Monday, July 03, 2006

Potboiler in the Southwest

Plenty of action taking place in the southwest -- part of Salt Lake County, that is.

A story in the DesNews talks about the desire of the residents of far southwest Salt Lake County (beyond Herriman, near Butterfield and Rose Canyons) to keep out development by creating a township. Mixed "blessings," those townships. Sort of just delays the inevitable, I think. It's darn hard to maintain that spread-out, rural feel when you are directly adjacent to a rapidly growing metropolitan area. It's much easier to accomplish someplace where there isn't so much growth pressure. Is it all about meeting the desires of the current residents, or is it a form of burying heads in the sand and failing to acknowledge what will be? It's an all-to-typical story.

Another DesNews story about the vote that took place last Tuesday in Bluffdale on the referendum that was part of the reason landowners petitioned for (and won) the right to separate themselves from the city. The vote was close, but did uphold the action of the (then) council to create the "special development zone." It's pretty much a moot point now, because the owners won their case in district court to have the property de-annexed. An appeal before the state supreme court may change things, however, but we shall see. Don't think there would be much question that the current council would rescind the zone, but it's a rather politically-charged topic right now, it's hard to say what would happen. Interesting, though, to see what actually happened with the referendum vote.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's What Inside That Counts

Interesting development in California this week, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. The secretary of state's office announced it had qualified signatures and cleared for placing on the ballot this November an initiative petition called the "Protect Our Homes Act," which would ostensibly require government to occupy property acquired by eminent domain themselves, or contract it out for public use.

Nothing really new or surprising here, as this appears to be one of many such petitions circulation around the country in response to the U.S. Supreme Courts Kelo ruling on eminent domain for economic development purposes.

What is more insidious is what else the petition contains, that is essentially "buried" in the more obvious anti-Kelo language. The Act also would require governments to compensate landowners if new regulations not directly related to public safety hurt a property's value. This is more in line with the language of Measure 37 in Oregon, but not in as direct a manner.

The thinking must be that most people will support the anti-Kelo provisions, and will either not notice or not mind the additional language that will implement Measure 37-like actions in California.

Wow. Watch your back, folks, the silly season (election time) seems to run year round now.