Biden Wants To Seize Control of Local Land-Use Regulations
06/18/2021 Matt Ray
Excerpts from the article:
In recent years, there’s been a push to move zoning decisions further from the local level. In 2019, Oregon passed House Bill 2001, making it the first statewide law to abolish single-family zoning in many areas. By expanding the state government’s jurisdiction to include zoning decisions previously handled by local agencies, the law entails an alarming centralization of state power. This was quickly followed by the introduction of similar bills in Virginia, Washington, Minnesota, and North Carolina. Now President Biden is attempting to increase federal influence over local zoning.
Included in Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a proposal that would award grants to jurisdictions that move to eliminate single-family zoning and other land-use policies the administration deems harmful. Biden’s plan has been widely opposed by conservatives and libertarians alike, but some libertarians view this zoning proposal as the plan’s silver lining. These libertarians hope federal incentives will remove government obstacles to affordable housing.
Once the public becomes accustomed to the federal standards and local governments become dependent on the federal money, there’s little to stop them from accepting those same standards as laws. We need only look at education to see where federal subsidies can lead.
Empowering state legislatures—or worse, the federal government—to abolish local regulations would be a grave mistake. Rather than limiting government, centralization under any pretext will only add new layers of government. We must therefore resist all assaults on local self-government by more distant governments and combat government regulations at the location they occur. Otherwise, distant administrators will continue to seize power and local control will become increasingly trivial.
Categories: National News