Wednesday, February 14, 2007

“Revitalizing” by stopping affordable housing? …

   What does Orange County, California, need more of, from the viewpoint of government regulation of land use:  Low-cost “affordable” multi-family housing units, or “upscale” hotel and condominium units?  (Please notice that I give both sides equal treatment with the euphemisms.)

Anaheim    The Anaheim City Council voted yesterday, on a split vote, to uphold its planning commission’s disapproval of a plan to build low-cost apartments and condos near Disneyland.  Disney objected to the plan.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the planning commission wants to preserve an existing zoning plan that has “revitalized” an area that once was filled with “tacky” stores.   

   Why does government see the need to try to push out commercial businesses because it finds them “tacky”?  Whose sense of taste and opinion is likely to reign in such decisions?  Parties who tend to have greater power and wealth, at the expense of those who are poorer and less powerful? 

   And why is it that we hear howls of protest when government takes private land for higher-tax-generating private development, but if government denies through the zoning process a proposed land use because it wants another, higher-tax-generating land use, we simply nod and move on?

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