The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. The following role simulation is a two-team, multi-issue negotiation between representatives of a restaurant conglomerate and a neighborhood organization over zoning requirements for a possible fast-food restaurant in a historic university neighborhood.
The City of Lamebridge in the State of Ames is well known for its two major universities, political activism, and controversial city ordinances – such as the one banning “fast-food restaurants” from certain commercially zoned areas. This ordinance was enacted in response to tremendous pressure from a community organization called “Save Our Square” (SOS), whose mission is to preserve the character and sanctity of certain parts of Lamebridge, and especially the world-renowned Harkness Square.
For some time, McMillin’s Corporation, which operates the largest fast-food chain in the world, has sought permission from the Lamebridge Zoning Commission to build a McMillin’s fast-food restaurant in Harkness Square. The zoning commission has repeatedly refused McMillin’s requests, largely because of pressure from SOS. McMillin’s has now threatened to sue the zoning commission for a regulatory taking.
As a last-ditch effort to avoid litigation, and at the urging of the Lamebridge City Council, representatives of McMillin’s and SOS have agreed to meet to try to strike a deal. The major issues to be negotiated are:
- Aesthetic considerations, including the type and color of bricks used to construct the restaurant and the size and location of McMillin’s trademark “platinum M”;
- Traffic congestion and parking problems;
- Safety concerns, such as the possibility of attracting loiterers;
- Predatory pricing, which could drive local restaurants out of business; and
- Workers’ rights, including compensation and age minimums.
Participant materials include:
- General instructions
- Confidential instructions for:
- Spokesperson(s) for Save Our Square (SOS)
- Spokesperson(s) for McMillin’s Corporation
Teacher’s package includes:
- All of the above
- [Teaching note forthcoming]
To purchase this role simulation, click here.