Fed V. Local

by Jonah Goldberg

From a reader:

As someone generally more libertarian than you, I’d like to agree that, in general, I have less of a problem with towns micromanaging their economies than with the feds doing the same. One field in which I have very little objection to city laws is zoning. The City of Cambridge has a habit of making zoning laws more restrictive after they’ve got wind of a proposed project, which is decidedly unwholesome, but prohibiting property-owners from large, loud, or generally imposing uses of their property via regulations already in place when the property was purchased strikes me as a reasonable reaction of people who want the community in which they live to be kept similar to how it was when they moved in.

To take it a step farther, it certainly wouldn’t be anti-libertarian for a condo association or a development to require purchasers of property to agree to be bound by certain restrictions, including requiring re-sale of the property to be contingent on the same restrictions.

On the other hand, if the feds ever enact zoning laws, I’m getting my gun.

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