Saturday, March 24, 2007

A bit about property rights

The question of property rights comes up at nearly every meeting of the Amador County General Plan Advisory Committee. As you might imagine, the discussion is highly subjective.

Because of that, I recently suggested that the county counsel come speak to the committee and the public about what property rights are and aren't, and what can legally be done through the general plan and zoning. Maybe we'll see that happen before too long.

Meanwhile, I remembered having read a really good paper on the issue. Donald Rypkema, who calls himself a "crass, unrepentant, real estate capitalist Republican type," spoke on the matter a few years back at the National Building Museum. Rypkema's lecture, "Property Rights and Public Values," gives some historical context, addresses the "takings" issue, and discusses many of the misconceptions people have about property rights.

It's well worth a read.

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