Things We Read Today (49), Weekend

An article not about what it’s about; sequester demagoguery; softening kids for “effort shock”; and the rise of grassroots fascism.
Continue reading on the Ocean State Current

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

“The state’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Act allows developers of affordable housing to build more housing units per acre than is usually allowed by local zoning rules. The density of the proposed development at Palmer Pointe is one of the concerns of the opponents, said William D. LeMoult, a soft-spoken, retired lawyer who lives near the Sowams Road site. Another is that Palmer Pointe may receive local tax benefits, which would not be fair to other residents, he said.”
Not said in the article is that “Zoning” is permissible ,as opposed to being an unrecompensed “taking”, only for reasons of “public safety” under the Police Powers Clause of the Constitution. Somehow, “protecting property values” has come to be seen as a legitimate zoning power. The “Low and Moderate Income Housing Act” exists as a means of permitting a developer to put some pressure on local Zoning Boards. I favor it. Most states have an “Anti Snob Zoning Act”, known by a variety of names.
Knowing this, you may now give proper weight to zoning decisions/arguments which incorporate “access by emergency vehicles”

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Please explain the logic behind increasing the density of low income housing in an area. The projects–or high density/low income housing failed–concentrating misery and victims is never a good idea.
Additionally, taxpayers support this housing–why should then not have a say in where it is located? Taxation without representation?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Posted by Mike678
Please explain the logic behind increasing the density of low income housing in an area. The projects–or high density/low income housing failed–concentrating misery and victims is never a good idea.
Mike, this law is the product of social engineering backed by developers. Why the social engineers favor it is probably a “flavor of the month”. Developers favor it because it provides a viable threat against a local zoning body that has run Amok.
Additionally, taxpayers support this housing–why should then not have a say in where it is located? Taxation without representation?
“a say in where it is located”? Simple, NIMBY.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Warrington…you didn’t answer the question. Flavor of the month isn’t logic…it’s idiocy. So what I’m inferring from your response is their is no or good reason to concentrate low income housing? And again, is it unreasonable for people who pay good money for their homes..and subsidize the low income housing…to choose to maintain the value of their homes? Or do we need to not only subsidize but also lower the perceived value of our homes to help those that need help–or too often choose not to help themselves? Put more simply, if I’m paying the bill, don’t I get a vote on what I am paying for? Or do those that receive our largesse also have the larger say in where they receive it?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Mike 678,
I must not have been clear. My point was that local Zoning boards frequently exceed their authority, many do not even know where their authority stems from. The developers joined forces with/financed the social engineers in order to gain a tool to rein in Zoning boards. Most states have addressed this with “Anti snob zoning” laws. I don’t believe that Rhode Island has done that.
As to “protecting property values” I defy you to find any authority which suggests that is a legitimate governmental function. Many do not realize that Zoning is only about 60 years old in Rhode Island. Before that people found ways to protect their property values privately, largely by way of covenants. You may remember that about 15 years ago a national candidate was knocked out because his property had a covenant prohibiting sales to “people of the Hebrew religion”.
People seem to have become inured to the idea that Zoning is a “taking”. That, in the sense that many valuable uses are forbidden to the owner. There are numerous Supreme Court decisions finding that it was a “taking” and only permissible under the “Police Powers” where public safety might be an issue. I don’t believe that “protecting property values”, worthy an objective as that might be, is a public safety issue. Consequently, it is an unlawful use of the power to “Zone”.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Strawman argument, Warrington. I “defy’ you to show where I ever said that it is Gov’ts role to protect property values. I asked why you thought that “snobs”–which is, IMHO, an ad hominem/demonization of people that choose to defend their own property values–didn’t have the right to protect their property value by choosing not to site low income housing next to or as part of their housing area. Please read it again–and answer the question. Or not if it makes you uncomfortable.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Mike, I am afraid I am misunderstood. “where I ever said that it is Gov’ts role to protect property values.” I think I made a valid point that the gov’t has assumed this role by passing zoning by-laws which have no other real purpose, however they may be cloaked. “I asked why you thought that “snobs”–which is, IMHO, an ad hominem/demonization of people that choose to defend their own property values” I think you have picked up on the word “snob”. “Anti snob zoning statues” are nationally known by that name, although the legislation is never captioned that way. The idea is to prevent zoning which violates the law by being unrelated to public safety. The most famous New England case is the Town of Lincoln, MA. They passed a zoning by-law for minimum 3 acre lots. The known, but unstated purpose, was to keep the riff-raff out. I am not opposed to protecting property values, it is just that “rights” end at property lines. If that is the express purpose, find a legal way to do it (it is done by private covenants, minimum square footage, minimum set back, etc). What do you think is the purpose of “gated communities”? Do not pass it to faceless governmental bureaucracies. Next we will require “buffer zones” between high value neighborhoods and low value neighborhoods. I was once denied a mortgage because the bank didn’t like the idea that the house I was interested in was the last house within the perimeter of “Precinct 1” in Dedham, MA. Now the reason I favor the statute is that it gives a developer a weapon against the Zoning Board/Planning Board. Perhaps you have never had a Planning Board look at a perfectly legal lot, that complied with all requirements, and say “I can’t vote… Read more »

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Thanks. No…I don’t misunderstand you…I just disagree. I also don’t think we should subsidize low income housing….tired of enabling failure. Guess I’m just an unfeeling Libertarian. Have a good day…

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

After all I’ve said, I think it would be worthy to see if there had not been some prior denial of use for the land in question.
It is also noteworthy that “low income housing” is about the only type of project for which financing is currently available.

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