GOP hypocrisy: property rights for some, but not others

Protest petitions on the chopping block:

Protest petitions most often are filed by neighbors of controversial developments that require a change in zoning. If enough people sign the formal protest, the rezoning requires more municipal board votes to proceed. To take effect, a protest petition requires the signatures of people who own at least 5 percent of a 100-foot buffer around the proposed development. Then the project requires approval of three quarters of the local board. In Cary, for example, that would be six of seven town council votes.

The Republicans' attack on protest petitions represents a huge, gaping pothole in their claim as defender of personal property rights. The zoning issue is not unlike eminent domain. Property may not be taken away, but property values (very often) are, and the property owners deserve a seat at the table. And as far as this complaint:

“In a lot of jurisdictions, the protest petition is the virtual equivalent of shutting down the project,” said Jason Barron, a land-use attorney based in Morrisville who is not involved with the legislature’s debate. The process is vulnerable to abuse, Barron said, because landowners don’t have to present valid concerns with their petition.

Even a modification of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t require a 75 percent vote, he said.

"Valid" is in the eye of the beholder. And if you're going to approve something that local property owners don't want, something that will alter their quality of life permanently, you should be required to convince a supermajority of people (that don't live there) that it should be allowed.

Comments

Nail. Head. Hit.

Protest petitions often are the only real leverage that neighbors of a proposed development have to encourage developers to negotiate. Property owners who want to develop their property have the right to do so, but the rights of neighbors also must be protected -- it's a balance. Protest petitions help to achieve that balance.

This is another area in which the state does not need to butt in to local ordinances that work just fine for various communities.

The Jones Street House of Pain's war on municipalities is unfortunate and stupid and harmful.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

It is a balance

And Republicans are so turned around with their beliefs it's really hard to keep up with them. They're against eminent domain because one private interest uses government to gain the upper hand over property owners. But they support the abolishment of protest petitions for pretty much the same reason.

Which Makes it Crystal Clear...

...that the NC GOP is thoroughly unbalanced!

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis