Thursday, September 4, 2008

The roller coaster of preservation laws …

    Should government pay special attention to the effect of land use laws on distinctive private land uses?  Should government act affirmatively to try to preserve these distinctive land uses?
    Today brings a sad announcement:  The operator of Astroland, the unique beachfront amusement Coneyisland_2 park on Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, has announced that it will close the business for good this weekend.  Astroland, which opened in the outer-space-besotted America of 1962, offers vintage rides and bizarre carnival acts.  But this kind of entertainment is no longer as popular as it once was, and some complained that both the city and the owner of the land might prefer more high-income-oriented land uses.  The operator reportedly complained that it was unable to get more than a one-year lease.  Government officials are already acting to encourage Astroland to stay.   
   If your image of Coney Island is the famous Cyclone roller coaster (operated by Astroland for many years), worry not:  it is a designated historic landmark and won’t be closing.

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