by Daniel J. Schler for the EIS of the Mt. Emmons Mine, in Gunnison County, Colorado.
Using this general framework, methodology for accomplishing the specific tasks are outlined along with the corresponding identification of avenues for citizen participation toward the community development process.
The model has been designed to be flexible.
The social composition of individual communities will dictate the appropriate assessment methodologies and strategies of citizen
The model for the SIA/CD process contains six steps. The steps are not necessarily sequential as several may need to be performed simultaneously.
1. Initiating community involvement
2. Baseline historical, cultural and social study.
3. Impactor description
4. Social change analysis
5. Social impact inventory
6. Impact avoidance/mitigation plan
0 A U
Role of Local Government in SIA/CD Frocess
Function of the
Developing a broad base of community support is perhaps the most vital step in the SIA/CD process. "Getting the communityinformed and involved is the foundation of a successful impact management program."15
The local governing body, as a participant in the Colorado Review Process, can take a number of actions to develop a broad base of support.
1. Legitimize the SIA/CD process by hiring a consultant or staff person expressly to combine the two processes.
2. Appoint a Community Impact Committee and support the organization of a Human Services Coordinating Council.
3. Sponsor community meetings.
4. Assure that information concerning the proposed development and its impacts will be furnished to the community by the developer and other government agencies.
The starting point for the SIA/CD process is the selection of a professional consultant or staff person to provide technical assistance and advice for the community effort. Although this person may come from a variety of disciplines, (urban planning, sociology, social
work to name but a few), the person should have expertise and experience in community development. The person selected should have the vocal support of local government and the authorization to act as their representative in the SIA/CD process.
The researcher/community developer should not assume a leadership role, but act as a catalyst and focal point for community activity. She or he should, where possible, support local leadership and work through existing organizations. Above all, the community developer should strive to include as wide a segment of the community as possible in the SIA/CD process.
The researcher/community developer should be "immersed in the total life of the community."16 Time should be spent in participating in the everyday life of the community and observing the everyday transactions that occur between community members. It is important to know who community leaders are; how different segments of the community interact; how the community has reacted to problems in the past; where residents meet, both socially and to
transact business; how important decisions are made; and a host of other facts, too numerous to list here.
Although the SIA/CD model provides for the community itself to generate data; plan and implement mitigation programs, it is vital for the researcher/community developer to know the "inner workings" of the community to be able to facilitate these processes.
Local government, working closely with the researcher/community developer, should establish a Community Impact Committee to coordinate community involvement in the assessment and planning processes.
"Getting the Community Involved and Organized," Part II of the Environmental Protection Agency's Action Handbook; Managing Growth in the Small Community,17 outlines suggestions for forming and organizing such a committee.
Members should come from such community groups
and organizations as:
Local government Business and Industry Builders and Realtors Agriculture Schools
The Human Services Coordinating Council
Social service agencies
Representatives from the prospective developers
Here again, it is vital to include as wide a spectrum of the community as possible. Representatives should be selected because they are known to represent a particular group, and for their willingness to work.^
Local government should clearly establish the duties and responsibilities of the Community Impact Committee. The committee
itself should establish formal rules of procedure to insure that proceedings are orderly and task oriented.
Local government should encourage the formation of an organization to coordinate and integrate the Human Services effort in assessing, planning and implementing programs for development related growth.
The term "Human Services" is used here in its
expanded sense to include not only the public agencies such as:
Law enforcement and criminal justice
Public health and hospitals
Vocational rehabilitation Services to senior citizens Recreation
but also includes such private organizations as service clubs and churches in the recognition that they provide many human services, especially in rural areas. As a result the input of such organizations to the assessment process as well as the planning and implementation process is invaluable.
Membership in the Human Services Council should include directors and administrators of the above organizations. Again, the organization should establish formal rules of procedure and maintain linkages with local government.
It has been observed that often, interagency communication and referrals occur on an informal basis in rural areas.^9 While this method works well in rural areas, its effectiveness will probably decrease as case-
The Community Developer and the Community Impact Committee
Presentation of the SIA/CD Schedule to Community Organizations
loads soar and new staff persons are added.
The Human Services Coordinating Committee can offer a forum for interagency communication and referrals.
While formal procedures and set agendas are necessary for both the Community Impact Committee and the Human Services Council to accomplish objectives in a timely manner, efforts should be made to keep the relaxed flavor that traditionally characterizes rural organizations.
The researcher/community developer should work closely with the Community Impact Committee to develop a schedule for the remaining steps in
the SIA/CD process. Once the plan has been formalized it should be presented to the Colorado Review Process for review and approval, and then released to the media.
Once the SIA/CD schedule has been formalized, the researcher/community developer should present the plan first to the Human Services Coordinating Council, and secondly to as many community organizations of all types as possible. These would include:
Human Services Coordinating Council member organizations Other civic, social and recreational groups
Junior Chamber of Commerce Parent-Teacher Association Business groups Farmer/Rancher Associations Any other interested organization
At these presentations arrangements should be made to meet with the group or its designated representatives to perform the Baseline Social Study research and present and review the results of successive steps of the SIA/CD process.
The next step in the SIA/CD process is the establishment of a Baseline Assessment of the history and cultural and social conditions of the study area. As previously noted, social impact occurs simultaneously with the first hint of potential development. Therefore it is necessary to study not only the current community social structure and conditions, but it is also prudent to evaluate the community prior to the announcement of the possibility of development.
The Baseline study should include the following areas.
1. Demographic study of the community including: historical trends of; settlement, employment, and patterns of social interaction. Current population estimates and analysis of population characteristics.
2. A description of each of the locality units within the study area, including: social composition and organization; patterns of social interaction, places of social activity, a survey of attitudes, opinions and values; a record of community responses to change.
3. A profile of Human Service agencies and organizations including: organizational history; composition; funding,sources; purposes and objectives; programs offered, and numbers and characteristics of client populations.
Baseline Study Methods Where possible, local expertise should be utilized to accomplish specific tasks in the Baseline Assessment. Interviews with as many groups or representatives of groups as possible is vital to gain a wide perspective. There will be much disagreement as to what constitutes social conditions in the community. However, the study need not attain consensus but should represent divergent views, even if they comprise a minority of community members.
Demographic Study The demographic element should contain a history of the study area. Local historians or historical societies may be called upon to accomplish this task. Emphasis should be focused on: Reasons people settled in this area Types of people who come to the area Employment trends Places of settlement Patterns of formal and informal social interaction
In addition this element should contain as
current an estimate of the population as
possible including data concerning such
If the community is fortunate, the SIA will be conducted shortly after the turn of a decade, and U. S. Census Bureau data can be used. If not, such sources as local planning departments, school boards, building permits, public utility hookups and county employment offices may prove helpful. As a last resort the community may need to conduct a survey. This process can be expensive and time consuming and is not always an accurate or efficient method of developing demographic information.
As the researcher/community developer meets with the various organizations and groups in the community, a picture begins to emerge of the social structure and organization of each of the locality units and the study area as a whole. A modified ethnomethodological approach can be used to question private
groups and organizations not only regarding their members and activities but in such areas as:
Who lives in the various locality units in the county?
How and where are they employed?
How do they interact?
How and where do they recreate?
Who influences decisions?
What do they like about living in their community?
What don't they like?
How do they feel about the proposed development ?
and a host of other questions, some of which will be generated as the researcher/community developer grows in knowledge about the community. This method has the advantage of the possibility of constant verification between groups and organizations. It has the
disadvantage of excluding those residents
who do not belong to groups or organizations. It therefore behooves the researcher/community developer to make an effort to contact other residents and "feel out" those informants relative to the same questions asked of the groups and organizations. (This is not a difficult task as gas station attendants, restaurant employees and shop keepers as well as chance street corner encounters are all excellent sources of information. In fact,
for the conscientious researcher, everyone
encountered becomes an informant.)
The researcher/community developer should work closely with the Human Services Coordinating Council to develop the format for the Human Services Agency Profile. Most important is the inclusion of a standard method for capturing caseload data and the resultant time implications per each contact and a method of depicting the age-sex breakdown of each program or service area. This information is invaluable for integrated Human Services planning. The development of such a format for agency profile purposes may lead to standardized data collection for
human service agencies in the community.
In addition to the above categories, the profile should contain the following information :
A brief organizational history Staffing patterns
Description of programs and services Organizational purposes and objectives Interagency policies
This data can be generated by agency and organizational administrators, but the researcher/community developer should inter-
view the administrators to obtain a narrative description of what this data means. In addition, those administrators should be asked to respond to the questions used in the interviews with the private groups and organizations. Administrators of agencies that serve the public typically conceptualize such information in terms of the programs they provide. These perspectives can be of great value to the construction of the Baseline social study.
As the data collection phase of the Baseline study draws to a close, the researcher/ community developer must compile two documents:
the first; a descriptive document that enum-
erates the findings in each of the various elements; and, the second, a synthesis of the above work into a concise summary and commentary in which the three elements should be depicted clearly and succinctly, for EIS purposes. Once the draft is compiled, it should be taken back to the Human Services Coordinating Council, the various private groups and organizations and the local planners in the study area for review and comment. The draft should be revised and
corrected and the final Baseline historical cultural and social study submitted to the Colorado Peview Process.
Characteristics of Development
Demographic Characteristics Associated with Development
In order to assess the impacts of new development on a particular community, it is necessary to assemble as much information as possible about the proposed development.
There are two main categories of characteristics that require description.
Demographics such as:
Average family size for both construction and operation phase.
Number of service workers associated with both construction and operation phases Anticipated percentage to be hired from local work force Salaries Occupations
Anticipated area of residence
Physical characteristics of the proposed development such as:
Traffic generation Noise levels Air and water emissions Development schedule
"The population impact [of development] will be much greater than the actual employment at the proposed facility.A number of factors must be taken into consideration to
determine the total population impact on a community.
Generally, the corporation considering development will have the most accurate employment and salary figures and will probably have projections for families and service workers. However, the community will need to develop their own projections.
The previously mentioned E.P.A. Action Handbook, Managing Growth in the Samll Community contains worksheets for estimating employment and population projections.^
These figures must be contrasted with the industry projections, and the community should use those in which it has the most faith.
In reality such factors as: the economy, strikes, housing availability and the desirability of the location will affect the population impact.^2
Once the population projections have been made, it becomes necessary to anticipate the area in which the newcomers will most likely
Physical Characteristics Associated with Development
reside. The community and county planners are perhaps the best resources for this information. Although the most to be hoped for is a rough estimate, some idea is necessary to predict social impacts.
Finally, salary estimates will be necessary to determine social impacts. Although it is likely that an Economic Assessment will be performed as a part of EIS, the level of wages associated with new developments will have significant impact on the social structure of the community.
The industry considering development will have data on physical characteristics of the proposed' facility. Much physical data will be required for other segments of the EIS and may be readily available. To get a clearer idea of what these figures and estimates mean, the researcher/commur.ity developer, members of the Community Impact Committee and other community representatives should consider visiting similar facilities. Such factors as noise levels, smog, number of train units and large trucks per day must be noted. It is also important to anticipate how workers, materials and products will be transported to and from the facility.
.(/)<< ft) 3 >
(DCQ 3 0) 70
No Action and Action Alternatives
Having studied the community's social structure and organization as it currently exists, the next step includes: .
1. An analysis of the social changes likely to occur in the community if development does not take place (the no action alternative);
2. Considering the data gathered in step
3, analysis of the social changes likely to occur if the proposed development is approved (action alternative).
Note: There may be more than one action alternative for the proposed development which would consider such factors as: development size;
location; time table, etc. The social change analysis, social impact inventory and plan for impact avoidance/mitigation steps must be performed for each of these alternatives.
The Social Change Analysis should be as comprehensive as possible. Likely social changes should be considered for each group or aggregate of individuals (such as ranchers, elderly,
Criteria for Analyzing No Action Alternative
shop keepers, etc.), for each locality within the study area (such as neighborhood, village, valley, etc.). Special attention should be given to patterns of social interaction; places of social activity; and informal support mechanisms.
If the Baseline study has been performed properly, the researcher/community developer will be familiar with the groups and aggregates of individuals in each of the locality units, and be aware of their patterns of social interaction.
Estimating changes for the "no action" alternative is accomplished by:
Analyzing the trends currently in effect in the study area
Anticipating factors such as other developments or industry shut downs.
Listed below are three methods for discovering what social changes are likely to occur with development. The Community Impact Committee and the researcher/community developer may wish to use any one or a combination of these methods.
1. Boom Town Tours
The Community Impact Committee may wish to
organize a tour in which they and other community leaders visit areas impacted by development. These visits should be well orgarized, and include scheduled in-depth interviews with the officials and leaders of the impacted area. This is an excellent method of gaining first hand knowledge of the changes brought on by development.
2. Research Case Studies and Existing Lit erature
The researcher/community developer can conduct a search of case studies of communities that have been impacted by similar development and list the social changes that have
occurred in those communities.
3. Form Professional Delphi Panel
The Community Impact Committee and the researcher/community developer may form a panel made up of professionals who have experience in Social Impact Assessment and/ or rapid growth areas. The panel members would be furnished both the Baseline histor-, ical, cultural and social study and impactor description documents. After they have examined the baseline and impactor data, they would be polled on their estimation of
Community Involvement in the
Social Change Analysis
social changes likely to occur in the study area.
After an estimate of social changes likely to occur in -he stud area is obtained, it should be formulated, along with Baseline and Impactor data, into a brief presentation that should be presented to the Community I* .pact Committee, the Human Services Coordinating Council, and other community groups and organizations. These presentations should allow for extensive comment, and viewpoints expressed should be included in the social change analysis.
After incorporation of the perspectives of the various groups, a community presentation should be made, at which time other community members should be allowed to comment on the social change analysis.
The end result of this process is the Social Change Analysis that will be used in assessing social impact and formulating avoidance/ mitigation plans.
Educational Function of Social Change Analysis A secondary and equally important result of this process is its community education function. It is during the organizational and community presentations that people become aware of the reality of development and what it means for their lives and futures This should generate significant community interes- and result in extensive citizen involvement in the remainder of the SIA/CD
< -0 ^3 fl> < 3 rfO Q)T> 3
During the Social Change Analysis, effects of possible development on the social structure of the community are considered rather clinically (in theory) without "good or bad" value associations. The purpose of the Social Impact Inventory step is to:
Purposes of Social Impact Inventory 1. Consider identified social changes; 2. Contrast the action and no action alternatives ; 3. Assign a positive, negative or neutral value for each impact in terms of its effects; 4. Fully describe its effects on specific groups, aggregates of individuals, or organizations.
Methods of Developing Social Impact Inventory This process may be performed by the researcher/community developer in concert with the Community Impact Committee or its' delegated task force. If a Delphi Panel has been used in step 4, they may be again called upon to perform this task. If a comprehensive identification of social change has been accomplished, the categories for the Social Impact Inventory are well known.
After the preliminary Social Impact Inventory is compiled, it should be presented to the same round of community groups and organizations, as well as professional planning staff in the area. Special effort should be made to reach groups and aggregates likely to experience significant impact. A variety of opinions can be expected concerning relative value of projected impacts. Rather than trying to reach consensus, the researcher/ community developer should record these comments and opinions for inclusion in the final SIA report.
Groundwork for Impact Avoidance/ Mitigation Planning
The previous steps in the SIA/CD process will have accomplished much of the groundwork for impact avoidance/mitigation planning. If the process has been successful the community will have a comprehensive estimate of:
1. The resources of its Human Services agencies and the type and magnitude of impacts they are likely to experience;
2. The impacts that are likely to be experienced by each of the groups, aggregates of individuals, and organizations in each of the locality units.
As a result of the community's involvement in generating this information, it is likely that
there will be a high level of interest in
adopting measures to "soften the blow" should development take place.
Social planning should take place in three areas:
1. Planning for additional needs or Human Service agencies;
2. Land use, and public policy planning;
3. Planning to aide impacted groups, aggregates and organizations.
Land Use and Public Policy Planning
Human Services agencies will need to consider adding staff and facilities; and in some cases new programs to meet the needs of development, should it become a reality. If the impactor data is accurate, predicting future needs becomes a matter of multiplying staffing and facilitiy ratios by added populations. Adjustment must be made for any special characteristics of the new population or identified social changes and resulting impacts that would indicate heavier use or specialized needs for any one Human Service agency. In general, a regional framework for services should be developed. Services and programs should be decentralized and taken to the various locality units on either a small scale or regularly scheduled part time basis.
In general, communities should develop policies and regulations that attempt to integrate the newcomers rather than isolate them. Methods to accomplish this end include the planning and designing of residential development to create a "place consciousness" and foster social interaction. Such as:
1. Cluster housing units around some focal point of human activity (this may be a
Planning for Impacted Groups, Aggregates of Individuals and
natural features such as open space or a facility such as parks or playing fields).
2. Include facilities that promote social interaction in neighborhood design such as multipurpose activity centers that might house youth programs, day care centers, home owner association meetings, adult education classes, etc.23
3. Promote residential and commercial development contiguous to existing settlements. Support "infilling" in established communities.
These are sample guidelines; there are many areas of consideration. Once again, the E.P.A. Action Handbook, Managing Growth in the Sma11
Community is an excellent resource. Part III Community Action and Growth Management contains specific chapters on physical, land use and public policy planning for development impact.
It is well documented that many Human Service needs in rural areas are filled by informal support systems such as families, friends, neighbors, churches and social clubs.24 it is equally well documented that these
"helping networks" disappear as increasing urbanization brought on by development occurs.25 Newcomers and long time residents alike are subjected to disrupting influences in their lives.26
In order to reverse this trend, it will be necessary for groups and organizations to make a special attempt to integrate newcomers into their neighborhoods, clubs and other socialinstitutions. Willingness to incompass these tasks may have been brought about by the community education component of the SIA/CD process.
Measures that can be taken to integrate new-
1. A "welcome wagon" service that provides new residents with information on the community and its services.
2. "Newcomer nights" at local clubs and organizations.
3. Aggressive membership drives and outreach programs adopted by local groups and organizations.
Measures that can be taken to mitigate impacts
on existing groups and aggregates include:
1. Identification of such groups in step 5.
2. Comprehensive planning at the Human Service Coordinating Council to take measures at all levels of organization to mitigate these impacts.
Examples are: service club taking on transportation projects for seniors; or churches providing youth activities for teenagers.
As in previous steps, the avoidance/mitigation plans need to be generated at the level of the individual grouos and organizations, with technical assistance from the researcher/ community developer as well as professionals in planning for recreational, social, service
and religious organizations.
There are countless avenues for anticipating social structural change. One advantage is that citizen involvement throughout the assessment process will generate ideas for this change as well as create awareness of what is possible.
Many of the suggested avoidance/mitigation plans can be implemented by policy changes in
churches, service organizations and recreational clubs. Some will require financial assistance. Such funding sources as industry and federal and state grants can be explored. In some instances the community may negotiate for impact funding before development is approved.
If performed correctly, the SIA/CD process will create an awareness in the residents of the community of what is needed to prevent their community from being overwhelmed by rapid growth. This "planning mentality" as it is sometimes called may be the key factor in managing rapid growth.
Product of the SIA/CD Process
As an impact/avoidance planning step is completed, the SIA is prepared, in draft form, to be submitted to the Colorado Review Process. If performed well, it will provide those decision makers with:
1. A clear statement of the views of the various groups, aggregates of individuals and organizations in the community concerning their opinions of the proposed development.
2. A citizen generated estimate of the social impacts of development on the various groups, aggregates and organizations in the community.
3. A plan for avoidance and mitigation of those inpacts, where possible.
The decision to allow development at whatever level still rests with the CRP member agencies. But the decision making process should be aided by the fact that the people whose lives will be effected by that decision have been allowed to have input in the process.
Some advantages of combining the SIA/CD
1. It allows citizens to participate in the assessment of proposals that will affect their lives.
2. The people most familiar with a community participate in its assessment.
3. It provides for integration of the assessment and planning phases.
4. It is not an expensive method.
5. It fosters community growth management rather than outside intervention.
Combining the SIA/CD processes may have some disadvantages:
1. It can be a more time consuming method, especially if effort is made to work with all groups, organizations and aggregates of individuals in the community.
2. There may be a high level of frustration if decisions are made about developments that disregard community input.
Rapid growth resulting from large scale development can be devastating to a small, rural community, under the best of circumstances, the community undergoes drastic changes. Community participation in assessing and planning for those changes may be the essential ingredient in successful growth management programs.
qcm- a> i_ o>c o a> -oo a~c >> os o-cto
^Gold, Raymond L. A Social Impact Assessment Primer. Institute for Social Research: University of Montana,
Missoula, 1978, p. 3.
2United States Government, International Cooperation Administration. Community Developmr nt Guidelines. Airgram Circular, Washington, D.C., 1956.
Gold, A Socic-1 Impact Assessment Primer, p. 5.
Uhlmann, Julie M. Providing Human Servcies in Energy Impacted Communities. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration: Rocky Mountain Regional Office,
5NEPA 42 WSC et seq., 53 Stat. 832 Pub. L. 91-96. ^Ibid., Section 102 (2) (a).
7Council on Environmental Quality. "In Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements." Title 40, Part 1500.
Federal Register, 38, No. 147, (August 1, 1973) (d) (1) (ii).
8Ibid., 43, No. 230, (November 24, 1978) Part 1500.8 (d).
^Armour, Audrey, Bowron, Beute, Miller, Earl and Miloff, Michael. "A Framework for Community Impact Assessment." In Finsterbusch and Wolf (Eds.), Methodology of Social Impact Assessment. Powden, Hutchinson, and Ross, Stroudsbury, Pa., 1977, p. 29.
^Lantz, Alma E and McKeown, Robert L. Social/Psychological Problems of Women and Their Families Associated with Rapid Growth. Denver Research Institute: University of Denver, 1977,' p. 42.
-^Mountain West Research. Construction Worker Profile.
Old West Regional Commission: Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 46.
Jivorec, Ronald. "Preparing a Boom Town for the Impact of Rapid Growth." In Davenport and Davenport (Eds.), Boom Towns and Human Services. University of Wyoming, Laramie,
1979, p. 85.
Colorado Division of Planning. Manual for the Colorado Review Process. Department of Local Affairs: Denver, 1979, p. 1.
SEAM. The Joint Review Process. USDA Forest Service: Billings, Montana, p. 22.
AJBnscoe, Maphis, Murray and Lament. Action Handbook. Managing Growth in the Small Community. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Denver, Colorado, 1978, Vol. 2, p. 1.
l^Jivorec, "Preparing a Boom Town for the Impact of Rapid Growth." p. 85.
^7BMML. Action Handbook. Managing Growth in the Small Community.
18Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 7.
^Schler, Daniel. "Gunnison County Baseline Historical, Cultural and Social Study." 1980, p. 87.
2^BMML Act ion Handbook, Managing Growth in the Small Community," Vol. 1, p. 5.
?1Ibid., p. 8-8a.
"Gilmore, John and Duff, M. Boom Town Growth Management: A Case Study of Rock Springs Green River, Wyoming. University of Denver Research Institute. Westview Press, Inc., Boulder, Colorado, 1975, p. 15.
?^Schler, Daniel. "What to do to Avoid/Minimize Social Impacts: Some Basic Guidelines." Denver, Colorado., 1980.
Warren, Roland L. The Community in America (3rd ed.). Chicago: Rand McNally Publishing Co-, 1978, p. 414.
Uhlmann, Julie M. Providing Human Services in Energy Impacted Communities, p. 21.
Bailey, J. ; Bacigalupi, L. and Warren, M. Local Citizens Participation in Coal Development: A Descriptive Process in the North Fork Valley. Foundation for Urban and Neighborhood Development: Denver, 1975.
Bates, V. E. "Impacts of Energy Boom Town Growth on Rural Areas." S cial Casework, Vol. 59, (February, 1976), pp. 73-82.
Briscoe, Murray and Lamont, I. Action Handbook: Managing Growth in the Small Community. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Denver, 1978.
Cortese, Charles and Jane, Bernie. "The Sociological Analysis of Boomtowns." Western Sociological Review, 1977, 8:76-90.
Davenport, Judith A. and Davenport, Joseph, (Eds.). Boom
Towns and Human Services. University of Wyoming: Laramie, 1979.
Finsterbusch, Kurt and Wolf, C.P. (Eds.). Methodology of Social Impact Assessment. Powden, Hutchinson and Ross, Inc., Stroudsbury, Pennsylvania, 1977.
Gilmore, John S. and Duff, S. M. Boom Town Growth Management: A Case Study of Rock Springs Green River, Wyoming. University of Denver Research Institute. Westview Press Inc., Boulder, Colorado, 1975.
Gold, Raymond. A Comparative Case Study of the Impact of Coal Development in the Way of Life of People in the Coal Areas of Eastern Montana and North Eastern Wyoming.
Northern Great Plains Resource Program. Denver, Colorado, 1974.
Gold, Raymond. A Social Impact Assessment Primer. Institute for Social Research, University of Montana, Missoula, 1978.
Mayer, Robert R. Social Planning and Social Change. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1972.
McKeown, Robert and Alma Lantz. Rapid Growth and the Impact on Quality of Life in Rural Communities: A Case Study. Denver Research Institute, University of Denver: Denver, Colorado, 1977.
Moen, Elisabeth, Boulding, Elise, Lillydahl, Jane and Palm, Risa. Women and Energy Development: Impact and Response. Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 1979.
Mountain West Research. Construction Worker Profile. Old West Regional Commission, Washington, D.C., 1975.
Uhlmann, Julie M. Providing Human Services in Energy Impacted Communities. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration: Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 1978.
Warren, Roland L. The Community in America.(3rd ed.).
Chicago: Rand McNally Publishing Co., 1978.
Steps of the S1A/CD Process
Initiating Community Participation Baseline Historical Cultural & Social Study Social Change Analysis Social Impact Inventory Social Impact Avoidance/ Mitigation Plan Social Impact Assessment Statement
1 2 3 4 5 6
Citizen Participation Aspects of the
Locality Unit Groups and