BY BRADEN H. BOUCEK, The Beacon Center, December 8, 2016 -Today, we, along with Southeastern Legal Foundation, wrote the Nashville council for a second time
regarding their affordable housing mandates. If this is the first you
have heard of the issue, an affordable housing mandate forces developers
of residences to use a complicated formula set by the city to sell
their homes at below-market prices. In other words, the city is forcing
people to lose money on something they sell. All of this is just to
address an alleged crisis in affordable housing that does not exist.
We have written this second letter in the hopes that Nashville will fix the law. The law is illegal and unconstitutional for the reasons we explain at length in the letter. So ultimately Nashville will be forced to fix the law after ordered by a court. Responsible lawmaking can avoid this. We are happy to help.
There’s a particular reason to revisit the law. It was only supposed to be about residential apartment units. Everyone involved believed this to be true. Yet, buried in the law is an easily overlooked loophole that demands that “all proposed residential developments” who trigger the law “shall comply.” Nashville officials have told concerned parties to ignore that “shall” because the law is not supposed to impose the same obligations on residential units. The plain language says different. If this is a mistake, Nashville should fix it.
For us, litigation is a last resort. But when cities are willfully indifferent to the rights of others and won’t change even when warned, there is no choice. Litigation, however unfortunate, is sometimes necessary. It is all too easy for lawmakers to figure people will just bend instead of spending the time and money to protect their constitutional rights (which is why public interest litigation is so important). They may be right in most cases. This is not how a constitutional republic is supposed to work.
We hope for the responsible consideration of Nashville lawmakers.
You can read the full text of the second letter here.
My Comment: I am immensely pleased with the work of the Beacon Center. They are one of the organizations I financially support. I appreciate their successful efforts to combat Nashville government's progressive agenda and defend our constitutional rights. To learn more about The Beacon Center, to get on their mailing list, or make a contribution, follow this link.