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Thread: Planning vs property rights

  1. #1

    Planning vs property rights

    The topic for my class today was:

    "Good land use planning, protective zoning and sensitive area (e.g.
    wetlands) protection are essential components of good water resource
    management. This often leads to conflicts with those who believe that
    protection of individual property rights is paramount. What is your opinion
    on this issue?"

    What would you say?

    Also, do you know of any strong property rights groups that I could ask for counter-arguments?

    Please note that I've already submitted my class contribution so I'm not asking you to do my homework for me. Out of curiosity, I'm looking for additional perspectives.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    I would say (and our land use plan also says) that zoning and other regulation needs to be balanced with respecting property rights. They are inherently opposing courses, but basically, with every regulation you put in the ordinance, you need to consider both and find a middle way.
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    I would say (and our land use plan also says) that zoning and other regulation needs to be balanced with respecting property rights. They are inherently opposing courses, but basically, with every regulation you put in the ordinance, you need to consider both and find a middle way.
    KSharpe's response is on point.

    However, for a more philosophical discussion on property rights and the natural environment, I suggest you become familiar with the wise-use movement.

    Linky: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wise_Use_Movement

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    For a pro-property rights slant, you might want to try libertarian sites and the American Enterprise Institute, among others.

    Somewhat ideologically, but not entirely wrongly, Rand once wrote somnething to the effect that every government intervention in economic affairs consists of the underserved taking from someone to the unearned benefit of another.

    Realistic policies do countenance the idea of taking (taxes, for instance) from some people and giving to others, contrary to ideological libertarians like Rand. Nonetheless, framing the issue in Randian terms is useful in illuminating what's goign on and whether the community wants to advocate/allow it:

    > Who is being 'taken from'?
    > Who is being 'given to'?

    Simply asking that questions might have averted an abomination like Kelo vs. New London ever arising (and the subsequent backlash).

    Another way to look at it is that what I do with "my property" can in many cases affect someone else's enjoyment of "their" property. To avoid every such case having to be resolved by court action, there is a need for regulations. It is economcially cheaper to do so and therefore beneficial overall. Again, such an approach would generally suggest a light regulatory hand (generally an application of the objective/subjective test).
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  5. #5
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by planner_wannabe View post
    Also, do you know of any strong property rights groups that I could ask for counter-arguments?

    Pacific Legal Foundation.

    http://www.pacificlegal.org/?mvcTask=topic&id=1
    I think that one of the great signs of security is the ability to just walk away.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ruralplanner's avatar
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    The property rights discussion is a hard yet real one. If you look at property by itself, property ownership comes with a bundle of rights. The right to develop it, the right subdivide it, the right to establish a commercial enterprise, the right to sell it, the right to extract resources from it, the right to…whatever you want with it. But it also includes the security that your rights won’t be diminished by what your neighbor chooses to do with their land. Once this connection is made, than the connection can be made to the purpose of regulation—which is not to solely remove property rights—but to actually protect property rights. So property rights are all of these things, but it is also the security offered by regulation that your property rights and enjoyment of your property will not be diminished by the choices of others.

    From a broader sense, many communities have some sort of plan that contains a community vision and/or goals that are based upon public participation efforts. To achieve this vision of a future community, property owners need to relinquish some of their rights, but in return they gain the opportunity to own property in a community that will maintain or enhance its values and character.

    If you can find the data, it always helps to show that property values tend to be higher in planned communities with regulation. For two reasons: Better and regulated development increases values of surrounding lands (i.e., pole buildings vs. natural facades) and people are willing to pay a premium in areas that are regulated and that have a plan because that premium brings security and an overall sense of—you buy a house here you know what you can expect.

    Not a great site—but some interesting perspectives. Check out general supplements.

    http://www.takebackwisconsin.com/sg.htm

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) Removed the direct link.

  7. #7
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ruralplanner View post
    The property rights discussion is a hard yet real one. If you look at property by itself, property ownership comes with a bundle of rights. The right to develop it, the right subdivide it, the right to establish a commercial enterprise, the right to sell it, the right to extract resources from it, the right to…whatever you want with it. But it also includes the security that your rights won’t be diminished by what your neighbor chooses to do with their land. Once this connection is made, than the connection can be made to the purpose of regulation—which is not to solely remove property rights—but to actually protect property rights. So property rights are all of these things, but it is also the security offered by regulation that your property rights and enjoyment of your property will not be diminished by the choices of others.

    From a broader sense, many communities have some sort of plan that contains a community vision and/or goals that are based upon public participation efforts. To achieve this vision of a future community, property owners need to relinquish some of their rights, but in return they gain the opportunity to own property in a community that will maintain or enhance its values and character.

    If you can find the data, it always helps to show that property values tend to be higher in planned communities with regulation. For two reasons: Better and regulated development increases values of surrounding lands (i.e., pole buildings vs. natural facades) and people are willing to pay a premium in areas that are regulated and that have a plan because that premium brings security and an overall sense of—you buy a house here you know what you can expect.

    Not a great site—but some interesting perspectives. Check out general supplements.
    That is a very good post.

    I'd caution anyone on the link, however, as it has a very serious anti-planning slant. Simply yelling "freedom!" doesn't make you in the right, and people who are against smart growth and sustainability make me a little more than uneasy... especially when they comapre it to Hitler and the Jews as does Henry Lamb.

    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=24109

    Here's another link about some of the people who wrote that material:

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/feat.../gw_chart.html
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  8. #8
    Hi everyone! Thanks for the info and links!

    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    Somewhat ideologically, but not entirely wrongly, Rand once wrote something to the effect that every government intervention in economic affairs consists of the underserved taking from someone to the unearned benefit of another.
    By any chance, did you mean to type "undeserved" (one less "r")? It seems to make a little more sense that way for a libertarian perspective.

    The discussion has reminded me of a fellow who used to run a business out of his home on a busy road. I stopped by now and then because I liked his products, but I was always a little disturbed about how negatively he referred to the sales tax that he had to apply to the bill. One day I told him that I really didn't mind paying the tax because it would be used for things like paving the road in front of his business. Without the road, I wouldn't be able to reach him. I can't remember what his response was.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by planner_wannabe View post
    Hi everyone! Thanks for the info and links!

    By any chance, did you mean to type "undeserved" (one less "r")? It seems to make a little more sense that way for a libertarian perspective.

    The discussion has reminded me of a fellow who used to run a business out of his home on a busy road. I stopped by now and then because I liked his products, but I was always a little disturbed about how negatively he referred to the sales tax that he had to apply to the bill. One day I told him that I really didn't mind paying the tax because it would be used for things like paving the road in front of his business. Without the road, I wouldn't be able to reach him. I can't remember what his response was.
    Yes, obviously a typo.

    The problems with a doctrinaire libertarian stance are legion. That said, it seems to me like a better starting point than, say, an interventionist/communistic bias.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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