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What is the appropriate level of government (i.e. local, regional, state, or federal) to regulate and address how private property is used and developed?
Land use can be incentivised or influenced by State and Local Government. It should be up to local communities if they want development, sprawl or Palo Alto housing prices.
Recent elections perhaps highlighted some general citizen considerations of Local, State and Federal reach.
The more local, the better, because the people of each locale will have to deal with the consequences of the land use policies. Ideally, land use should be left up to the land owner, however, other people in the area also have rights that need to be protected and therefore some land use regulation is justified.
Having personal experience with local city planning and development offices, I can relate to how frustrating it is to get through all the regulations. I have to lean towards deregulation, but in the presence of final inspections and a well thought out community plan which is made widely available for community criticism and improvement. Land owners should have reasonable autonomy with their property.
Local control is best. You obviously want to draw businesses and developers into your city but with an end-product in mind. No one wants to live in a city where there is no downtown and there are box stores and adult video retailers on every corner. However, councils cannot over-regulate either, as they risk stifling growth.
The threshold should b, "does the way you want to use your property interfere with anyone else's actual rights"? If not, mazeltov.
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