One of our most precious rights is our right to own property.
Fifth Amendment - Rights of Persons
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In recent years, we have seen our property rights stripped away one by one. Eminent domain has become a means to steal lands, businesses and homes from the American people and give them to others. We are being told by government what we can and cannot do in our own homes and on our own land. The sad part is that the American people are allowing this to continue. Comprehensive planning laws are sweeping across this nation from state to state like a contagious disease.
After the American Revolution, the focus on property rights turned to self-rule and personal freedom, as this was a time of very strong personal property rights. Local governments had simple powers which included maintaining law and order and providing basic services.
The basis for comprehensive planning comes from the governmentís ability to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. (This reasoning is a stretch in that many of the planning laws have nothing to do with health and welfare) Because the Federal government has no constitutionally provided right to engage in comprehensive planning, state governments have taken the lead in this area. The power for local governments to plan generally comes from state planning enabling legislation; however, local governments in most states are not required by law to engage in comprehensive planning. State statutes usually provide the legal framework necessary for those communities choosing to participate while allowing others to disengage themselves with the process. The legal provision for comprehensive planning comes from what is called the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act which was written by the United States Department of Commerce in the 1920ís. This act was never passed by the United States Congress but was rather a law written for state legislatures to willingly adopt. (This is a good example how the federal government tends to get involved in things that the Constitution does not authorize them to do.) Many states did choose to adopt the act which provided local governments with the framework to engage in land use planning. Because the act never gave a clear definition for comprehensive planning, the Department of Commerce wrote another act, the Standard City Planning Enabling Act of 1928, which defined more precisely what a comprehensive plan is and how it should be used.
I have spent the better part of the last 11 years fighting against the taking of our property rights and I will continue to fight to protect our "allodial" property rights. I will continue to educate the public regarding their personal property rights and the governments efforts to take them away.