Zoning in Houston
08 Jul 1992
Needless to say, I think this is a bad idea. The philosophical
reason is that zoning is a 'taking' like using someone's land to build
a highway. The difference is that since zoning only takes part of the
value instead of all of it, the government is not inclined to compensate
the landowner as it would be obligated to otherwise. Environmental laws
that prohibit all development and destroy 50+% of equity are
notorious in this regard.
The pragramatic reasons are:
1) Big money gets what it wants anyway and the result is more corruption
in local government.
2) Zoning is often used for racist purposes.
3) The cost of 'protecting a neighborhood' is denying someone else
cheaper housing. The balance is negative, but the politics work because
it pits the few already-haves against the numerous will-benefits
in the future.
4) It's expensive to run the bureaucracy, prove compliance,
and chisel out variances.
5) Deed restrictions have already solved the problem where it needs
to be solved.
Unlike my proposal for the medical 'crisis', which
would create havoc if implemented (though I'm still in favor of it),
I think zoning is a dead loser. I'm not opposed just to be a purist.
(Actually, there is nothing I believe in just to be a purist, by I
can see why others view my arguments that way).
Would any of you care to defend it?