Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I’ve written recently about the issue of LULUs and the issue of who has standing to sue government for a land use decision. An interesting matter in Georgia brings these two topics together. The Macon- Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission yesterday approved a zoning change that would allow the establishment of a new halfway house for convicts who are close to ending their terms in the local federal prison. Of course there is local opposition to this extreme LULU. What is more interesting, however, is that the rezoning also was opposed by a competing halfway house business in Macon. If the new facility is built, there will be more competition for the contract from the federal prison authority.
Does a potential competitor have standing to challenge a zoning change? If the change violates the law or is otherwise an unwise land use decision, I see no reason why a competitor, who might be in the best position to serve as a watchdog of government, should have not standing. But the increase in competition by itself is not and should not be a substantive basis for challenging a zoning change.