Righteous Dominion

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Footnote to the Legal Versus Moral Authority for Government to Restrict Land Use

Some may argue that if a property owner wants to change zoning and the government refuses, that is not a regulatory "taking." From a technical and legal standpoint, that is true. The word "Taking" is a very specific legal term and very specific legal criteria must be met for a government action to be consider a legal "Taking." But from an ethical and principle standpoint, this can get very complicated. Every piece of property and every zoning case has a complex history. Sometimes the current zoning condition is something that the property owner ended up with not by choice, but as a result of past political pressure. Sometimes, the current zoning condition is exactly what the property owner once wanted. But, now due to new market conditions or newly discovered development constraints, that zoning condition is no longer viable. Either way, even though current zoning law gives the government strong legal leverage to refuse requests for changes in zoning, there is a higher perspective of ethics and principle that government officials must consider. Just because the government has the legal authority to restrict a property owner doesn't mean it has the moral authority.


Pendulum Jail for Morrison

Graphic: The Balanced Pendulum of
Government Control
(PDF Version)

"Still Mine" Movie: The Proper and
Balanced Role of Government

 

Jason Barney | jason@jasonbarney.com | 480-818-2000 | Back to Pendulum Balance Home Page