July 29, 2003
Can Anaheim lead the way?
I'll admit that one's dedication to the principle of subsidiarity can be tested when the abominable behavior of many country and city governments across the nation are taken into consideration. However, it seems like Anaheim may be setting an example that other local governments would do well to follow. This piece in the OC Register, entitled "Anaheim's new deal,") describe the good, the bad, and the ugly in local politics. After the stunning World Series loss (can you tell I'm a Giants fan?) I find it hard to have much nice to say about Anaheim--but this piece is changing my mind... From the piece:
Instead of harassing business owners that occasionally run afoul of their CUPs [conditional-use permits], the council passed a law decriminalizing such mistakes. As Councilman Tom Tait explained, a CUP is a set of specific conditions imposed by the city on businesses. Treating a violation of the CUP as a crime is of dubious constitutionality in that different businesses have different restrictions placed upon them. City codes are still in force, but the goal is to work with businesses to gain compliance, not come down with a hammer in the case of a specific violation, given that most businesses strive to obey the law.
While most cities are upgrading their general plan in a way that is more restrictive, Anaheim is loosening its restrictions to allow greater expression of property rights. Imagine that - a City Council concerned about individual liberties and property rights rather than just sales-tax revenue.
Thanks to Price Roe for forwarding this one to me.