Same church, different pew
As a Floridian with a second home in Teton County, Idaho -- we bought an existing home -- I read your words with interest (HCN, 3/5/12, "The Zombies of Teton County"). In my "real life" in Florida, I am a land-use activist. What does that mean? Our county council members would probably say it means that I pop up and mouth off every time a property owner wants to change the comprehensive plan to increase the density allowed on his or her property.
If one substituted "rednecks" for "Mormons" and "swamp owners" for "farmers" in your article, it would pretty much mirror what we, too, are living through. One particularly egregious change would have allowed hundreds of condominiums on a wet, pristine and historic property, rather than 20 single-family homes. Citizens fought for nine years to keep the land use intact. When we were successful, I wrote a book about how the grassroots prevailed.
The point is that ordinary people can win these fights. Just don't expect it to be easy, cheap or fast.