I have a masters degree in city planning. I became involved in a zoning dispute regarding my own and an adjoining neighbor's property. The neighbor was a politician. The neighbor's property was zoned to allow him more than one dwelling unit, but only if they were attached. Instead he added two detached dwelling units--a cabin/guest house and an apartment over a garage. This was in Colorado.
I complained about the construction when it was underway but was told that it complied with the zoning. I checked the zoning regs and was convinced that it did not. I filed for injunctive relief but it was ruled that only the city could enforce its own zoning. Not only did they not enforce the zoning but the extra (3) buildings are not on the property tax rolls.
I was criminally prosecuted for sending emails to the city council complaining about my neighbor's extra buildings. The S.C. of CO recognizes an adjoining neighbor's right to rely on the zoning but the locals did not.
I was pursued and harassed for requesting that the zoning be enforced. I sold my property and moved away and filed a retaliation claim in federal court. That was dismissed but they wouldn't tell me why. I was imprisoned for attempting to get a hearing in another court.
This continued to really affect me even though we moved away. Since I have a degree in city planning, it affects my employability and reputation. It really makes me look weird to claim that there are buildings there (visible on Google.maps) that the city and county don't recognize. These three buildings have foundations, one is two stories, and two have central heating and plumbing.
I was very enamored with the subject of regional and city planning. I really cared a lot about it. My friends and family think that I should just resign myself to the idea that government is crooked and stop being so naive.
Recently a man burned to death six blocks away in a housing unit without permits.
Should I just forget about this all or what should I do?
This is all very disorienting to me. I feel that my years of studying city planning was a total waste of time. In fact, it hurt me because if I hadn't studied city planning, I would have adopted the worldly view, that local government officials are crooks.