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Old 05-06-2008, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Falling Waters, WV
1,502 posts, read 6,915,676 times
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Okay, I have heard others make complaints about not having zoning but I was wondering if some could brake down the pro's and con's of zoning. In the last week or so, there has been so many signs "vote no to zoning" appearing along the roads. One even said that zoning would raise taxes. So I guess it must be on the ballot to vote on.

Any insight on this issue would be much appreciate so I can make an intelligent vote on Tuesday.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
14,346 posts, read 17,024,832 times
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What a thorny, contentious issue for the panhandle, one with no 'easy' answer.

Anti-zoning proponents argue higher taxation will occur and the government will dictate what you can and cannot do with your property (some clamoring it's akin to socialism..)

Pro-zoning advocates argue it's simply a tool to manage growth in tandem with infrastructure improvements, creates a more orderly pattern of growth, and is essential to the general well-being of the public good by protecting the rights of existing homeowners and citizens..


I submit that the benefits/pitfalls lie somewhere right smack in the middle. Some property owners looking to sell for development will lose out, some will gain, but with proper TDR policies it sorta mitigates itself. Unfortunately politics almost always gets in the way and you find the big winners are the normal players anywhoo..

People looking at zoning as some panacea for a utopian environment will also be surprised. It's not an anti-growth tool, rather a blueprint for it (properly implemented). Growth will occur. Look at neighboring states with zoning. Did Winchester stop growing? Hagerstown? Frederick MD?

Basically you are either behind the county trying to become a maestro and move the growth orderly (ha-ha), or behind the status quo where the law of supply and demand and property owners rights dictate the ebb and flow of growth (what's happened up until now).

Being a witness to the explosion of growth, the overcrowding of roads and schools and knowing a few the players in status quo crowd... I'd be more apt to pull the lever in favor of...










































Hey wait, I'm a Harrison county resident now! Fuhgetaboutit!!
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:41 AM
 
4,714 posts, read 12,288,932 times
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In my experience the problem with zoning comes when an area is 'Zoned Over...
has existed for decades in an original condition and the zoning ordinances cost an arm and a leg to the existing owners who are making it on a barely marginal existence...

An example or two...signage...
Old Grocery story and faded sign from the 60's, when they began the business. sign extends 2' over the sidewalk...
New zoning ordinance states that signs will be flush with the structure and will be a certain size...cost to conform...25k. Its sometimes cheaper to sell and let the next guy coming in to take those costs...if there is a next guy.

Sidewalks? New ordinance states that All sidewalks will be handicap friendly and in good repair...( a ploy up here to have the public pay for new sidewalks)..nobody objects until the criteria for sidewalks state that the curb must be below frostline 28" in the ground and a minimum of government standards...using 3 times the concrete and 3 times the costs. Caught between a rock and a hard place and a deadline for conformity was passed with the resolution.

Zoning is great for undeveloped new land...commercial and residential...the very hard part is trying to impliment it in existing conditions and that host city has no money to work with...placing the costs in a seemingly nefarious way on the backs of those who work and live there....this becomes an unfunded liability at the point of use.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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In my opinion, zoning goes to far when it crosses the line from land use to esthetics. Keeping (for example) chemical plants out of housing plans is probably a good idea.

Personally, I like the eclectic look of places that "just happened". Zoning which mandates a certain style to "maintain neighborhood values" leads to a monotonous sameness.

And NIMBYness often goes right along with zoning. Want to get off the grid with a wind turbine? First you need a zoning variance. Want to erect a ham radio tower? Sorry, that will lower property values. You can't put that shed there, it violates the setback regulations. And on and on.

OTOH, it does create jobs and a whole zoning department fiefdom.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
14,346 posts, read 17,024,832 times
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I tend to agree with the land use/esthetics boaundary. It's not all that bad to direct traffic. It's a whole nother thing if they make every one drive black cars with perfect whitewall tires.

Let the individual subdivision ordinances carry that burden..

I find it comical to watch the folks on the extreme fringes arguing their points, however. Rather enjoyable when you get their FTL's in a bunch by contradicting them.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Falling Waters, WV
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From always living in an area that had zoning, that is all I know. I know at my old house I had to keep my shed 10ft from the property line so basically it was up against the house, but my parents who had a bigger yard only had to keep it 3ft. It just didn't make sense.

I can see both points as far as good for some or bad for some but the only thing I see a problem with is, who is going to pay for all the new employees to set up a zoning division?

Another thing that I noticed from where I lived the people that didn't care would build what they wanted and paid the fines as they went but others couldn't get a simple change done. I know my sister tried to get an extension off her house (where the deck is now) and went to the department a few times and they said no, but the neighbor down the street rebuilt his entire house (tripled the size) only 5ft set backs all the way around but because he knows how to get around the system it is being done.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
2,819 posts, read 9,613,375 times
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Berkeley County today? To Zone.

Berkeley has suffered the ilk of no zoning for quite sometime.
Jefferson Zoned in 2005 and today if you cross the VA or MD line into Jefferson County, the only difference will be the sign stating so.

After years of builder run a muk, here a trailer there a trailer, etc. etc., one can tell when they cross the border from Maryland or Virginia into Berkeley County, West Viriginia.

Zoning will get down to one thing, having the builder pay the impact fees instead of plopping down a home where ever they chose so you, the local yokel can pay afterwards in higher fees, etc.

Another example is the large so called "up scale" developments (the old Boyd Orchard comes to mind) where you have the nice homes piled up off a single lane tar and chip road. No zoning.

You can also have homes built in rural Berkeley without water and sewer, but well and septic. The only issue is they are built to close together for the run off. No zoning

You can have a housing development or a mature housing development with a 50 acre tract across the street. Sell, then fill with mobile homes. No zoning.

Let's discuss half of Washington DC moving to Berkeley for the Marc Train, maintaining their Maryland plates, and buying nice new homes in the area with schools overcrowded. Permits issued with no consequence except for the local taxpayer. No Zoning.

At one time there was no need for the Zone. But as Jeff County did, it's time to Zone.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
14,346 posts, read 17,024,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janipoo View Post
Another thing that I noticed from where I lived the people that didn't care would build what they wanted and paid the fines as they went but others couldn't get a simple change done. I know my sister tried to get an extension off her house (where the deck is now) and went to the department a few times and they said no, but the neighbor down the street rebuilt his entire house (tripled the size) only 5ft set backs all the way around but because he knows how to get around the system it is being done.
One of my old neighbors has had an addition under construction for about 4 years now..Never even applied for a building permit..

If he ever gets caught, he'd have hell to pay.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:00 PM
 
11,943 posts, read 13,398,685 times
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The laws for and against zoning have their downside. I agree with threerun, I'm usually somewhere in the middle. A nuclear power plant doesn't belong next to a middle school.
DK the beaurocracy was really there to establish best practices so people don't invest in shoddy workmanship. The cheapest way isn't always the best way, but neither is the most expensive worth the effort. Monkey patch cannot solve all things, and there are enough neighborhoods around to know the piecemeal approach lowers the value of everything. Ex.: How many neighborhood values are plagued by bowing foundations?

The innate opposition I have to most zoning is the infringement upon individual rights to do what they want. Someone wants to paint their house lemon yellow on my street, that's their business. There is no harm to me just because it's a choice I wouldn't make, but there are anal characters who would try to claim it does harm. How far will they go? You can't put an american flag on your house because an ordinance was creating saying no flags because someone last year flew a greenpeace flag. Yes, it gets this petty. My sympathies to the judges having to listen to these idiots. American right free speech is also a right to be a braying jackass in public.

The more laws for ordinances, the more taxes must be imposed for code enforcement. That's part of what they mean about zoning=taxes. The other part is what snorpus said about the zoning dept fiefdom, where their existance relies upon creating more and more convoluted restrictions to perpetuate themselves.

Ultimately I think a community is best served by recognizing boundaries better. The right of a property owner should be paramount, but at no time should they be allowing their rights to risk anyones elses life, health, or peaceful enjoyment. This should apply doubly so for the business owner, who exists on the good graces of a town feeding them & vice versa.
At the same time, we all have to sacrafice a bit to get along using common resources like sidewalks and streets. I need the street to be monotonous. It prevents accidents by being consistent. Same with sidewalks. Replacing my section of sidewalk with slate would look ridiculous in this neighborhood, and a tripping hazard for everyone. I won't ever begrudge handicap curb cuts, knowing all too well how excluded they are from so much of life. Nobody is saying all 2 story homes must be leveled because 10% of the population can't climb stairs. Public buildings aren't flattened, elevators are added. The technology exists, it should be used.
I've got a neighbor at the bottom of the hill who obnoxiously planted an invasive bamboo tree on the property line to hide his caved in garage and trash pile. The runners are taking over my yard. I could make him miserable adding a water feature with poor drainage, but a good fence dug to a depth will solve this better than any discussion or ordinance. I decide my own yard, and that's enough for me.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
2,429 posts, read 6,654,437 times
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Harborlady,

Just be sure the fence "faces" the right way. In Tampa, the "good side" of the fence must face outwards, the side with the braces, framework, etc. has to be facing inwards.
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