As a Realtor, I can't possibly be against development. It wouldn't make any sense for me to be in this business. I do believe that some developments (including commercial developments) are better planned and executed than others, and that some are downright awful. I also believe that development can be done responsibly, following the ideas of smart growth. A great, GREAT resource for information on this is http://www.smartgrowth.org/
Locally, we have an advocate group for responsible development, 1,000 Friends of Connecticut. I feel their input is important because, among other things, they are encouraging discussions about what the Connecticut of the future will look like.
The Hartford Courant's Rick Green wrote an article on Sept. 11, 2008 discussing 1,000 Friends of Connecticut and their new "smart growth scorecard" that I found interesting. The article can be viewed at: http://www.courant.com/news/local/columnists/hc-rgreen0909.art.artsep09,0,5849117.column
I also feel that those of us who sit back and don't get involved shouldn't be allowed to complain when things don't turn out the way we'd like. I encourage everyone to learn more, attend a planning & zoning meeting in your town once in a while, and find out what's going on, before it's too late. Would you rather have towns full of strip malls and big box stores or planned mixed use, pedestrian-friendly communities, putting existing buildings to use?