Community Benefits Agreement: Making Development Projects Accountable


Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) — deals between developers and coalitions of community organizations, addressing a broad range of community needs — are safeguards to ensure that affected residents share in the benefits of major developments. They allow community groups to have a voice in shaping a project, to press for community benefits that are tailored to their particular needs, and to enforce developer’s promises.

CBAs are only one aspect of a growing new movement towards community benefits in land-use planning, taking shape through labor-community partnerships around the country.

We have updated and revised this publication to share our experience in implementing some of the CBAs described in the original edition. We have added extensive material in this preface on the community benefits movement; a new chapter describing implementation of the landmark CBA for the Staples development in Los Angeles; a new appendix listing past CBAs; a new appendix describing some current community benefits campaigns; and several new sections on legal issues, community benefits victories, and new approaches. We have also included an overview of the recent CBA for the Los Angeles International Airport, providing for community benefits valued at over half a billion dollars, and a special section on unusual legal aspects of this CBA.