Zoning away Property Rughts

Zoning laws must go the way of the dinosaur if we are to regain control of our rights as property owners. To allow the government to tell you what you can or can’t do with what is yours just doesn’t belong in a free society.

An agrument against zoning laws is that they drive up home costs and make affordable housing for working class families unattainable. Just take a look at the comments from an article I found in the MetroWest495 Biz by By Brandon Butler

“The downside is some people believe it will bring in much lower-cost housing, and there’s a concern by some neighbors about what that would do for the community,” he said.

A number of other communities have already embraced the “cluster” zoning model. Patrick Reffett, Natick’s community development director, said within the last few years zoning bylaws have been changed in Natick to preserve open space and allow for housing developments on smaller lots.

“It’s the idea of allowing increased density, with the offset that you get much greater levels of contiguous open space,” Reffett said. “It’s a good trade off in my estimation.”

The argument against smaller lots is that smaller, less valuable homes will not collect as much tax revenue. But, Reffett said, that argument can work the other way, too.

The developer wanted to build smaller homes and is being told by the zoning board that this would not generate enough taxes for the city! When is it the right of the government to tell you, “sorry you can’t build that way on your own property it won’t make enough money through taxes to satisfy us, please try again.”

Below is another example of the poor use of zoning laws. This time the article is from Lancaster, PA and deals with a proposed Solar farm. When energy cost are rising and the need to move away from foreign energy dependency the Planning Commission of East Drumore reject the building of this solar farm as it is to be build in a non-commercially zoned area.

On April 26, the Lancaster County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that East Drumore officials reject zoning changes requested by Community Energy to allow the company to build a solar farm at Route 272 and Deaver Road.

Now, I’m not sure if your familiar with solar panels but they have to build in areas where they can be exposed to the most sun light. The site being considered to build on is referred to in the article as prime farmland. Well, I’m guessing what makes the area great for farming is it’s sun exposure. To stop this project from commencing do to a zoning issue is only a bad idea economically. But also is an infringement on property rights as a person has the right (or should) have the right to do as he or she wishes with property they own as long as it does not harm others or infringe on their rights.

In addition to these two examples zoning laws gear commercial property purchases toward big business over mom and pop stores. When a specific area is designated a commercial zone the cost of property in that area usually rises which makes it near impossible for a small locally owned shop to enter the market without going into substantial debt. Just look around your own town or city. How many locally owned restaurants have come and gone in contrast to the big chains like McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s, and others like them.

The argument that zoning is needed to keep nuances out of neighborhoods such as having an oil refinery in your backyard or a strip club across from a school. In both cases this would be impractical for both of these businesses. The refinery would have a hard time finding enough land at a reasonable price to set up shop right in a neighborhood. As for the strip club next to a school it just wouldn’t be economically feasible for another reason. Number one I would assume dads wouldn’t want to be seen going in and out of this establishment by little Johnny and Janey. Also, other folks in a neighborhood would not want to be scene by their neighbors frequenting this business.

Stop the land police today and abolish zoning laws.

Zoning is bad for the economy and bad for property rights.

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