Housing Policy

Abolishing Single-Family-Only Zoning Expands Freedom and Choice

And it might make housing more affordable in many places. Conservative NIMBYs should not stand in the way.

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A bedrock principle of conservatism is that individuals should be allowed to live as they please free from the overly meddlesome dictates of regulators. Another conservative mainstay is a belief in property rights—the right to do largely what we choose in our homes and on our land. When it comes to zoning issues, however, many conservatives have become "but" heads. They believe in freedom and markets, "but" not in their neighborhoods.

The latest debate centers on efforts by some states to outlaw single-family zoning—a move opponents depict as a nearly totalitarian plot to force everyone out of their picket-fenced homes into "stack-and-pack" subsidized-housing projects. The critiques have gotten overheated after Oregon recently passed a bill to eliminate this type of zoning. Virginia also began considering a similar plan.

"The measure could quickly transform the suburban lifestyle enjoyed by millions, permitting duplexes to be built on suburban lots in neighborhoods previously consisting of quiet streets and open green spaces," wrote Luke Rosiak, in the Daily Caller. He complains that such changes would undermine efforts by local officials, "who have deliberately created and preserved neighborhoods with particular character…to accommodate people's various preferences."

That's an otherworldly argument in a right-of-center publication. Typically, leftists believe the public good is "deliberately created" by government planning. They argue that markets can't be trusted and only regulation can assure people's preferences and lifestyles are respected. Conservatives have generally believed that the private sector, acting with minimal government interference, is the best way to provide things that people want.

Yet if markets work best to provide smartphones, automobiles and furniture, shouldn't they work best for housing, also? By the way, as someone who has reported on myriad local councils, I find the depiction of local officials as doe-eyed doers of the public good to be astonishingly naïve. Locals can be just as hostile to liberty as state officials and even the feds.

Despite the histrionics, a ban on single-family zoning is not a ban on single-family houses or a ban on anything at all. It is the opposite. These proposals actually would deregulate land-use restrictions. They would limit local governments from dictating what people can do on their own property. They give property owners the right to use their properties in more expansive ways, such as by building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the attic or garage.

Rosiak claims that supporters of these changes are doing so because they view the "suburbs as bastions of segregation and elitism," but that's a straw man. Most people advocating for an end to single-family zoning simply argue that it will boost housing supply and allow additional options. (Don't forget that the current single-family zone is a government restriction on the market that was sometimes used to enforce racial segregation.)

I live in a conservative exurban community that gives homeowners a "by right" approval to build a second unit. I'd love to share the nightmarish stories, except there aren't any. Mostly, people build a small unit where their elderly parents or adult children can live. It promotes family cohesion and helps people pay the bills by allowing them to rent a second place to those who need it.

This reduces government control and may boost property values as a side benefit, so what's not to like from a free-market standpoint? Sadly, many conservatives seem more interested in echoing the approach of progressives: using government to impose their preferences by limiting others' choices.

My fellow Southern California News Group columnist Susan Shelley fears that with a variety of land-use laws signed by the governor, "cities and even homeowner associations are prohibited from imposing bans or tighter limits on ADUs, charging higher fees or requiring parking spaces. Cities can't require owners to live on-site" and or stop owners from renting their homes on Airbnb. Yep, the state is forbidding governments from telling me how I can use my house and from imposing higher fees. If that's the case, it's the best news out of Sacramento in years.

I strongly agree with these conservatives when they oppose government mandates that are designed to limit types of building. California and Oregon have embraced growth boundaries that restrict development outside of an arbitrarily drawn "green line," thereby mandating construction of high-density housing in urban areas. Those and similar policies, including housing subsidies for particular types of government-preferred projects, are likewise wrong.

But mandates and deregulation are entirely different things. I'm happy to find common ground with YIMBYs (Yes In My Back Yarders) who agree that more supply will lessen the state's housing crisis, even if their ultimate goal (higher density) is different from mine (more freedom).

I believe in reducing regulations so builders can provide a wide variety of housing products—from duplexes, to apartments to homes with big lawns. That used to be a fundamental conservative principle, but perhaps not so much anymore.

This column was first published in the Orange County Register.

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356 responses to “Abolishing Single-Family-Only Zoning Expands Freedom and Choice

  1. What a good little Commie you are.

    1. What does this have to do with communism?

      1. Communists/socialists believe in increasing choice.

        Libertarians believe in increasing liberty.

        Greenhut’s argument US the kind of argument communists/socialists make.

        1. Greenhut also “opposes” growth boundaries, but knows they are not going away, and when combined with the removal of single family restrictions within the permitted growth are will inevitably lead to high density construction only.

          It’s a profoundly dishonest rope-a-dope.

          1. ThomasD wrote “… within the permitted growth [green line] are will inevitably lead to high density construction only.”

            There might be space inside there for a few more single family homes, but really, when you adopted growth boundaries you KNEW that the only way to accommodate higher population was by higher density housing. The only solution within reason is to redraw the growth boundary.
            [The other solution, emotional, is to try and set a population limit, growth control, and exclude outsiders from moving to your town. Good luck with that.]
            (And you wonder why the housing available in your town is so small – rabbit hutch size – and so expensive.)

        2. “ Communists/socialists believe in increasing choice.”

          Please tell me this is snark.

          1. It’s not snark. It’s a valid point, although more accurately defined as “Communists/socialists believe in “increasing choice” for their preferred demographic groups so long as it provides them the opportunity to harm the wealth or property of people they despise.”

            It’s not about “increasing choice” for everyone…and it usually involves violating other people’s property or individual rights using government.

  2. You people that still live in Commifornia are crazy.

    It’s cute when you pine over those little freedoms that you get back from government while they ram 15 inches of red hot tyranny up your ass.

    You settle for your scraps of bread and ladle of water, slave.

    1. I love that “Decreasing your freedoms AKSCHUALLY increase your freedoms” bullshit.

      1. I don’t understand how people can get through life being that dumb.

        Or they are so crazy that they are telling themselves lies daily just to endure Commifornia.

        1. Yeah it is terrible pulling down more money here AFTER TAXES than I did before taxes in Colorado. And the 70 degree winters. And the great schools. And the awesome food. Yeah, who would ever willingly choose to live in such a place?

          I hate the government of California. But like everything in life, there are no perfect solutions. Everyone has different preferences and solutions. If there is anything that libertarian thought might teach you while you are on this board, it is that- there is no perfect transaction. Making categorical judgements about how some transaction should have been done is exactly what enables lefties to empower Top Men to control our every decision.

          1. ^ This.

            I also love how often it is that it’s the same people who fault immigrants for not staying in their own countries and working to change them who fault people for staying in CA.

            1. Poor 0=[] tries to make a point using someone who left Colorado for Commifornia.

              What a baffoon.

          2. As a California expat, I can agree about the food and the weather, but the schools have been going downhill since the 60s and take-home pay has to be higher to try to keep up with the ridiculous cost of living. All life is about trade offs, so if you are happy, that’s great, but more people are leaving than arriving for a reason.

            1. There are multiple metro areas outside CA that have great food choices.

              I would note that numerous Californians have come to Georgia and opened restaurants. Its surprising how stupid the restaurant ideas are and of course they fail. Its hard enough keeping a restaurant profitable.

              Just like I say to the movie industry in Georgia, thanks for the money and the retard Californians that buy my “Organic” farm to butt food.

          3. Are you counting ALL THE TAXES? Doubt you are. Plus, Colorado is not known for high pay.

            Depending on where you live in Commifornia, those winters are NOT 70F. They are cool and foggy. If you mean SoCal then your winters and summers are desert weather and your air sucks. High crime and horrendous traffic.

            Great Schools in Taxifornia—-hahahahahaha. They used to be not anymore. If you think they are great, I would refer you the fact that they used to be great.
            Awesome food? Like you can get in any metro area?

            No perfect solutions and Commifornia is not a solution nor close to good. Maybe it will be again after all the Lefties die or leave.

            I do think its funny that enough people who fucked up Colorado are fleeing Colorado, potentially turning it back into a nice place.

  3. There is no housing shortage.

    There is no need to ‘boost housing supply’.

    There is a maze of regulations, restrictions, controls and other leftist meddling in various housing markets that creates increased costs to consumers.

    Suggesting that building a guesthouse or creating a mother-in-law apartment is what these alterations to zoning are about is disingenuous.

    They’re about destroying older urban and exurban enclaves. Places that have, so far, avoided the waves of destruction the ‘affordable housing’ activists unleash before themselves.

    Want lower housing costs? Strip away all the laws, rules and regulations that leftist slumlords put into place to protect themselves from all the rules, laws and regulations leftists put into place so they could steal good people’s property and become slumlords.

    1. Yup. Lefties were fine with Housing Projects that kept Black Americans and other immigrants under the control of government who obviously knew best.

    2. I read this article and wanted to rant about how stupid it is, but you already made every point I wanted to and then some.

      Well done.

  4. “They would limit local governments from dictating what people can do on their own property.”

    The issue here is not about “what people can do on their own property,” it’s about developers.

    Don’t try to frame this about individual rights.

    As you mentioned, this changes nothing about individual rights.

    What it does is allow corporate developers to completely change neighborhoods.

    1. The “corporate developers” are individuals who have presumably been invited onto property owned by someone, exercising his/her property rights, to develop that property in accordance with the wishes of the owner.

      So yeah it is about property rights, in the end.

      1. “presumably been invited onto property owned by someone, ”

        Quite the presumption given cases like Kelo and the use of government to force sales to developers. This is especially true in California which has included shop owners being forced to sell to other corporations.

        So no, it actually is about developers for the most part. The ones who are no longer restricted by zoning laws and can utilize their political connections to “cure blight.”

        1. The issue of eminent domain abuse is a separate one.

          Of course if developers are using the power of the state to force property owners off their own property, that is wrong.

          But if property owners want to invite developers onto property to build multi-unit housing, the government shouldn’t stand in their way.

          Agreed?

          1. I have no problem with individual rights. Bit if you investigate who is pushing many of these laws they have a history of government coercive abuse. That is where the warnings lie. It would be easy to merge these laws with actual rights against takings if they wanted to actually push for individual rights, they are not doing so.

            You cant always applaud it dismiss actions in isolation, sometimes you have to look at the actions in coordination with related actions. And the groups I’ve looked into around these laws are not doing it to increase rights.

            1. Shift the fuck out of those goal posts.

              1. I didnt move any goalposts dumbass. My argument has been consistent the whole thread. Learn to fucking read.

                1. And now you resort to insults. Solid.

                  1. It’s not shifting the goal posts because you can’t follow an argument.

                    1. It is, when what is being argued changes from whether or not this increases liberty by letting people bring in developers in to do what they want with their own property to an argument about the “who is pushing many of these laws” and “the groups I’ve looked into around these laws are not doing it to increase rights.”

                      He changed the goal posts. He didn’t address the question about the fact that this new standard increases freedom of people to do what they want with their property. No, instead he shifted the goal posts by questioning motivations of the people that changed the law.

                      I can’t help the fact that you weren’t able to pick up on that.

            2. Bit if you investigate who is pushing many of these laws they have a history of government coercive abuse.

              Eminent domain abuse is a separate issue. Expanding a property owner’s rights to do what he/she wishes on his/her own property is an expansion of individual liberty, regardless of what shady developers have in mind.

              More liberty means more opportunities to abuse that liberty. But it’s the abuse that is the problem, not the liberty per se.

              1. You cant separate abusive rights of government into separate gates. They are related. Stop with the naivete.

          2. No, not agreed. When using your property, you are constrained by the impact that has on your neighbors. That impact is adjudicated either by the legal system, or by zoning, or through covenants.

            A libertarian system would use a combination of covenants and the legal system to deal with conflicting interests. These state imposed zoning changes eliminate all these possibilities and simply impose a state wide objective on property owners. That is not libertarian, it’s socialist.

            1. +100

          3. Here, let me help.

            This is leftists using developers to wield the power of the state to force property owners off their own property.

            1. So even if a proposal would expand liberty, we must oppose it because leftists. Got it.

              1. If your preference was a single family home…you should just get over it, eh?

              2. These zoning changes don’t “expand liberty”, they merely expand choice.

                It’s like if when you tax me 50% and redistribute the money to poor families, that increases their choices, but it doesn’t increase liberty.

                1. Ah, so this is how you avoid the cognitive dissonance.

                  1. And what cognitive dissonance would that be?

                    “Increasing choice” isn’t a pro-freedom agenda when it involves forcibly taking property or rights from other people.

                    1. No one is taking your property. Government zoning restrictions =/= rights.

                    2. You clearly don’t understand how neighborhood development works.

              3. Leftists NEVER expand liberty, Jeff.

                This ne isn’t ‘getting rid of’ a regulation. It’s making a new one.

                And it’s removing your right to not have your neighborhood overpopulated.

                A lot of people–probably most, moved to single family zoning FROM places that were zoned multi-family or from apartments.

                This new regulation takes that away without so much as a by-your-leave.

                You NEVER expand liberty, Jeff. Not a damned one of you.

      2. Yep. I lost a home in the Camp Fire. If I chose to put a duplex on my 2-acre lot instead of a single-family home, well, would I not just be exercising my right to utilize that which I own in a way which I wish to do?

        1. Sorry to here you lost your home and possessions.

          Why you wouldn’t take the insurance money and run, is amazing to me.

          1. I did exactly that. To coastal Oregon. But I still own the property. Given my age, it doesn’t make much sense to reinvest, but if I was thirty years younger, I might have liked having the option.

            1. Keep us informed on Oregon demographics please.

              I saw estimates that Oregon would gain a House District in Census 2020 and surprised that Oregon was gaining residents at that speed. I guess most Californians migrate to neighboring states.

              I get why you did since Oregon is similar to California with the coast, high desert, and mountains.

              1. Oregon is also, politically, quite different from CA, at least for the time being. Both my wife and I have spent quite a bit of time visiting Oregon over the years, so moving here was pretty much a no-brainer.

                I will keep you posted on the H of R seat. And yes, according to the realtor who sold us our house, there are most definitely a lot of former Californians living in Oregon. Some of them, however, seem to bring their CA politics with them.

        2. If I chose to put a duplex on my 2-acre lot instead of a single-family home, well, would I not just be exercising my right to utilize that which I own in a way which I wish to do?

          Yes you would.

          And if your local government just decided that from here on in, your lot could be surrounded by tenements and duplexes and quadraplexes well that would just be them exercising their right to screw with your property values in a way which they wish to do.

          1. Muh rents!

      3. There is also a peppery right to enter into covenants with your neighbors. That’s what zoning basically is.

        In the absence of zoning, most single family neighborhoods would have private covenants. For the state to come in and simply abolish zoning to accomplish state wide housing goals is not a libertarian policy.

        1. And that’s what is not brought up in this article. Many of the groups pushing this are the advocates trying to forces government housing programs. I have not seen a single of these pushes fermented by individual property owners but government related groups seeking to lush multi family housing wherever they choose.

          1. That is what’s baffling to me about the take. My perception is that big government urban planners are the ones pushing for multi-family housing. Why would it be libertarian to side with them? It seems much more in the vein of libertarianism for people to want to own an individual plot of land and home on which they can do whatever they want. Multi-unit housing reduces how much an individual has over his property or living space

            1. My perception is that big government urban planners are the ones pushing for multi-family housing.

              Yes, that is my perception too.

              So in this proposal here, it would remove restrictions that currently forbid multi-family housing, to permit property owners to freely choose to develop multi-family housing if they so chose. This is a step in the right direction because it frees the property owner from an arbitrary restriction.

              In other proposals, there could be subsidies or mandates for “affordable housing”. Those should be rightfully opposed.

              1. These restrictions are not “arbitrary”.

                And removing these restrictions come at a cost. When you build a multi-family building next to my single family home, my property values go down.

                I would never have bought in the first place in a neighborhood in which people could just build multi-family homes next to my single family home.

                1. Stripping the legal rights and privileges you had at the time of sale is the price we pay for civilization, comrade. You can get subsidized rent in the new brutalist public housing!

                2. If you support free speech, it means you support people’s right to say what they want, even if it is distasteful to you. Even if it causes you physical pain (due to an increase in blood pressure).

                  if you support private property rights, it means that you support people’s right to build what they want on their property, even if it is distasteful to you. Even if it lowers your property value.

                  Everything else is just sophistry, from authoritarians who want the rest of us to indirectly subsidize their living preferences.

                  1. if you support private property rights, it means that you support people’s right to build what they want on their property, even if it is distasteful to you.

                    Sorry, that’s not how “private property rights” work.

                    Everything else is just sophistry, from authoritarians who want the rest of us to indirectly subsidize their living preferences.

                    Your conception of liberty and rights is that of a socialist; you first try to realize it, and when it invariably fails, you turn authoritarian.

                    1. How am I the socialist?
                      I’m not telling NOYB2 what to do with his property.
                      He is restricting what I may do with mine, due to his stylistic preference.
                      I’m not the socialist (nor the asshole) here.

                    2. How am I the socialist?

                      Because your conception of freedom is that you can do whatever you want with your property, limited by some global, general rules at the state and federal level. That’s the socialist conception of private property and freedom.

                      I’m not the socialist (nor the asshole) here.

                      Yes, you are both.

        2. There is also a peppery right to enter into covenants with your neighbors. That’s what zoning basically is.

          Zoning laws are not private covenants. Zoning laws represent government force restricting your property rights. Private covenants are an exercise of your property rights to engage in private contracts. Don’t conflate the two.

          1. NOYB2 is now going to try to convince you that letting people do more with their property is socialist.

            I’m pretty sure some people around here define socialism as “anything I don’t like or that hurts my pocketbook.”

            1. See above for why.

            2. What you call “letting people do more with their property” is government letting off one handcuff and tell you that you’re free.

              1. I get it, you’re obsessed with perfection and determined to remain irrelevant.

                It doesn’t matter what you think. These policies are going to go nationwide because its good policy that will increase the freedom of the market.

                1. Most new developments come with HOAs and CCRs anyway and these zoning changes don’t affect them.

                  Mostly what these laws will do is accelerate the gradual decline of older single family neighborhoods.

                  1. decline

                    What do you mean by “decline”? Do you mean by “letting people like [me]” in? Do you mean a decline in your property values?

                    If you decided that you should try to build wealth by purchasing a home, you’re just another moron that fell for the idea that purchasing a home should be the middle class’ primary method of doing building wealth. Don’t punish everyone else because you made bad investment decisions based on government regulations restricting people’s freedoms.

                    If you want to find an HOA that does this, I’m cool with that. Go live there. Sounds like that’s where you want to be. At least then you aren’t depending on overtly authoritarian policy remaining in place.

                    1. Or maybe he doesn’t want to live 3 feet away from a rent-subsidized low brow cunt like you, and he purchased a property with specific legal protections in place to prevent that, and removing those legal protections post-hoc ruins not just the monetary value of the property, but the specific use for which he purchased it.

                    2. Poor you, you’re losing your government hand out.

                    3. What do you mean by “decline”? Do you mean by “letting people like [me]” in? Do you mean a decline in your property values?

                      No, I mean decline: lower average incomes, lower property values, increased crime, less educated.

                      If you decided that you should try to build wealth by purchasing a home, you’re just another moron

                      Oh, honey, you’re the guy who can’t afford to live in the nice neighborhoods and wants to impose state level zoning on local communities to “make housing more affordable”.

                      I assure you: if you invest in real estate carefully, you can build wealth with it. Part of that is leaving when a neighborhood goes to shit.

                    4. I’m a banker and a financial analyst, so nope. I’m doing just fine where I am now. I’m just not going buying into a bubble propped up by government fiat. Instead, I’m invested in several businesses and some stocks because I understand that you shouldn’t depend on your home to build wealth for you. So sorry you’re losing the ability to screw people over, honey.

                    5. I’m just not going to buy*

                    6. I’m just not going buying into a bubble propped up by government fiat. Instead, I’m invested in several businesses and some stocks because I understand that you shouldn’t depend on your home to build wealth for you.

                      And you actually believe that businesses and stocks aren’t in “a bubble propped up by government fiat”?

                      I’m a banker and a financial analyst, so nope. … So sorry you’re losing the ability to screw people over, honey.

                      So you work in an industry built on government subsidies, regulatory capture, the Fed’s money spigot, and screwing people over. Glad you’re so forthcoming.

                      And you have the nerve to complain that people like me want to preserve single family zoning in our neighborhood. No, it’s not “nerve”, it’s obviously how people in your industry think. It all makes sense now.

                2. They wont go nationwide because Californians tend to be lunatics who want to boss everyone and live in over-priced crime ridden shitholes.

                  I laugh when Californians move to Georgia and find out how Georgia is not going to do whatever they want. Georgians carry guns. Georgians respect property rights.

              2. I don’t think anyone here is arguing that this one proposal alone represents complete liberation from statist oppression.

                Removing one handcuff is better than removing no handcuffs.

                1. Other states have no handcuffs.

            3. Except it’s not property owners asking for this.

              In fact, it’s property owners fighting this..

              1. Of course, nobody wants to give up a subsidy.

          2. Correct, but this state level action doesn’t abolish zoning laws, it simply replaces one zoning law with another one, one intended to meet leftist housing objectives.

            You want to increase liberty? Get rid Of zoning laws. And do so in an orderly fashion, namely by privatizing them. You would have me full support for that.

            Don’t pretend that these new zoning laws are any more libertarian than the old ones, they are simply different.

            1. What is the new restriction being placed by this new proposal?

              1. Zoning laws are still fully in effect. That means that everybody still needs to comply with them, and everybody needs to tolerate whatever nuisances neighbors are permitted by zoning to impose, with no legal remedies.

              2. chemjeff, the proposal doesn’t give any new restrictions. It is loosening restrictions, NOYB2 appears to be mentally ill or wants to lie for some reason.

                1. It is loosening restrictions

                  The ability to voluntarily enter into covenants concerning a neighborhood is important and valuable. These changes at the state level take that ability away.

                  , NOYB2 appears to be mentally ill or wants to lie for some reason.

                  No, you are simply too dumb to understand the need for covenants of some form governing neighborhoods, probably because you don’t own property.

            2. We want policy perfection, anything less than that is socialist. No wonder the libertarian movement has achieved nothing.

            3. You want to increase liberty? Get rid Of zoning laws.

              LMAO, watch these same pathetic cunts lecture you about the sprawling hellscape that is Houston because of its lack of zoning and central planning. Why it’s almost like they’re utterly unprincipled pieces of cunt slime who don’t give a flying fuck about anything but advancing Marxist objectives.

              1. Houston is a great & affordable place to live.

                1. Great! Move there!

                  1. Don’t need to. I can afford where I live now. I live quite comfortably.

                    1. So your real motivation in all this is simply your greed and envy of people older and wealthier than you.

                2. I agree. The lack of zoning is also very beneficial to small business owners. That is one of the issues that a lot of people don’t grasp. Rules and regulations make it harder for small business startups a lot more than large corporations adding another store. The detention and drainage issue is the biggest deterrent to land development in Houston.

          3. “Private covenants are an exercise of your property rights to engage in private contracts. Don’t conflate the two.”

            While I tend to agree here, functionally they are remarkably similar. Go to a place that is covenant controlled, and you are “forced” to join the covenant if you want to own the property there. Often those covenants are controlled by special interests (depending on how large the covenant is) and that is especially true in covenants that are spanning more than 20 years old.

            I obviously prefer a neighborhood covenant to a City Council just due to the fact that their impact has been more narrowly constrained, but all the problems with a council pretty much exist at the covenant level.

            1. Oh I agree there are a lot of busybodies out there wanting to butt into everyone’s business.

              But you can escape the busybodies when they don’t have the backing of government force behind them. Not so with the city council.

              1. But you can escape the busybodies when they don’t have the backing of government force behind them.

                Yeah! By moving into a high rise government-subsidized ”””””community housing””””” bloc where all of the private property once stood before it was de-zoned out of existence.

        3. The difference between zoning and covenants is that every party has to agree to a covenant, whereas zoning is done by elected officials that are usually supported by a minority of the affected community. How long covenants last and what they can cover is a related, but separate issue.

          1. Yes, zoning laws are not covenants. But don’t pretend that repacking one kind of zoning laws with another state mandated one makes it more libertarian. It merely violates subsidiarity.

            If you want to get rid of zoning laws, you have my full support. The correct way is to privatize them, make them neighborhood based, and then let property owners vote.

          2. Plus zoning can change depending on the winds.

            Convenants are contractual obligations tied to property.

          3. “The difference between zoning and covenants is that every party has to agree to a covenant, whereas zoning is done by elected officials that are usually supported by a minority of the affected community”

            Functionally this is not true for many covenants. In sufficiently large covenants, I have seen where a couple of self interested people get on the board- and typically it is with minority votes since most homeowners don’t bother to participate- and they impose all sorts of rules, and even do shit like give garbage/maintenance/landscaping contracts to friends and relatives.

            Once a covenant is setup, it is generally perpetual. My HOA has been going for 40 years now. I was not party to its creation and it functions essentially as a city council for me- the only choice I had was to buy in their jurisdiction or not, and if I want them to change, I have to get a majority of my neighbors to sign stuff or vote a certain way.

            I am happy with my HOA because they were setup very well. I did lots of research before buying here. But they are still not much different than a city council.

            1. You can have CCRs without an HOA of any kind you retard.

              1. I live in a neighborhood with a CCR but without an HOA. I live in a fairly leftist state and HOAs can get extremely political here, so I wanted no involvement with that.

                Our CCR is a contract that you’re required to sign when buying property in the neighborhood and required to get your buyer to sign when selling your house. It restricts certain types of building (e.g. you’re not allowed to build onto your house in a way that would obscure your neighbor’s view of the mountains) and there are some very basic property use restrictions (no running a business, no parking derelict vehicles, etc.) and maintenance requirements (keep your yard free of garbage or pests or invasive plant species), but that’s it. It’s just a contract, it doesn’t create a governing body to manage the neighborhood, doesn’t require dues to be paid, and creates no means by which it can be amended by your neighbors to affect you without your consent.

                I agree that it’s preferable to government zoning, because I get a choice in the signing the contract and the terms don’t get changed on me unless I agree to it. But if my neighbor ever sold his property to a developer who tried to “increase choice” on me by building multifamily housing, I could sue the living shit out of both the buyer and the seller (and would).

    2. If my development company buys a piece of land and wants to build midrange bungalows or a 3 story upper-midrange condo building, should I not have the individual liberty to do that?

  5. Fortunately, there are few zoning laws concerning multi-family housing out where I live. Unfortunately, there’s been a temporary moratorium on building any multi-family housing at all for the past 25 years.

  6. It’s the property owner who has the property rights to do with his/her property as he/she sees fit. There is no “community right” to maintain a certain character of a particular neighborhood.

    Repealing a mandate that requires single-family residences, is deregulation that we should be supporting.

    1. Neighbors have a right to agree to covenants. Zoning laws originated that way: covenants among neighboring property owners.

      Private covenants are preferable to zoning, but local government and zoning is preferable to state government coming in and engaging in state wide social engineering.

      These laws are not libertarian. They violate property rights and subsidiarity.

      1. In this case, it’s the local government restricting you from fully exercising your property rights, and the state government is repealing this restriction. The local government is the one violating property rights, not the state government trying to remove the restrictions.

        1. The state government is not removing zoning laws, it is simply imposing a different zoning law, overriding local preferences. That does not increase people’s liberties.

          You’re thinking like a socialist, not like a libertarian. In your thinking, liberty consists of maximum freedom to act, not maximum self determination. The two are very different.

          1. It is pretty easy to tell I’m this thread who has owned property and who hasnt. Most people here seem to think there arent deed restrictions when you buy property for the most part.

            1. Yep. The people that have property have gone full authoritarian.

              1. Yeah, leftists like you love to throw around words like “authoritarian” when destroying the wealth of people you envy who’ve accumulated more than you through work and smart planning.

                Pity you don’t understand what that word actually means.

                1. You don’t have a right to ever increasing property values though.

                2. I’m as libertarian as the next guy, but it’s clear you don’t know the difference between private property and public property.

          2. The latest debate centers on efforts by some states to outlaw single-family zoning—a move opponents depict as a nearly totalitarian plot to force everyone out of their picket-fenced homes into “stack-and-pack” subsidized-housing projects. The critiques have gotten overheated after Oregon recently passed a bill to eliminate this type of zoning. Virginia also began considering a similar plan.

            That is from the article. Sure looks like it’s the state that is removing some zoning restrictions, not imposing new ones.

            If the state were to decide to MANDATE single-family housing everywhere, or multi-family housing everywhere, then I would agree with you. The state shouldn’t do that.

            But in this case, it’s the local government that is mandating single-family housing and it’s the state government that is removing this mandate.

            In your thinking, liberty consists of maximum freedom to act, not maximum self determination. The two are very different.

            With fewer zoning restrictions on an owner’s property, that owner has more freedom to decide what to do with that property, REGARDLESS if this owner chooses to develop this property into multi-family units or not. How is this not libertarian even by your standard?

            1. In the absence of zoning laws, most property owners would have agreed to limit development based on covenants that look like the zoning laws they bought into because property owners actually want such restrictions.

              The state government isn’t removing a mandate or zoning, it is simply replacing one kind of zoning with another, usually against the will of the local property owners.

              1. What is the “new zoning” that the state is mandating now?

                1. It mandates a specific form of zoning, namely permitting duplexes. That’s a form of zoning that local property owners don’t want.

                  Of course, once duplexes are permitted, the rational thing for local property owners is to build duplexes and get the hell out of there. The payoff is a kind of prisoner’s dilemma.

                  1. Exactly. I bought in my neighborhood specifically because it was single-use housing that gave me a decent-sized plot of land and a particular view. I didn’t want traffic around me, I didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of a bunch of high-rises, and I didn’t want tons of neighbors whose houses were right up against my house (an issue in the state where I live, as small plots of land are common). I did that because I wanted a home I could be reasonably certain would appreciate in value over the years and which I could sell at a profit if I needed to move, and single-use homes neighborhoods generally have a more predictable and stable value.

                    If the state or local government came in and overrode zoning ordinances to allow multi-family housing in my neighborhood, it would destroy my home’s value if I had to sell and it would destroy my enjoyment of my neighborhood by flooding it with additional traffic and people (and likely crime, since multi-family housing usually means renters, who are generally poorer and have less interest in maintaining the quality of a neighborhood than those who own). So I’m against this kind of social engineering, although I do agree that building restrictions should be lessened to increase housing inventory in my region (which is extremely expensive), so that more people can eventually buy property. I’m just not interested in jamming them into multi-use developments built in my neighborhood that kill my property’s value to please a bunch of leftist politicians who would never do the same with their own neighborhoods.

                    1. Not in your back yard.

                    2. It’s called long-term planning. If you understood that, maybe you wouldn’t be whining about how you can’t afford a nice home.

                    3. Hey, if you understood economics maybe you’d understand how incredibly destructive your policy preferences are.

                      Also, here’s a quick life tip for you – you don’t need to own a home to build wealth. In fact, the value of your home is heavily tied up in the existing restrictions governing housing. You’re quickly finding this out and now your lashing out since things are changing. I noticed all of this in my mid-20’s and instead decided to own some equity in a few closely held businesses and grow my stock portfolio.

                      Regardless, your policy preferences are still causing my rent to increase. I’m very interested in having my rent remain stable. I wouldn’t mind if my rent was going up because of market forces in a free market. But that’s not why its going up. It’s going up because of socialists like you.

                      Also, we should all be interested in increasing the average American standard of living by reducing government restrictions.

                    4. Hey, if you understood economics maybe you’d understand how incredibly destructive your policy preferences are.

                      Says the “financial analyst” who can’t afford a good home. You’re the guy who keeps spamming my text messages to buy my home for cash, aren’t you?

                      Also, here’s a quick life tip for you – you don’t need to own a home to build wealth.

                      Hey, dipshit…nowhere here did I say I was trying to use my home to build wealth. I bought my home because it was in a place I wanted to live long-term and I loved the house. I build wealth through other investments. But I’m not looking to take a bath on my house if and when I decide to sell, because a house is still an investment (and still my personal property) even if I didn’t buy it primarily as an investment device. I invest in other things *and* I look to preserve and improve my home’s value, because people can do more than one thing to increase their wealth.

                      You’re a pretty limited economic thinker for a “financial analyst”.

                      Regardless, your policy preferences are still causing my rent to increase.

                      Yeah, because you have no ownership stake and you didn’t think long-term. I bought my house four years ago because I realized that exploding property values and low housing inventory meant that rent was going to increase to a point where being a long-term renter wasn’t viable. So I purchased a house, property values continued a meteoric rise, and now my monthly mortgage payment for my 3,000 sq foot house with a mountain view is the same as what clueless tools like you pay for a crappy studio apartment in the closest city to where I live.

                      You rent because you don’t intend to stick around for long and don’t want to tie yourself to something you’ll have to sell. You buy because you decide that’s where you want to live long-term. If you’re a long-term renter who now can’t afford rent because you didn’t look at long-term trends, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.

                    5. So you should be thanking your local government for propping up your subsidy for so long. Now that they’re discussing taking away your hand out, you are throwing a hissy fit instead of being grateful that you had that privilege for so long.

                    6. “Regardless, your policy preferences are still causing my rent to increase. I’m very interested in having my rent remain stable.”

                      Then move.
                      UC bought his house under local conditions, and is now having forcibly change those conditions from afar.
                      It’s not liberty, it’s central planning.

                  2. And you’re answer to him is “so move”
                    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

              2. You know the local property owners could just draw up a deed restriction on their land and get it filed with the county right?

                You are literally arguing that the desires of some property owners outweighs the desires of other property owners.

            2. Here, let me help.

              The latest debate centers on efforts by some states to OUTLAW SINGLE FAMILY ZONING—a move opponents depict as a nearly totalitarian plot to force everyone out of their picket-fenced homes into “stack-and-pack” subsidized-housing projects.

              Let me reiterate, just to be clear….

              OUTLAW SINGLE FAMILY ZONING

              Outlaw. Not ‘remove laws/regulations. Outlaw.

              How the fuck, Jeff, is outlawing what someone can do with their property “fewer restrictions”?

              1. Telling a city they can’t force you to build a single family residence doesn’t mean YOU can’t build a single family residence, if that’s what you want?

          3. Under one of these state laws, individuals would have more freedom to choose what type of building to put on their property. How does that not increase individual liberty? Presumably there would still be room for private covenants and other local/state laws would cover those. Zoning and covenants/easements are not the same thing.

            1. Presumably there would still be room for private covenants and other local/state laws would cover those.

              No, retarded cunt, there would not be. The new zoning rules imposed by the state would supersede. If you own property that’s zoned single family only and it subsequently is re-zoned to multi-family dwellings you can’t dodge the new zoning classification by covenant.

              1. Even if you could, at that point, you simply can’t create such a covenant anymore. It’s both practically impossible, and it would be unjust because new purchasers buy under the new zoning.

      2. At some point, you have to be aware that even individuals will trade some freedoms in exchange for other things. That’s what individuals who buy in Covenant housing are doing.

        The impetus of libertarian thought should be to make these decisions as local as possible because it’s more likely to be controllable by the people it affects. So if there are pushes to take these laws from cities to state, that’s the wrong direction.

        What is it – people are allowed to make their own choices, even bad ones? The closer to the individual the bad choice is the more libertarian it is, even if it’s stupid and may ultimately cost you some freedom. Individual>hoa>city>state>federal.

        We have a neighborhood out here with a ton of HOAs that grouped up and pressed the city to make their road 35mph to discourage through traffic. A cop pulled me over out there one time and he told me you’d be surprised how many people he pulls over who live in that area. They traded some freedom for something else they wanted more. People do that.

        1. But this isn’t a collective of people 100% deciding to do something locally being overridden by the state. This is some plurality of people imposing an encumbrance on ALL private property holders, regardless of what they want.

          If a majority is limiting the liberties of the whole, it is wrong, whether it is at the local level or the federal level. If the question were “who is going to control taxation” or some other infringement of liberties, then yeah I would be ALL FOR local control. But in this case it is between locality infringing on liberties and the state saying they cannot do that. The state wins in that case.

          1. This is some plurality of people imposing an encumbrance on ALL private property holders, regardless of what they want.

            You’d have a point if these zoning restrictions were imposed after purchase. But single family zoning is pretty much always in effect when people buy, and people opt into it when they buy.

            What you have with these zoning changes is people at the state level overriding the revealed preferences of local property owners.

          2. But this isn’t a collective of people 100% deciding to do something locally being overridden by the state.

            Mine would be. The covenant governing land use in my neighborhood was agreed to by 100% of the property owners in the neighborhood when it was being built, and signing the covenant is a requirement of every subsequent sale of the original properties. My neighborhood has done exceptionally well as a result. We don’t need the city or local government coming in and overriding our covenant with new zoning guidance to “help” us “improve” our neighborhood (which is actually just political virtue signaling at our expense and to our detriment).

        2. I see you’ve never tried to get something rezoned before. In most cities, TOP MEN decided the zoning 20 years ago based on what their business interests, prejudice, etc. dictated.

          1. You think that’s hard, just wait til it’s a state law! Or a federal law!

  7. Spend some time in Houston and see the no zoning paradise.

    1. No zoning or low zoning?

      1. No zoning, but a ton of HOAs. And lawsuits if someone tries to drop a 20 story highrise in the wrong neighborhood full of swells. Google ‘Ashby High-rise lawsuit’, for a decent example. When the swells don’t have enough juice, the thing gets built anyway, and yes, property values go down.

        1. That said, there are a gazillion SFH neighborhoods where a lot gets torn down, and a 4 or 8-plex of townhouses goes up. Provided the tenants match the neighborhood, all is not lost, but then Section 8 rears its head…

          As said upthread, the smart thing to do is to sell to another 4-plex developer when that happens, and get your kids out of HISD to boot.

          1. You speak the truth.

          2. And this is the solution I dealt with in a previous unincorporated housing area. As soon as the neighborhood started going downhill I moved. I didn’t go to the government asking for them to protect my land at someone else’s expense.

            1. Sounds like you’re a libertarian. Apparently most of the libertarians here disappear as soon as they realize that limiting a long-standing socialist policy will hurt their pocketbook.

              Its easy to see how small government types quickly turn into big government types when they get into office. Its difficult to stay consistent when money is involved.

          3. And nobody loves to force rental properties to convert to Section 8 housing like politicians do. It’s low-cost/high-value virtue signaling for them because it makes them seem sensitive and compassionate but never occurs in their own neighborhoods.

            And once Section 8 housing gets planted in your neighborhood, the rot starts shortly after. There are obviously some good people in Section 8 housing, but there are a lot more people who are there because they consistently make horrible decisions in life that they frequently transfer to everyone around them. And nobody with a brain wants to live next to that.

            1. You make valid points. So if you are not happy with those who may move near you, you should buy a property large enough or far away enough from civilization to live your lifestyle. But you can’t use the potential of welfare housing being built near you (which understandably sucks) to argue for stripping other property owners of building whatever they pleased on their own property.

              1. “You can’t enter into a contract and not expect it to be changed, jerk!”

                1. “This deal is getting worse all the time.”

        2. Property values should occasionally go down. Your home should not be your primary method of building wealth an increasing your living standard. The meteoric climb in housing costs is unsustainable and is, without a doubt, increasing support of actual socialist policies among millennials and gen Z. Young people can be easily persuaded to support socialists when they look at housing costs and think that they represent free markets.

          1. Property values should occasionally go down.

            Do you own a home?

            1. No but I finance several commercial properties.

              1. Then get back to us when you decide you want to put down roots, invest in a home, and be a part of a community instead of a transient.

                1. I’ve lived in the same area for 30+ years. I’ve watched this area grow from rural to suburban to semi-urban. I am a regular at a bunch of restaurants. On my way out of my house today, my neighbor greeted me by name because I introduced myself when they moved in. Its a great place to live. I’ve also watched totally out of control housing prices that are most certainly the result of government regulations and restrictions.

                  invest in a home,

                  There it is. Invest in a home. Way too many people think like this and its really sad.

                  1. I’ve lived in the same area for 30+ years. I’ve watched this area grow from rural to suburban to semi-urban.

                    And now you can’t afford the rent because property values increased as did demand for rental space.

                    If you’d purchased a home 30 years ago, your monthly mortgage would be a bargain compared to your current options, you’d have more disposable income to invest from your paycheck, and you wouldn’t be griping about how expensive homes and rents are for people like yourself. Basically, you screwed up because you were a short-term thinker.

                    1. i don’t know about Trip, but I was ten years old 30 years ago.

      2. Low zoning but many neighborhoods with deed restrictions and strict HOAs. Houston is vast, and there are areas where you can build a $300,000 house and then right next door someone can come in and start a dump truck business.
        But, many, many of the neighborhoods do not allow this at all. Many specify minimum house size, what house is covered with (% of bricks, etc.), number of trees in yard, etc.

  8. “Suburban and rural people upset about attempts to eliminate construction of suburban developments.”
    Yeah, I’m gonna say fuck off. I am sympathetic if developers and customers want more apartments and lawmakers are blocking it. However, it seems to me that the American dream typically includes owning a single family home. I assume there is demand for such and would find it to be more of a violation of liberty to block people from that

    1. “American dream typically includes owning a single family home.”

      I wonder if this statement is really true. I see many people older and younger opting for alternatives in apartments and condominiums. While single family homes will continue to be the most common, I see a wave of change and allowing higher density building will be a part of that change.

      1. What I want is multifamily housing that I restrict only to my own family and church. No one else allowed. Inevitably, it’ll look quite white because, well, my family is a bit pale faced.

        You think the government will let me do that?

      2. I wonder if this statement is really true. I see many people older and younger opting for alternatives in apartments and condominiums. While single family homes will continue to be the most common, I see a wave of change and allowing higher density building will be a part of that change.

        Pretty good argument that there’s no need for a ban on single-family housing and that the market will surge and recede as necessary.

        Now, sales of single-family homes or new construction as key economic indicators at the national level… there’s be something that should be done away with (And not corrected or replaced!).

  9. Not to mention that any significant change in the population density in current single-family-only-zoned neighborhoods will probably will take decades to be even noticeable. The nice, quiet neighborhood where I reside in Oregon is filled with housing generally less than 25 years old. It’s not like they are going tear down 2500 sq ft homes to build duplexes tomorrow or any time soon.

    1. In areas where this has been done on arizona it has essentially been large corporations changing zoning laws that riding with various condemnation laws or city aligned government purchases to get property at the cheap to convert.

      I’d be fine with the zoning law changes if it was strongly protected with anti takings laws along with it. But in locales where this is happening there are few actually property rights and the locales are notorious for takings.

      1. I saw that happen in CA, too. Usually under the guise of “urban renewal” or some such government “plan.” But that, seems to me, to be a different problem — one with the government (surprise, surprise).

        1. Which is why my proposal would tie zoning changes to increased rights against takings. I dont trust the people pushing these changes at all for the most part.

          1. I can agree with you on that!

    2. It’s not like they are going tear down 2500 sq ft homes to build duplexes tomorrow or any time soon.

      LMAO. Imagine actually being this fucking stupid. All they need to do is pay above-market-value for about 10 properties, drop apartment buildings on them, watch the surrounding property values plummet as the residents race each other to get out, scoop up the abandoned properties for pennies on the dollar, and hey presto, you’ve got a complete demographic changeover. If you do it right it should take about 5 years.

      1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you haven’t spent a lot of time around commercial development companies.

        1. Yeah. I am thinking that, too.

  10. Don’t touch my government-subsidized white picket fence!

    1. There are a lot of subsidies that go into the single family suburban house.

      If not for all of the government-subsidized road building, those suburban locales wouldn’t have been accessible in the first place.

      1. Property taxes dont exist in your world?

      2. Bullshit. Many developers pay for roads.

        Suburban developments are a money maker for cash strapped cities, that’s why they forcibly incorporate them.

        1. Bullshit. Roads on that development itself are fucking useless unless people there enjoy driving around their own neighborhood visiting each other. It is the connection of those roads to the larger road network that adds value to the land in that development. And that specific increased land value – entirely created by the public road system – is entirely captured by the private land owner. THAT is a subsidy

          1. Land owners pay massive taxes to pay for local roads and services. Pretty much the only cost single family neighborhoods impose on cities are roads and schools. People in my neighborhood pay about $15k/year/property and their share of roads and schools is a fraction of that.

            And yes, developers pay for connection developments to the city.

            Finally, the increase in land value is entirely captured by the city, since property taxes mean that land is effectively only rented. At 1% property taxes, the city receives the entire assessed value of a property every 70 years.

            That’s why cities are so motivated to incorporate suburbs: they are not charities.

            1. And yes, developers pay for connection developments to the city.

              That is completely missing both the cost and the value here. The cost they pay is – maximum – the cost of the interstate off-ramp. The value that is privately captured is the difference in land value between the land connected to that system v near-neighboring land that is NOT connected to that system. If all the roads were privately-owned, the road owner would capture that value by charging the land owners who want to connect the entire difference in value that the ROAD SYSTEM creates. IOW – one rentier would force the ‘inferior’ (less economically powerful) rentier to pay the rent.

              At 1% property taxes, the city receives the entire assessed value of a property every 70 years.

              Average price of a house in 1900 – $4000
              Average price of a house in 1950 – $7000
              Average price of a house in 2020 – $245,000

              Those numbers are deliberately selected – 1950 being a rough starting point for when homeowner subsidies began to show up in home prices cuz excess money diverted into that. And conveniently it’s 70 years ago too – and before the Interstate system too.

              The house itself is a DEPRECIATING asset. Always has been and always will be.
              Taxes on land REDUCE the price of land – neoclassical/marginalist economics does not remotely understand that cuz land no longer exists in the discipline. But let me assure you that if land taxes were high enough to eliminate future price increases for land, then banks would not lend near as much cuz they would then have as collateral a depreciating asset on top of a stable-price asset. It is BECAUSE land taxes are low – low enough to create an expectation of land price increase in future, that banks lend more for mortgages and thus create inflation in housing sector. The lower REAL land taxes are – the more banks lend and the higher home prices that creates.

              While there is certainly some privately-created non-publicly-subsidized increase in land value (probably comparable to the difference from 1900 to 1950), the vast majority of it has always been created by PUBLIC infrastructure. Where public infrastructure doesn’t exist – say western Plains where there aren’t even north-south interstate connections – land prices remain dirt cheap even today.

              1. LMAO.

                “You didn’t build that”.

              2. IMO – as an aside, one of the major reasons for a decline in civic involvement is precisely because we have shifted tax burden from property/land to income/sales/etc. When the tax burden eliminates/reduces the private benefits of land/debt speculation, there is a large majority of people who will pay attention and keep govt accountable on the spending side. When that’s not the case, the majority loses its self-interest in keeping govt accountable – and govt gets captured by narrower interests (public unions, developers/zoning stuff/NIMBY’s, etc).

                I can see this re schools where we simply let governance shift from individual schools run by volunteer/neighbor school boards (where one of the major drivers of ‘respect’ in the community was taking your turn serving on school board) to professionalized ‘districts’ where the only involvement is a couple seconds voting every few years. We didn’t even say boo as that happened. Most people now don’t even know it DID happen.

              3. At 1% property taxes, the city receives the entire assessed value of a property every 70 years.

                Average price of a house in 1900 – $4000
                Average price of a house in 1950 – $7000
                Average price of a house in 2020 – $245,000

                Those numbers are deliberately selected

                And your point is what? I mean that doesn’t contradict anything I said.

                The house itself is a DEPRECIATING asset. Always has been and always will be. Taxes on land REDUCE the price of land …

                Again, is there a point to these tedious bloviations?

                1950 being a rough starting point for when homeowner subsidies began to show up in home prices cuz excess money

                You keep confusing covenants, regulatory capture, monetary policy, and subsidies. Get that sorted out in your head and maybe then you can formulate a coherent argument.

                1. You keep confusing covenants, regulatory capture, monetary policy, and subsidies.

                  More accurately – you benefit from those dozens of subsidies so you have no interest in hearing about all the different ways you suck at the public teat. Especially if it ain’t easy to explain anyway.

                  1. More accurately – you benefit from those dozens of subsidies so you have no interest in hearing about all the different ways you suck at the public teat.

                    I probably pay more in taxes every year than you earn. The idea that I’m “sucking at the public teat” is ludicrous.

                    A subsidy “a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.” How are zoning restrictions a subsidy?

                    It isn’t even regulatory capture, because the people subject to zoning restrictions all benefit from it, bought subject to it, and usually have enough local control to change it.

                    Inflating the money supply, easy credit, and banking regulation are, of course, inflating housing prices; but home owners aren’t the primary benefits, banks and financial institutions are.

                    1. Jfree takes it too far and argues his point horribly, as is his wont, but he’s got a point about payroll/income vs property taxes

              4. The house itself is a DEPRECIATING asset. Always has been and always will be.

                Except when you build onto it in ways that increase its value. Interior remodels, new additions, HVAC upgrades, new cabinets, etc., even before you factor in market conditions at the time you sell. It’s only “always depreciating” if you just buy the place and then let it fall apart or never improve it. Or, for tax purposes, if you rent it and claim depreciation on your tax forms.

              5. US population
                1900: 76 million
                1950: 150 million
                2020: 330 million

        2. Developers don’t pay for interstates.

          1. Interstates are more than paid for by gas taxes.

              1. I’m sorry, I should have said that the share of the actual costs neighborhoods and individual drivers impose in the interstate highway system are more than paid for by gas taxes.

                Of course, the fund itself spends money like a drunken sailor.

          2. Interstates are not an externality of single family housing. They will exist whether there is single family housing or not. And, if the goal is to get money for these types of things, then dense, multi-purpose housing is the exact opposite of what you want.

            Single Family Only zones drive up property prices which means more money coming to the state to spend on schools and the like.

      3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        After bleating about MUH LIBURTUH! he literally goes straight to ROADZZZZZZZZZZZZ1!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!1 to justify upending a century or more of existing law to free up land for developers to install high density housing.

  11. Zoning acts like a private covenant to preserve the character of a neighborhood. People generally know what zoning they buy into and code or deliberately. For the state to come in and override local preferences is not a win for liberty, it is authoritarian. It’s a leftist attempt at engineering the kinds of neighborhoods the state thinks wet ought to have, as opposed to the kinds of neighborhoods we want to live in.

    1. Zoning acts like a private covenant to preserve the character of a neighborhood.

      But zoning laws are not private agreements. They are government force.

      If you want your own neighborhood with its own HOA, all mutually agreed to by the property owners, with restrictions on types of dwellings that can be built, nothing stops that.

      1. The private agreement is buying into a zoned area. We are not talking about bait and switch zoning efforts… well now we are. People willingly bought into a deed that had zoning restrictions. They understood the contract terms of what they could and couldnt do.

        It is obvious you’ve never owned property.

        1. I own a house right now.

          People willingly bought into a deed that had zoning restrictions.

          Sure, some are enjoying an inflated value due to the government force applied via zoning laws. Repealing the zoning law isn’t a government “taking”, it is removing the indirect government subsidy.

          1. A subsidy is money paid for by the government. Zoning laws are not a subsidy. Try again.

            1. It is not a cash subsidy, but an indirect subsidy, because the government coercion represented by the zoning law artificially inflates the value of a house above what it would be in a free market situation. Removing the zoning law isn’t taking your value away from you, it is returning the value of your house to what it should have been all along.

              1. It doesn’t “artificially inflate the value”. I bought in a singe family zoned neighborhood. If there had been no zoning, they neighborhood would have had an equivalent private covenant and the same value.

              2. It is not a cash subsidy, but an indirect subsidy, because the government coercion represented by the zoning law artificially inflates the value of a house above what it would be in a free market situation.

                In the same sense the courts and title registrars are a ”””””subsidy”””””. Bear in mind that American title and zoning laws are a little bit different than in the greater Toronto area of Canada where you live.

                1. You know how everyone can tell you are 80+ years old?

                  “””””subsidy”””””

                  1. You know how you can tell that you’re a know-nothing idiot, probably of the millennial generation?

                    Because you use terms like “Ok, boomer” and you bitch and whine about how you can’t afford a house, despite supposedly holding a job as a “financial analyst”.

                    1. You know the oldest millennials are almost 40 right?

          2. And part of buying into a zoned area is knowing that the zoning can change at any time due to the whim of any level of government. Well, that’s actually part of buying into any area.

            1. Exactly.

      2. No, zoning laws are not private agreements and ideally should be replaced by covenants.

        But the state action doesn’t repeal zoning and give people an opportunity to create private covenants, it simply replaces one form of zoning with another to achieve social objectives.

      3. “If you want your own neighborhood with its own HOA, all mutually agreed to by the property owners, with restrictions on types of dwellings that can be built, nothing stops that.”

        Actually, these laws stop that. The HOA cannot restrict multi-family units, if (and it’s a big if) the law is correctly reported.

        1. Well if that were the case then it’s a bad idea.

          But absent an HOA, zoning laws shouldn’t restrict property owners from developing their property as they wish.

          1. Well, if you want to move from a public institution to a private institution, you need an orderly process of privatization. For zoning, that would mean creating by-neighborhood CCRs and handing over control over those CCRs to local property owners. But that’s not what’s happening here.

            What’s happening here is that the state overrides local preferences in zoning laws. It’s still a government mandate and property owners still have no say in it.

            1. Yes, but you see, cytotoxic is a Marxist who doesn’t believe in private property, so this is an incremental step forward to realizing the goals of his ideology.

    2. Its crazy how these people will contort themselves into thinking they’re for liberty while simultaneously calling for the protection of zoning laws. As soon as its your money on the line, fuck liberty. Amirite?

      1. Sorry I’m not as simple as you and realize you cant take actions in pure isolation.

        1. Sounds like you’re just trying to contort yourself into a position so you can argue that we should restrict liberty while claiming to still support liberty.

          1. Sounds like you’re trying to get off the Section 8 wait list, so fuck homeowners who purchased properties with certain legal protections. Changing terms of a contract post-hoc is all good as long as it’s big daddy gubmint making the changes. Thank you for muh liburtuh big daddy gubmint!

            1. You’re just mad because your seeing your government handout disappear before your very eyes.

      2. These state laws don’t repeal zoning laws, they simply replace local zoning laws with state mandated ones.

        I would be all for getting rid of zoning laws. The way to do that would be to literally replace local zoning laws with CCRs fort each neighborhood and then let local property owners take over and vote, excluding any city or state interference. But that’s not what’s happening here.

        1. they simply replace local zoning laws with state mandated ones.

          What precisely is the “state mandate” in this instance?

          The state is NOT MANDATING multi-family units.

          1. The state mandates that zoning takes form X instead of form Y.

            1. No – The local government is mandating that zoning takes form Y, and the state government is repealing the mandate that zoning takes form Y. It is not mandating a new form X.

              If you disagree, then please precisely specify what “X” and “Y” are in this scenario.

              1. The state government isn’t repealing anything. State government is simply replacing one zoning mandate with another zoning mandate.

                You happen to like the state government mandate more because it gives individuals more choices, the same way that redistribution via the tax system gives individuals more choices.

                You’re conflating more choices with more liberty.

                1. So what PRECISELY is the “state government mandate” that you insist is being imposed here? Give something concrete, not X’s and Y’s.

                  1. He’s just going to keep dodging the question because his main motivation is to increase his wealth using the hand of the government. It has nothing to do with freedom or liberty for him. Then he’ll hide behind his immigrant status.

                    1. Well partly, but I think it’s also partly because he doesn’t want to be perceived as giving Team Blue a win under any circumstances, even if in this particular case it would be a net win for liberty. Defeating Team Blue is more important than expanding liberty, which is sad.

                    2. Neighborhood wants only single family homes in their neighborhood, so they zone it that way.
                      State government comes in and says “fuck you, you don’t get to make the rules for your neighborhood”.
                      It’s pretty simple

                    3. Neighborhood wants only single family homes in their neighborhood, so they use their local government to say “fuck you if you want to do anything different with your property.”

                      After decades of skyrocketing and crippling rents and housing prices, state government comes in and says to the local government “fuck you, you need to reduce the restrictions on people’s freedom”.

                      It’s pretty simple

                    4. Haha, fuck your titles and deeds that were purchased under specific conditions that determined their utility and value BITCH! I WANT MUH SECTION 8!!!!!!

                      Fuck off and die you leeching pathetic piece of state worshiping Marxist subhuman shit.

                    5. Laugh all you want, but its your property values that are going down because you purchased property propped up by government fiat.

                      I’ve held off on buying so far, but I am ready to purchase your house at a discount when your mortgage goes underwater.

                      Please don’t rip out the copper when the bank kicks you out.

                    6. He’s just going to keep dodging the question because his main motivation is to increase his wealth using the hand of the government.

                      Why would I dodge that? I certainly do want to increase my wealth through zoning restrictions. So do all of my neighbors.

                      If you take that ability away from us, we’re simply going to move. You can have the shell of our neighborhood. It will be just as lousy as all the other places you can afford but don’t want to live in.

                      Zoning restrictions (or their equivalent, covenants) are what make places desirable to live in the first place.

                    7. Laugh all you want, but its your property values that are going down because you purchased property propped up by government fiat. I’ve held off on buying so far, but I am ready to purchase your house at a discount when your mortgage goes underwater.

                      You’ll certainly be able to buy homes cheaply after changes to zoning wreck the neighborhood. The question is why you would want to. I mean if you want cheap homes in bad neighborhoods, there are plenty to choose from already.

                      Wealthier people than you will simply move into gated communities where you, again, won’t be able to afford to buy.

                    8. I don’t mind if wealthy people move into an expensive neighborhood. All I care about is reducing housing costs for most Americans by allowing people to have the freedom to do what they want with their property. If they want to sue each other over it, that’s fine too.

                      Reducing the amount that people have to pay on housing costs will be an economic boon to us all. You might even be able to buy 150 acres and then lease them out in little lots so you can have your utopia.

                    9. I don’t mind if wealthy people move into an expensive neighborhood. All I care about is reducing housing costs for most Americans

                      Housing in the US is already dirt cheap. The US has one of the lowest home-price-to-income ratios in the world.

                    10. “Neighborhood wants only single family homes in their neighborhood, so they zone it that way.”

                      Your collectivist colors are finally showing. The neighborhood doesn’t want anything, individual people do. I live in a single family home and I would welcome a relaxation in restrictive zoning laws. I would even want to get rid of the commercial vs residential designations, since I’d rather walk to the bakery than drive.

                    11. Nardz: the community didn’t decide shit. Some feckless community elder 40 years ago decided how the city should develop. And you can guarantee that every big city has decided that through crony capitalist bullshit.

                      Tulpa: zoning can literally be changed at any time, at whim by the city council. You didn’t buy a property with deed restrictions or covenants about density or height because nobody sells like that since the government is just going to force everyone to conform (to be fair you could have, I don’t know your particular situation).

                      NOYB2: what if one of your neighbors doesn’t want that and would like to build a little bungalow to rent and make some extra income?

                    12. Housing in the US is already dirt cheap. The US has one of the lowest home-price-to-income ratios in the world.

                      That’s not true. Obviously since pretty much every unbacked assertion you folks make is false.

                      OECD data

                      For those in lowest quintile income, US has the 5th highest rental cost burden and the highest mortgage cost burden among OECD countries.

                      For those in middle quintile, US is roughly in the middle range for both rental cost burden and mortgage cost burden.

                    13. That’s not true.

                      Yes it is true

                      Obviously since pretty much every unbacked assertion you folks make is false. For those in lowest quintile income, US has the 5th highest rental cost burden and the highest mortgage cost burden among OECD countries. For those in middle quintile, US is roughly in the middle range for both rental cost burden and mortgage cost burden.

                      Which has exactly nothing to do with my correct assertion that Housing in the US is already dirt cheap. The US has one of the lowest home-price-to-income ratios in the world..

                      Given your cherry picking, it’s obvious that you are simply deeply dishonest.

                    14. Your collectivist colors are finally showing. The neighborhood doesn’t want anything, individual people do.

                      That’s absolutely wrong. Single family zoning exists prior to anybody buying in a neighborhood. Everybody who moves to such a neighborhood has implicitly agreed to it, just as they would have agreed to a CCR. There is nothing “collectivist” about that.

                      What is “collectivist” is for the state to come in after the fact and change the zoning for political reasons without even given the affected people a choice. That’s not surprising because the people pushing these zoning changes are leftists and collectivists.

                    15. zoning can literally be changed at any time, at whim by the city council

                      Yes, and people buying in such neighborhoods understand that and take the political composition of the city council into account in making their choice. The problem is that these new zoning changes at the state level make an end run around that.

                      You didn’t buy a property with deed restrictions or covenants about density or height because nobody sells like that since the government is just going to force everyone to conform

                      People don’t have CCRs in their neighborhoods limiting density because they practically didn’t need them under local zoning laws.

                      NOYB2: what if one of your neighbors doesn’t want that and would like to build a little bungalow to rent and make some extra income?

                      It’s not permitted under our zoning. I bought subject to those restrictions as did all my neighbors. And, yes, we hold people to that.

                    16. Given your cherry picking, it’s obvious that you are simply deeply dishonest.

                      you are using an internet site with ‘user-supplied data’ (that’s the same sort of shit that deluded Ron Paul supporters in 2008 to believe he would win the GOP nom)

                      – to compare a balance sheet item (home price) with an income statement item (income)

                      – and I’m the one who’s being dishonest?

                    17. ” state government comes in and says to the local government “fuck you, you need to reduce the restrictions on people’s freedom”.”

                      Central planning for the win!
                      Fuck locals governing themselves!
                      Shit, it’s not like it would be easier to vote someone to make the changes you want into city council instead of statewide, right?

                      If the residents of CityX want zoning laws changed from A to B, they can run candidate JJ for CityX gov promising to change zoning from A to B. Candidate JJ either wins or loses. It’s decided via the political process at the local level by interested parties.
                      But candidate JJ loses to candidate LL, who’s campaigned on keeping zoning laws as A instead of B. What’s the solution? Lobby StateX officials from CityY and CityZ to supercede CityX and outlaw A zoning.
                      CityX’s state rep, MM, representing his constituents, votes against the state bill outlawing A zoning. Unfortunately, MM is outvoted by reps from CityY and CityZ, whose constituents live nowhere near CityX and don’t care.
                      Conceivably, 99.9% of the people who live in CityX oppose zoning B. Hell, 100% could oppose it. But it doesn’t matter because CityY and CityZ residents are ok with zoning B, so don’t give a shit about zoning A or CityX.

                    18. “I’ve held off on buying so far, but I am ready to purchase your house at a discount when your mortgage goes underwater”

                      Sounds a lot like regulatory capture

                    19. “Nardz: the community didn’t decide shit. Some feckless community elder 40 years ago decided how the city should develop. And you can guarantee that every big city has decided that through crony capitalist bullshit.
                      Tulpa: zoning can literally be changed at any time, at whim by the city council.”

                      And it’s a lot easier to influence policy through local elections than statewide

                  2. The mandate is that I and my neighbors have to tolerate a duplex being built in our neighborhood even if we don’t want to; we have no recourse.

                    1. As a consolation, I will buy your house at a discount if your mortgage goes underwater.

                    2. As a consolation, I will buy your house at a discount if your mortgage goes underwater.

                      I don’t have a mortgage, you couldn’t afford my home, and it’s simply not going to happen here anyway.

                    3. I might be able to afford your home now. I’ll definitely be able to once your property value decreases.

                    4. I’ll definitely be able to once your property value decreases.

                      I sell before my property values decrease. Fools like you buy at that point.

        2. So what? I don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. You’re just mad because you’re on the losing end of this. And trust me, this kind of stuff will go nationwide. Old people like you fucked over young people. Fortunately, young people have demographics on their side and their need for affordable houses (hopefully provided by the free market over your objections) will not go away even though you’d rather see them struggle.

          1. Yes, because for more than half a century, I have been an old person, and for more than half a century you have been a young person. My, the discrimination you young people have to suffer at the hacks of us old people is like the worst form of racism and slavery combined! Get real.

            The difference between you and me isn’t age, it’s that you sound like a selfish, entitled millennial, just like your likely selfish entitled boomer American parents, while I’m an immigrant who had to start from nothing.

            1. No one is being discriminated against. We’re just having to push back against selfish, entitled boomers like you. And we’re winning regardless of your tears.

              This is going national. And sorry, your identity politics don’t matter to me. I don’t care that you’re an immigrant.

              1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                Zoning regulations that go back 200 years were an invention of the Boomers to persecute you and keep from your God-given right to subsidized high-density government housing!

                What a fucking piece of shit you really are.

                1. Like I said above, I’ll buy your house at a discount once your mortgage is underwater, boomer.

                  1. So basically you’d be looking to buy in a formerly good neighborhood on the way down rather than a neighborhood on the way up. Congratulations on being an incompetent real estate investor. This is why smart people start fleeing when they see people like you moving into their neighborhood…because you’re a harbinger of things getting much worse soon.

                  2. Oh, I’m sure Jones isn’t going to wait long enough for you to be able to afford his house; he’ll get out early.

                    But, indeed, changes to the law like this will turn expensive, exclusive neighborhoods into cheap, lower income neighborhoods. If you want to live in those, you can do that already, you don’t need to wait.

                    1. But then he’ll be bitching about how his neighborhood isn’t nice enough and the schools in his neighborhood don’t get enough funding from property taxes, and he’ll have no idea about his own role in that.

                    2. I’m just surprised that UCrawford thinks its a good idea to fund schools with property taxes.

                      But, indeed, changes to the law like this will turn expensive, exclusive neighborhoods into cheap, lower income neighborhoods. If you want to live in those, you can do that already, you don’t need to wait.

                      Earlier you acknowledged that people like you will still live in wealthy neighborhoods that the rest of the people you dislike won’t be able to afford. So quit bitching.

                    3. I’m just surprised that UCrawford thinks its a good idea to fund schools with property taxes.

                      He didn’t say that.

                      Earlier you acknowledged that people like you will still live in wealthy neighborhoods that the rest of the people you dislike won’t be able to afford. So quit bitching.

                      “Stop bitching that I totaled your car. You can just buy a new one with the insurance money!”

                2. Most suburbs today didn’t exist 200 years ago and even in the cities that did, their current zoning regulations don’t go back that far Tulpa.

              2. No one is being discriminated against. We’re just having to push back against selfish, entitled boomers like you. And we’re winning regardless of your tears.

                Sorry, I’m not a boomer. And what exactly do you think you’re winning? All you’re doing is turning some high priced neighborhoods into low priced ones. You’ll be able to live in a low priced neighborhood. You can do that already. The country is filled with formerly upscale neighborhoods that have become cheap. There is a reason low priced neighborhoods are low priced. You’re not hurting me with that, nor are you “winning” anything.

                1. All you’re doing is turning some high priced neighborhoods into low priced ones. You’ll be able to live in a low priced neighborhood.

                  He doesn’t think that long-term, because he doesn’t realize that he may eventually have to sell that home when he doesn’t expect to have to do so and won’t be able to because he can still be underwater on a low-priced home if the neighborhood declines further.

                  This is the mentality of someone who’s been a lifelong renter through bad financial planning.

                  1. You’re just mad because you failed to realize your property value is propped up by government fiat that can change at any time. You also failed to realize that using your home as an investment vehicle is some Great Society central planning bullshit.

                    Sorry you didn’t account for this, but don’t blame other people for your lack of foresight.

                    1. Sorry you didn’t account for this, but don’t blame other people for your lack of foresight.

                      Neither he nor I are going to lose money due to these zoning changes. In fact, nobody with half a brain is going to lose money due to them.

                      We’re simply pointing out that (1) those are not libertarian policies, and (2) they won’t accomplish their objectives.

                    2. Actually, I live in an extremely conservative town that isn’t looking at doing this, and the terrain of my neighborhood would make the building of multi-level housing unlikely because they’d basically have to rip out all of the streets and don’t have enough space for parking. And home prices in my neighborhood now start a half a million (I paid a lot less), so it’s unlikely that a developer will see my neighborhood as a good return on investment for multi-use homes.

                      I just don’t think other people should be forced to live next to Section 8 housing and see their home values destroyed because short-term thinkers like you want to feel good about yourselves for “increasing choice” using government, while violating other people’s rights to build a good neighborhood via personal legal contracts.

                    3. No way in hell Trip has any investments or makes enough to pay income tax.
                      Dude is Antifa-level resentful

                2. “there’s a reason low priced neighborhoods are low priced”
                  And there’s a reason high priced neighborhoods are high priced: socialist zoning regulations treating private property as if it were public property.

  12. I can grant that the state / town should not be involved in esthetics, but when one purchases something, having it devalued by fiat is a taking. If I live in an area with 5 acre zoning (for example), part of the quantifiable (and taxable) value comes from the fact that I can count on the area not being turned into a warren with 4 houses on every acre.

    Home purchasers should be alerted to (or dig into) any specific restrictions on what they are buying (zoning, historic, environmental come to mind) that they will be essentially signing off on, but once that is done, changing those restrictions (or protections, depending on one’s point of view) should only occur “with the consent of the governed”.

    1. This is definitely a pretty old person.

      1. Yeah! Expecting to have the law consistently applied! Fucking old pricks amirite? GO DIE BOOMER! I AM ENTITLED TO A 200 SQUARE FOOT SECTION 8 SUBSIDIZED APARTMENT ON YOUR LAND! MUH LIBURTUH!!!!!!!!!!

        1. This, is a very, very old person.

          1. TripK2 is an ignorant tool who’ll eventually be forced to relocate because he lives in an area that will price him out and he wasn’t smart enough to see it coming.

            1. That does seem to be the case

      2. Meh, I saw myself in the mirror this AM

        Nothing pretty, I promise.

    2. “I can grant that the state / town should not be involved in esthetics, but when one purchases something, having it devalued by fiat is a taking. ”

      If the only reason you had value was due to a government fiat, then it wasn’t yours to begin with.

      Caveat Emptor. In a truly private market, you couldn’t even be guaranteed that you could have a covenant that would encumber other neighbors on your behalf. My in laws live on an old farm. It was subdivided into 4 acre parcels. They have watched over 50 years as colorado suburbs encroach on their land, and at some point in the future, that covenant is going to change. You should accept that this is what will happen. Anything less is expecting the government to protect you from your neighbor’s decisions.

      If you want to live on land that always remains 4 acre houses, then your only sure fire way is to buy 120 acres and lease the land/houses to others.

      1. Yeah bitch! If you want the terms and conditions under which you bought your property to stay the same just because of stupid shit like it being written down in the deed or guaranteed by the local government, get fucked old bitch! Contracts are meant to be shoved up your ass dummy! LIBURTUH!

      2. In a truly private market, you couldn’t even be guaranteed that you could have a covenant that would encumber other neighbors on your behalf.

        Covenants, by their nature, can be changed by the parties to them. But with that can ensure that the decision makers are the property owners themselves acting in their own interest.

        The stated goal of these state level zoning laws (and people like TripK2) is to achieve some collective goal like “lowering property prices”, and the decision makers are politicians.

    3. No, repealing zoning laws is not taking. When you bought your property, you tried to benefit from protectionist laws allowing you to live your lifestyle without paying market rates for it.

      1. Wait… what?

        1. It’s worth more because it’s zoned single family, so it cost you more, but somehow this means that you didn’t pay market rates for it.

          At least I think that’s the idea?

  13. They believe in freedom and markets, “but” not in their neighborhoods.

    A lot of people on this board are like this. They’ll rail against people that tell them what they can and can’t do with their property, but are terrified of the idea that people would be able to build whatever they want on their property.

    A lot of old Americans are way more interested in their property’s value than they are in making sure their children can afford a roof over their heads.

    1. If you want a roof over your head, move to a cheap neighborhood. That’s what generations before you did.

      If you think such laws will give you affordable housing, you don’t understand markets. What such laws will do is result in a slow decline of property values in neighborhoods where they have an effect and the creation of more private gated communities to keep people like you out.

      1. If you want a roof over your head, move to a cheap neighborhood. That’s what generations before you did.

        Yep, and then once you got in, you used the hand of the government to keep other people out. Such freedom. So liberty.

        1. Yep, zoning came into existing in the 1960s.

          Guess how everyone can tell that you were educated in a public school in the last 20 years?

          1. I mean, other than the fact that you’re a died in the wool radical Marxist. That’s a given. The difference between old Marxists and you is that the old Marxists still benefited from classical education.

            1. Don’t cry just because you’re losing a government handout. Its kind of sad.

          2. Zoning laws have been around for awhile, he still used them to keep other people out. I can tell you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

        2. Everybody who owns a home in an area zoned single family knows it was zoned that way when they bought it, and paid more for it because of that.

          There are a few exceptions for inherited homes and really old folks who have owned the same house since the early 60s.

          But single family was the deal when they bought in. For everybody.

          “I have altered the deal. Pray I don’t alter it further” – not the voice of freedom.

          Mind you, I might drop an 4-plex on my lot immediately, and high-tail it for the boonies with my profits if zoning rules disappeared, but I would expect my neighbors to hate me for it.

      2. As someone who is thinking very seriously about retirement planning I can attest to what you are saying NOYB2.

        My house is paid off but worth no more than when we bought it. In looking for places to move can get something decent on an even trade. The only real benefit would be to move to a low tax state like Florida.

        Good luck getting anything like multi housing approved here. The vote no lawn signs pop up faster than dandelions in the spring.

  14. “When it comes to zoning issues, however, many conservatives have become “but” heads. They believe in freedom and markets, “but” not in their neighborhoods.”

    Like the “conservatives” in San Francisco, New York City, etc.?

    1. That is a profoundly ignorant argument.

      It is entirely conservative to think that long standing agreements and arrangements should not be altered without good cause and full consideration of potential ramifications. That is pretty much the essence of all conservatism.

      The outcome of removing density restrictions within an otherwise artificially restricted geography is inevitable.

  15. Do any of these single family zoning bans prohibit neighborhood associations from having similar rules or do they only apply to governments?

    Personally, I don’t think the rights issue here is straightforward enough to justify the state usurping local control, but I understand it’s complicated. OTOH, to me this a serious overreach if the bans also apply to neighborhood association bylaws.

  16. Probably not a problem “out in the sticks.” Where people object is in suburbs that have become dense and the development is “in fill” like in the last large farm or in lots between existing homes. A tipping point has been reached where the existing roads and schools and other infrastructure cannot support more cars, more people. The new development is likely to cause congestion on the roads, taxes going up to provide a new school, more cops need to be hired, etc. etc. So NIMBY takes over, not through any animosity toward the folks who may want to move in, but through self preservation of one’s quality of life. This has probably been a never-ending issue in America. (Didn’t Daniel Boone want to move every time civilization came so close that he could see smoke from a neighbor’s cabin?)

    1. Didn’t Daniel Boone want to move every time civilization came so close that he could see smoke from a neighbor’s cabin?

      It was a core part of Scots-Irish culture on the frontier. Of course, the other connected elements of that culture was squatting, stealing land, obstructing land title, and violence towards ‘outsiders’ who did come close. It was part of the cultural ‘baggage’/heritage they had brought over from Britain where they had spent centuries trapped in the middle of wars between the Scots and the English – and then been forced off their feudal ‘common’ land during enclosure and sent over to Ireland to steal land from the Catholics there.

      Hugely influential part of our frontier history and westward migration – and still a big part of our cultural DNA – and generally ignored in American ‘court’ history.

    2. A higher population density would probably lead to less driving, not more.

  17. Yet if markets work best to provide smartphones, automobiles and furniture, shouldn’t they work best for housing, also?

    Dude. It’s because the threshold of size has been crossed, and the “small” rules no longer apply. It’s just like how you and I can’t indefinitely spend more than we take in, but the government can.

  18. With only a college degree from so long ago the professors only taught the subject matter, I fail to see how moving government regulations from the local level to the state level is even conservative, let alone libertarian. When the fascists take over, the next logical step is to nationalize all housing regulations “for the people”.

    1. It’s probably cronyist at the least and fascist to the other end. Multi-family housing is going to be owned by rich individuals and organizations unlike single family properties. It’s a gift to them and anyone who craves more urban centralization. An advocate for liberty should want decisions to be made as close to the level of the individual as possible. Encouraging the state to override local zoning is the opposite.

    2. That appears to be what tripk2 and chemjeff are cheering

      1. I don’t care what level of government is used to lift zoning restrictions and increase liberty and freedom. I care about property rights.

        1. I care about property rights.

          You care about your ””””’right””””” to other people’s property because you are somehow entitled to government subsidized rent in a high density building in a neighborhood you can’t afford. With any luck you’ll die of cancer in a queue waiting for the government health care you want as well.

          1. I understand that you are upset that you are losing a benefit from your government. The rest of us are celebrating the fact that liberty is winning on this issue.

            I feel a little bit bad for you, but not that much. Its not my fault that you depended on and supported socialist policies.

    3. There are state amendments prohibiting Kelo takings. I support them because they expand liberty, even if they usurp local control. While I certainly lean towards local control, that doesn’t mean I want 1000 local tyrannies. A strong federal government that is constrained and respects our liberties is preferable to me to 1000 local governments that abridge my rights.

      So, you see, it depends. In this case, what I see is a bunch of local jurisdictions that have created rules that abridge peoples’ rights to do what they want with their property. And so I am happy to see the state prohibiting that, just as I would be happy to see the state prohibit Kelo takings, murder and other infringements of liberty.

      1. If they bought before rules/regulations were changed, let them sue for accommodation.
        If they bought with rules/regulations in place, they willingly signed into a contract

        1. This. Nobody took rights. They acquired the property with an understanding in place. It limits what they can do and what the neighbor can do.

          The state is unilaterally wiping away the understanding that was in place for all parties when they tied themselves to a mortgage. All so they can redistribute those .

      2. Yeah. I do like that I can walk away from the small tyranny though. I did it once. Stayed in the same metro. Crossed a county line and escaped the worst of it.

  19. Don’t forget that the current single-family zone is a government restriction on the market that was sometimes used to enforce racial segregation.

    And the new multi family zoning is just another zoning law, one violating subsidiarity. Segregation incidentally also was primarily a policy imposed by state and federal governments.

    You want market mechanisms to replace zoning? Imposing left wing zoning preferences at the state level is not the way to do it, it is even more illiberal than what we have.

    Rather, actually eliminate zoning. I.e. privatize local zoning restrictions and then let local property owners either keep or tear up those covenants.

    1. privatize local zoning restrictions and then let local property owners either keep or tear up those covenants.

      I’d be on board with this, but since it’ll never happen, I’ll take the state telling localities to get their shit together.

      1. Local preferences would clearly be to keep single family zoning in place almost everywhere. That’s what property owners who bought into such neighborhoods actually want.

        So don’t pretend you would be “on board with this”. You want multi-family buildings and lower property values, you said as much.

        1. I don’t have to pretend to be on board with eliminating zoning laws. I already am. You have to pretend to be for liberty and private property, but you aren’t. You said as much.

          1. I don’t have to pretend to be on board with eliminating zoning laws.

            And you haven’t. You make no pretense of such. You’re an entitled piece of shit who thinks you’re going to score a section 8 apartment in a neighborhood you otherwise can’t afford by fucking over people who purchased properties under one set of laws and replacing them with another. Since you’re always going to be a welfare addicted broke ass piece of subhuman shit sucking off of the success of others this won’t ever affect you, but on the bright side, you’re going to die in a queue waiting for the gubmint medical treatment you also believe you’re entitled to. So there’s that.

            1. Hey now, you fucked people over for years. Now its your turn to get fucked over.

              You mad, bro? Now you get it.

              1. You’re a banker. You fuck people over for a living and your profession depends on oppressive government regulations.

                1. You’re making a hell of an assumption that he’s a banker. He isn’t smart enough to be a banker. He strikes me as more of an broker who took a short certification class, who’ll be broke shortly after the next bear market in his industry hits.

                  1. I’m not making an assumption. TripK2 literally said, and I’m quoting: “I’m a banker and a financial analyst“.

                    1. Yea, I’d guess he’s lying.
                      With the anger and resentment he’s displayed, maybe he can’t find a job and can’t afford his apartment anymore?
                      This generation-class warfare thing is weird.
                      Even jeff doesn’t take it to that level

        2. “That’s what property owners who bought into such neighborhoods actually want.”

          If that’s really true, then an area will remain single family with or without such prohibitions. But in fact, you know the truth is that many residents in such a neighborhood would be happy to sell to a developer who plans to put up an apartment complex. Still other owners want to subdivide their house and rent it out like a bunch of apartments.

          The point about Eminent Domain is certainly problematic, but you know that even if the local city WERE prevented from taking, encroaching cities would STILL change the character of these locations over time.

          1. If that’s really true, then an area will remain single family with or without such prohibitions.

            Well, not really since you cannot add a covenant to your existing deed that would supersede the new multi-family zoning. But hey, get over it bitch! If you wanted your property to continue under the same legal status indefinitely then you should have purchased property in some country that isn’t a banana republic, stupid bitch!

    2. The preference to live in a high-density area is not a leftist thing. Don’t conflate misanthropy and poor social skills with conservatism.

  20. “Abolishing Single-Family-Only Zoning Expands Freedom and Choice”

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about banning single-family only zoning for new developments or banning single-family only zoning for housing developments that already exist, taking an option off the table limits the choices that are available to developers and home buyers.

    And if we’re talking about people who paid a premium for a house specifically because it had single family only zoning, you’re not only taking their options away from them but also negating choices they already made.

    1. “And if we’re talking about people who paid a premium for a house specifically because it had single family only zoning, you’re not only taking their options away from them but also negating choices they already made.”

      Nobody is arguing that. The question is whether the “choice” they had- the attribute of property that brought value- was just to begin with. Imagine someone bought a property in a “Whites Only” neighborhood, under the expectation that it would keep its value up. That provision is un-libertarian and unjust. The fact that they saw increased values from this restriction is beside the point. They shouldn’t have been enjoying that value whatsoever.

      That was of course, hyperbole, to explain the point. I am not saying Single Family Only zoning rules are as bad as segregation. However, they are still an encumbrance on the owners of an area. In as much as such laws gave value to homes, it does so at the expense of private property-owners’ rights to do what they want with their property. It was unlibertarian and unjust, and should be removed.

      1. So you’re pro CRA?

      2. “It was unlibertarian and unjust, and should be removed.”

        When it’s done via tyranny, it sounds dangerously like “social justice”

  21. Mandates, bans, taxes, fees expand freedom. Important read:
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/10/08/liberal-network-racial-equity-policies/
    Pravda gets the good potatoes!

    1. I forgot, and Jeremey Corbyn is a moderate. Reason still crying over the British election.

  22. Hmmm. A bunch of People get together and use a democratic process to codify a collective preference, i.e. single family zoning. They invest enforcement power in the state.

    Then some other People decide that preference of the first bunch is Wrong, and must be outlawed.

    So who is pressing who?

    1. Oppressing. (damned spell check)

    2. A bunch of people got together and used the democratic process to codify social security and medicare. Hell, they might do the same thing and impose government-provided healthcare on all of us. Are you on board with that? Or are you going to tell me that’s different.

      Just because it was voted on or process was followed doesn’t mean its good policy and sure as shit doesn’t mean it increases freedom and liberty to do what you want with your own property.

      1. Sure, as long as participation in SS and Medicare is voluntary.

      2. “A bunch of people got together and used the democratic process to codify social security and medicare. Hell, they might do the same thing and impose government-provided healthcare on all of us. Are you on board with that? Or are you going to tell me that’s different.”

        I hope that’s sarcasm rather than stupidity.

        1. This entire conversation is stupidity. The idea that just because people voted for something, it expands liberty, is stupid. The only question that matters is – can people do what they want with their property?

  23. Houston has no zoning and all it has accomplished is to allow developers to build high-rise condos in single-family neighborhoods.

    1. Oh, and very, very affordable housing and rents.

      You know, a little benefit that allows people to build wealth, improve their living standards, invest, etc. Just small stuff like that.

    2. Oh the horror. Condos in single family neighborhoods? Mon deux!

    3. I live in Houston and love the lack of zoning. The difference is that when the property was bought in Houston the lack of zoning was firmly established. While I am all for no zoning, I think those that live in an area where zoning instead of private covenants and HOAs has been used as the standard method for determining property usage of the area have a right to be annoyed with the bait and switch.

  24. The new laws are an improvement, no doubt about that,even if they are not perfect. I suspect conservatives abandon their principles in favor of their pocketbook on this one.

  25. The new laws are an improvement, no doubt about that,even if they are not perfect. I suspect some conservatives abandon their principles in favor of their pocketbook on this one.

  26. Here is an excellent countervailing opinion.

    Paul calls these folks NIMBYs, which is an acronym for Not In My Back Yard. By contrast, Paul is a YIMBY, or someone who says Yes (do put apartments) In My Back Yard.

    Or so he lets on.

    In 2017, Paul co-founded a group that supports the city of Seattle’s long-range plan for large swaths that are currently single-family housing (SFH) to be “upzoned” so that stacked housing units (up to three stories) can be built there.

    […]

    There’d be nothing questionable about Paul’s position on density if only his own street had been on the upzone chopping block, too, but even as he was writing his op-ed, he already knew that the area around his home would be spared, because the city had already shared its plan for the Wallingford Urban Village at local community meetings where staff from the planning department had asked residents to help them draw the Village boundaries. And Paul attended at least one of those. Paul’s house is so close to the Village zone that it would have been a simple matter for the planners to redraw it to include his street. But they didn’t. And there’s no record of Paul asking for them to.

    1. In this tweet from late 2019, Paul says single-family zoning should be abolished not just in the Urban Villages but throughout the city. Yet he was strangely quiet on the topic at a meeting when city planners asked him where he thought single-family zoning should be abolished in his neighborhood. He cheers the words of another urbanist who claims that lawns (lawns like Paul’s) are an aristocratic trick to keep poor people from owning homes. Note that Paul’s street (shown below) is lined both mature trees that give the neighborhood a calm, welcoming vibe and help keep his property value well above the $1 million mark.

    2. Above Paul responds on Facebook ▲ to a local homeowner who’d said he would support upzoning if parking for residents was available at city-subsidized garages. You want me to pay for you to park your BMW? Paul scoffs. No way! –He follows with a suggestion that everyone pay $1,000 a year for on-street parking.

      Note that Paul wouldn’t have to pay for parking under the scheme he suggests, because he has a driveway where he parks his car(s). There’s plenty of on-street parking as well, as you can see from street photos above. Paul and his neighbors can even reserve after-hours parking spots on their street by buying a resident sticker for a nominal fee and placing it in their car window. People who live on Paul’s street never have to fight for a parking space on the street.

  27. If anecdotal commentary passes as factual support, then please visit Boulder, Colorado very soon. This one historical town is exploding at the seams with all the multi-unit housing built in once historical neighborhoods. There is no parking and homeowners and renters are reduced to obtaining parking passes just to park in front of their own homes. There is no rhyme or reason to the various housing styles that have sprung up in the decades since they permitted accessory units on previously zoned home lots. It has become a crowded intolerant community that fools itself into believing that it is a utopia. Of course, it gets it’s inspiration from San Francisco and Seattle,,,,

  28. I know why many conservatives (not all) are opposing this.

    For one thing, it’s because a portion of Democrats are cozying up to it, and because some blue states are giving it a try. Yes, it’s this simple and this dumb for some conservative Republicans. And on this basis alone, some will intuitively oppose it.

    The second reason is cultural. While the Conservative Right and the Libertarian Right largely agree on economics and economic freedom, the more traditional conservatives have always been more willing to sacrifice freedom for cultural purposes. And that’s what the suburbs represent.

    To many conservatives, the suburbs are the embodiment of the American Dream and the American Way. They see the suburban peace, ethos, and vibe as pro-family, and the large, separate, spaced-out homes and large roads as a representation of the rugged and free American individualism, even if that apparent freedom has to be ironically maintained by state restrictions that forbids people from doing what they want with their homes and lands.

    This isn’t from me, by the way; that’s what a number of conservative outlets have been bringing up when arguing against this. Density has been synonymous with liberalism and the Democratic way, and they don’t want more of that. Except, what Republicans don’t seem to notice is that the suburbs have been gradually shifting Democrat for a number of years now, especially suburban women. So I wouldn’t be so sure about the freedom- and space-loving American-Dream family really being a Republican bastion anymore.

    1. PS: I’m referring here to ideological conservatives. Not some NIMBY dude who doesn’t want a denser neighborhood and who happens to be a conservative.

      I for one wouldn’t mind if my area allowed duplexes or got a little denser. In a nutshell, slightly urbanize as to maybe get some businesses and other amenities closer to where I live. But that’s just me.

    2. What we have here is two conflicting freedoms.

      Some want to be free to live a suburban lifestyle, even if the lifestyle has to be maintained by local government restriction. And others want to have a greater degree of freedom to build what they want on their lands, which is likely to conflict with the freedom of the people to have a suburban lifestyle.

      So I’d say both can be argued on libertarian grounds. Especially when the government restriction is too local to be pegged as “statism.”

      And ultimately, it’s going to come down to which type of freedom will win out in each state/locality depending on preferences and on conflicting interests.

      The broader societal interest should be to ease supply, not limit it.

      1. This is a tricky issue. Because along with ‘upzoning’ comes a lot of stuff buried in the details– which is why screaming, virtue signaling progressive urbanists support it. See the article I linked above.

        What tends to follow upzoning is parking restrictions, in addition to an undersupply of parking.

        Then of course you can debate all day long until you’re blue in the face about loss of property value– whether you have a right to your neighborhood character and what not. The libertarian in me suggest you don’t have a right to the latter things. But you also have a right desire them.

        Zoning is a fact of life in American cities. It’s why you don’t live next door to a seafood processing and dogfood plant.

        If the upzoning were just, “We’re dropping the regulations, go in peace, brother”, the libertarian angle would be clear. But that’s NOT what happens. And the people pushing the upzoning know that– which is why the very neighborhoods they live in are curiously outside the ‘upzone’ areas.

        Let’s call this Yes-In-Your-Back-Yard syndrome… or YIYBY.

        1. The libertarian in me suggest you don’t have a right to the latter things. But you also have a right desire them.

          I certainly do if I and my neighbors agree on the right contractual restrictions. In the presence of zoning, we don’t have to agree to such restrictions since they are redundant, that’s why most neighborhoods don’t have CCRs that duplicate zoning restrictions.

        2. “Yes-In-Your-Back-Yard”

          ^this

      2. So I’d say both can be argued on libertarian grounds.

        I don’t think so. Neither local and state level zoning are libertarian. However, local zoning is (1) more similar to libertarian mechanisms (CCRs), (2) conforms to the subsidiarity principle, and (3) almost always represents the preferences of homeowners.

        The only policy that would make zoning more libertarian would be to convert local zoning ordinances into CCRs by neighborhood and have neighbors decide on future changes to the CCRs privately without government involvement.

  29. There is actually a lot less to this sort of zoning change than meets the eye – except maybe LA which is not really even a city but a collection of suburbs.

    Where land prices are low (exurbs and rural), single-family is what is going to be built regardless of what zoning says.

    Where land prices are moderate (suburbs), a change in zoning may produce a few new duplexes but only if the neighbors are ok with that. There’s plenty of freaking ways for the neighbors to interfere and shut that down if they aren’t. And we are not about to cut off the root of the problem there which is the homeowner/sprawl subsidies. Zoning is the tail not the dog there.

    where land prices are a bit higher, the land to build that stuff is probably already zoned non-single-family. That’s where all the dead dying shopping malls are – which have a ton of space to build. But as long as we’ve got all the tax breaks on that side, then the land ain’t gonna be turned residential.

    Where land prices are high – and is still single-family zoning, then ain’t nothing gonna change anyway. Those are the folks who run things and one of the perks of running things is that laws don’t apply to you. Laws are for the little people to obey.

    1. There is actually a lot less to this sort of zoning change than meets the eye

      True, they will have little impact either way. But we’re talking about the subject of this article: “Abolishing Single-Family-Only Zoning Expands Freedom and Choice”

      In fact, while it expands choice in some narrow sense, it does not expand freedom. The state-level zoning rules violate subsidiarity and are explicitly motivated by progressive social objectives.

      1. In fact, while it expands choice in some narrow sense, it does not expand freedom. The state-level zoning rules violate subsidiarity and are explicitly motivated by progressive social objectives.

        This is really it.

        I find it helpful when observing an issue that doesn’t initially have any clear ideological bent to look at the list of usual suspects that support it, especially if rabidly so.

        And I don’t mean ‘usual suspects’ in a pejorative sense, I merely mean that self-identified political groups sometimes attach themselves to an issue- be they conservative, left, or libertarian, it can be helpful in figuring out below-the-surface details. Especially when the press just covers the broad brush strokes.

        In this case, what felt like a reasonable idea: reduce development restrictions, was immediately pounced on by the left of the left, progressive blue-state urbanists. Libertarians and Reason have been demanding a reduction in development regulations for decades. So why…. NOW is the live-by-the-regulatory-sword left suddenly on board with this narrow set of regulatory changes? In my opinion, it’s because it moves the urban areas towards their preferred vision of an urban scape: High density occupation, traffic restrictions, parking restrictions, higher taxation, more property tax revenues, increased transit, decreased reliance on cars (often by fiat), road diets, enforced bike lanes… the list goes on.

        When a tax/spend and regulate progressive gets on board with an aspect of deregulation, knuckle up.

        1. It’s still just regulation, not deregulation. It’s about eliminating single family homes. When it comes to Progressives, if something isn’t banned then it is mandatory. The goal is to wipe out single family homes and make all comrades live in apartments

        2. Libertarians and Reason have been demanding a reduction in development regulations for decades.

          Just to be clear: I would love a “reduction in development regulations”. That would mean turning zoning ordinances into hyper-local CCRs and letting property owners decide; making compliance with building codes optional and part of CCRs, allowing any individual to opt out of city services and utilities.

          Unfortunately “you must tolerate multi-unit housing on the lot next to you, no matter what local zoning used to say” is not a reduction in regulation.

  30. Zoning laws are yet another way for boomers to take advantage of being born at the right time, swooping up the wealth and salting the earth by screwing future generations.

    1. Funny, because I’m not a boomer and I’ve had no problem with buying a home. But then that’s also because I didn’t live beyond my means, saved my money, and don’t carry much debt, so I don’t have a 550 FICO like you.

  31. Property rights be dammed eh?

    Funny how libs will be up in arms when some store owner in California can’t sell because the yuppies say it has historical value. Hey it’s their property right?
    Same folks will be all OK with zoning restrictions and defeating proposition 12 when someone buys up vacant land somewhere in their suburb and wants to build condos or senior housing.

  32. I can also attest that a lot of what is going on in the suburbs is unspoken racism. I know this from comments I have heard from neighbors.

    We have a top rated school district. A lot of people oppose apartments or affordable condos because they don’t want black families moving in from the city. A few rich ones are OK or if your kid can play basketball.

  33. A lot of societal evils in the suburban America are due to restrictive zoning laws:
    – Pollution (artificial stimulation of car use)
    – car crashes (same reasons)
    – obesity (due to artificial obstruction to walking)
    – poor nutrition (due to large geographical distance between food suppliers and residents)
    – school shootings (due to poor socialization of kids, who live in artificially low density areas)
    – breakdown of family (due to artificially large distance between residents)
    – socialist mindset of youths (due to not being able to be independent in their childhood, before driving age, stunting their mental growth)

    1. A lot of societal evils in the suburban America are due to restrictive zoning laws

      Even if your analysis were correct, it wouldn’t matter. What I eat, how I move around, how I educate my children, and what family structure I have are none of society’s or your business.

      1. Of course, I agree with you. But that means what what I do with my is none of your business. So I guess we agree that zoning laws are completely non libertarian.

  34. I very much enjoyed this thread from yesterday in which I didn’t take part. This is what I come here for. Mostly interesting comments.

    This issue has come up before. It was discussed extensively on Livernet-d around 20 years ago, and as far as I’m concerned it’s still not resolved. Same argument in this thread, with the addition of the factor of a state mandate on localities and the political lineup on it, plus some ad hominems — different ad hominems than we got on Libernet-d.

    Keep it up.

  35. Great article. Anyone who believes the city council should dictate what he can build on his own land is not a libertarian.
    There is no excuse for the government telling you you can’t build a small ADU or addition on your own home.

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