- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
House OKs recourse for private property owners
The House last night passed a bill that would enable individuals to appeal zoning laws in federal courts, giving private property owners additional protection that opponents say will benefit big developers.
Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, said the bill that passed 231-181 responded to the Supreme Court San Remo Hotel ruling, in which the court denied property owners the ability to appeal state court rulings on zoning laws in federal courts. The hotel is in San Francisco.
“What has been taken from [owners] is the enjoyment of their property,” said Mr. Chabot, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Bart Gordon, Tennessee Democrat. “If I say, ‘That’s your land, but you can’t use it,’ I’m basically taking your property.”
Mr. Chabot said zoning laws fall under the taking clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment and require federal recourse for property owners pursuing compensation when the government takes their property.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, spearheaded the debate from opponents who argued the bill benefited big developers at the expense of others’ property values.
“They basically flunked Property Protection 101,” he said, noting that 35 state attorneys general opposed the bill, including Jim Petro, the attorney general from Mr. Chabot’s state.
Mr. Blumenauer said zoning adequately protects property and argued local governments and state courts can best make decisions about local zoning disputes.
“They’re going to federalize local land decisions anytime a big developer is told no,” he said.
Mr. Blumenauer said most homeowners will not be able to afford lawsuits, and developers will utilize the bill to make money.
“This is a big, expensive proposition,” he said. “Small communities are going to be worn down. They won’t have the firepower to stand up to Wal-Mart or to a big owner of a landfill or to some national company who wants to put up cell towers in people’s back yards.”
Mr. Blumenauer predicted the bill would not become law.
“Luckily, it’s not going to pass the Senate,” he said. “I mean, those people aren’t crazy.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- EDITORIAL: The Potemkin website
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow