Day 168 – Two Articles Against Zoning Laws

June 17, 2009

Over the past few years, I have had numerous conversations with people on property rights and why I believe property owners should be able to use their property as they see fit, as long as it does not involve aggressing against another’s person or property.

Here is a usual response I get:

Friend – “So you don’t believe in zoning laws?”

Me – “No.”

Friend – “So I can make my yard in a residential area a parking lot, or build a restaurant on my property in the middle of a neighborhood, or paint my house, which is in a historical neighborhood, chartreuse green with orange and pink stripes?”

Me – “Sure, as long as you have not contractually agreed to do otherwise. The government should not be able to tell you what you can and cannot do with your property.”

Friend – “What about eminent domain? Shouldn’t the government be able to annex your property, with compensation of course, for the greater good of society?”

Me – “Of course not! If you do not agree to sell your property, the government is engaging in pure theft.”

Anyway, I have not had time to write up my views on zoning laws and eminent domain. Today, however, I came across two very good articles on zoning laws over at the Mises Institute. I do not share these authors’ views 100%, but they make some pretty good arguments. Check these two articles out:

How Zoning Rules Would Work in a Free Society by Ben O’Neill

Zoning is Theft by Jim Fedako