Saturday, September 19, 2015

Taking Inclusionary Zoning All the Way to Supreme Court

From The Atlantic:

... California's inclusionary zoning laws are heading to the Supreme Court.

The California Building Association is arguing that the law--which requires market-rate developers to set aside a portion of their units as affordable housing--constitutes an illegal seizure of property by government forces. Their argument failed at the state's supreme court, so they're now taking it all the way to SCOTUS:

Developers in California are taking their fight against the state’s inclusionary zoning laws to the U.S. Supreme Court, just as cities across the nation are increasingly committing to similar laws to address affordable housing shortages. The California Building Association opposes the soon-to-kick-in law mandating that developers discount a percentage of units in new housing projects for low-income families. They claim it constitutes an illegal “taking” of private property by the government and hope that SCOTUS justices will agree with them. (link)
My Comment:  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the challenge to inclusionary zoning and will strike down inclusionary zoning laws. I am also hopeful that the State Legislature will ban such laws.

On July 21th of this year the Nashville Metro Council passed  BILL NO. BL2015-1139 which directed the planning commission to come up with a specific proposal to implement this form of housing price control known as "inclusionary zoning." The bill required that the final proposed text change to the zoning ordinance from the Planning Commission provide that 14% of new construction or renovations be set aside as "affordable." The planning commission's proposal will have to come back to the council for approval 180 days from the date it was passed by the council. 

The new Council is going to be much more "progressive" than the old council, which was bad enough.  We cannot expect the new council to reject a final inclusionary zoning ordinance and we certainly cannot expect Mayor Barry to veto it.  It is my hope than the State legislature will pass a law prohibiting Metro from enacting this policy of taking private property and price control. Three states have outlawed inclusionary zoning and Tennessee should follow suit.

For more on this topic, follow this link.    

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