In Santa Cruz County, Calif., our new planning director has recently proposed permitting the construction of up to three "outbuildings," two stories high and containing a toilet, on each single-family lot. The impact on our rural mountain communities - their traffic, sewage and water supplies - would be devastating. As with the takings initiatives, these proposals would effectively overturn four decades of land-use controls and nine decades of zoning regulation. These new regulations are also attempting to avoid all environmental review.
I'm sure Jon Regner was well-intentioned in his bid to buy his house in what soon became a historic preservation district. What Jon may need to realize is that personal freedom is not the only legacy of the American West; personal responsibility and community coordination also were necessary elements for survival on the frontier. Private-property rights do not trump the rights of a community to shape its future.
Santa Cruz, California
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