Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Slow growth dying quick death

First Oregon, now Virginia is reversing some of the toughest slow growth rules in the country. Thursday the Virginia Supreme court threw out Loudon county's rules limiting development. As the Washington Post points out, the rules were actually thrown out on a technicality.... not enough notice was given before the rules were enacted. But the defacto result is a victory for property rights/pro-development (choose your own phrase) folks.
"Jurisdictions across the region, including Southern Maryland, Montgomery County and other parts of Northern Virginia, have sought to control rapid development through zoning restrictions and other measures. Loudoun's limitations were among the broadest. The Supreme Court did what some on the pro-development majority on Loudoun's Board of Supervisors have wanted to do since taking power last year. Supervisors who have long slammed the controls as an infringement on property rights appeared delighted with the court's ruling, and there was no indication yesterday that it would be appealed or that Loudoun officials would try to reinstate the regulations. Last night, supervisors were planning a special meeting on the decision. "This is a victory for property rights," said Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles), who argued that the rules were elitist and exclusionary. "The wrong now has been righted." The ruling represents a forceful victory for property rights advocates and real estate interests who have waged an impassioned, and well-funded, struggle against regulations imposed in 2003 that were designed to prevent the construction of thousands more homes among the fields, small towns and scattered subdivisions of upscale homes in western Loudoun. Those who fought the hardest against Loudoun's building restrictions said they were elated yesterday, and some said they were gathering to toast the decision.
As pointed out by several on the Land Trust listserv, the only way to ensure land stays undeveloped is to either buy it, or have property owners who place conservation easements on the land. If it's not voluntary, it's probably not going to work.


Blogger David Sucher said...

wishful thinking by someone.

2:33 AM  
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