Last time I asked the Glibertariat how they felt about HOAs. This week, let’s keep the controversy going by discussing zoning laws!

Although an exceptional human by 95% of objective measures, there was nothing very libertarian about my Mom. In fact, she was appointed the chair of the planning board in her village. During her (very long) tenure, the planning board decided to undertake a revision of the local zoning laws. I happened to be visiting her one day when the documents were laid out on her desk. I was astonished that a village with a year round population of 2000 needed so many rules and regulations.

Granted, things there are somewhat complicated by being the home to three universities. Additionally, practically the entire village proper is a designated Historic District. However, the sheer volume and insane amount of detail of the regs was mind blowing.

Now, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of the revisions were an improvement. Mom was big on clear and unequivocal language, so she insisted that vague edicts open to interpretation by a code enforcement officer (or village flunky) be changed. So, instead of, say, a regulation stating, “fences must be no higher than is reasonable and placed safely,” Mom insisted they pass the change to be something along the lines of, “fences seen from the street frontage of the property may be no taller than 4 feet and may not be placed so as to obstruct the view of vehicles operating on village streets.” At least under those sorts of revisions, it was more clear what was and was not allowed.


Being a very small college town, off-campus housing is at a premium always.  Own a house that’s bigger than you need? Why not rent out a room or two to meet market demand and help offset your own housing costs?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Stop it, you’re killing me.

Where is this house? Is it in the Historic District? How many square feet? How big is the driveway? How does the driveway intersect the street? Is there a garage or barn? How many bathrooms does it have? How many entrances and exits? Are the people living there related by blood or law? How many days per month will it be occupied by how many people? How many residents per square foot? Will any interior or exterior structural changes be made to accommodate the new use? What will the rent per square foot of leased space be?

You get the picture.

And permits? That would be an entire series of posts.


So, zoning, yea or nay? (Yeah, yeah, I know, property values. Yeah, yeah, I know, bars next to churches. Yeah, yeah, liquor stores next to elementary schools.)


Let’s hear what Glibs think!