April 12, 2010
The Policy Tensions of Non-conforming Uses
An article in this weekend's Sarasota Herald-Tribune provides a nice real-world example of the policy tensions that underlie the law of non-conforming uses, especially in developing areas that bring lots of new residents. A family whose businesses have been allowed to continue since 1975, when the local zoning regime was adopted, appear to be coming under increasing pressure from newer residents who find the businesses incompatible with the current feel of the community. As I've noted before, I like to provide students with examples of how the theories we study in class play out in real life situations, and these types of skirmishes help demonstrate the conflict that often arises between protecting individual property rights and establishing a more communitarian outlook.
P.S. Thanks to Stetson law student Kimberly Clark for bringing the article to my attention.
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