Showing posts with label Zoning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zoning. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don Mitchell's Response To Our Zoning Is Theft Article

Zoning exists (or should) to protect the property owners of a paryticular neighborhood or community. People buy property zoned a particular way to insure that their property investment will retain value. Neighborhoods and the people who live in them are entitled to expect that the value and enjoyment they have in their property will not willfully be destroyed to advantage another. Zoning set consistent with the desire of a neighborhood should NOT be changed or scrapped to benefit a well-connected individual or some government goal (AFFH comes to mind). The bigger problem we property owners face today is the government changing established community zoning patterns on which the value of our properties depend to benefit either those well-connected individuals (developers) or the theoretical goals of bureaucrats (aka “planners”) to the disadvantage of the majority of area property owners and taxpayers.


Above is Don's response to the article where we said Zoning Is Theft.  I have known Don for a few years now and have the highest respect for him.  Don has some great points.  But I still disagree with him on this issue.  Market conditions can easily be set up where government does not need to be involved.  Excepting any area of socialism means you must except all areas of socialism.  Whenever government gets involved, nothing ever goes according to it's original plans.  That is socialism.  The premise of socialism always sounds good on the surface, but it never works out that way.

  Freedom to do what one wishes with one's property was the fundamental rights according the  framers of this nation, so long as it was lawful.  This is no longer the case.   That means government has stolen our rights.  We did not need new codes and zoning to protect rights we already had.  We lose rights every time new codes are written.  Now nearly everything is illegal according to some obscure code written by someone who was not representing the people when it was written.  

  The answer is very simple, tear up the codes for zoning or government needs to step up and start paying up.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Zoning Is Theft, Tell Your Elected Officials To Pay Up Or Tear Up The Laws.

Zoning.  The government controls it and they are the ones who have made up the entire system.  Does zoning do anything for "We The People" though?  Why yes it does.  It robs us.  It is an insidious system of theft from the pockets of anyone who wishes to do something with the property they purchase for whatever use they had planned.

  It is nothing more than a socialist construct that allows government, against your rights, to dictate how, what, when and where, you can do something with private property.  Wait, did I say private property?  How can property possibly be private if the government can step in at anytime and tell you what you can and can not do with it?  Someone somewhere is lying to us.  Let's look at the basic definition of zoning to see if we can get a better grasp of what it is supposed to be.

  "Zoning:  The basic purpose and function of zoning is to divide a municipality into residential, commercial, and industrial districts (or zones), that are for the most part separate from one another, with the use of property within each district being reasonably uniform."

   Already we have issues with the government determining what can be done with private property.  That means private property is no longer private.  If that is the case, then that means the government has an ownership stake in all property.  If that is the case, and they are saying it is, then the government should also be paying a percentage of taxes on property under your name or entity that you hold property under and the government should be getting bills from you on any and all maintenance and upkeep you do on any property.  When is the last time this has happened?  It hasn't you say?  Why not.

  If the government is going to dictate to you what can be done with property, then the government needs to also step up and start paying their fair share or get out of our way.  Paying for zoning changes and having to go through public hearings for those changes is tantamount to pure theft.  The government is stealing from you and all the rest of us.  It's time to tell the government to get out of our way and stop stealing from us or they better step up and start paying their fair share of all the work and materials we add to any given property.  Tear up the zoning laws.  Stop the theft.  Tell your elected officials to pay up or tear it up.  This is not a government service unless you consider theft of your money a government service.  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Draining The Local Government Swamp

Gloucester, VA - Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website.

Draining The Local Government Swamp

Our new President promised that if he were elected he would drain the federal government swamp and return power to We The People. So far President Trump appears to be living up to his promise, but he cannot do it alone and our federal government is not the only place where the government swamp needs to be drained. Our Commonwealth government (I emphasize “Common”), needs some draining and so does our local government and many other local government’s throughout Virginia.

One of the biggest issues of government overreach in Gloucester County, Virginia is land use zoning. Gloucester has been driven onto the path of the local government telling land owners what they may or may not do with their property. That is not the Gloucester I and many others grew up in. Our local government and elected representatives have passed local laws and adopted policies that require land owners to comply with “their” restrictive zoning requirements. In fact, our current Board of Supervisors has passed local law prohibiting certain styles of buildings because they do not like how they look. Further appalling is the fact that one of our elected Supervisors has publicly stated during a Board of Supervisors meeting that he believes they sometimes need to tell land owners what they may or may not do with their property. In my opinion Gloucester County “is” the definition of United Nations Agenda 21 micro-zoning.

Several years ago our local government began to implement what they refer to as the “Village Plans”. These plans constrict growth within the Hayes/Gloucester Point and Courthouse areas. They want retail and other business, medium to high density housing and other such growth restricted primarily to these areas and are making a concerted effort to develop every space possible. 

Recently our Board of Supervisors approved a rezoning request so a developer can build an apartment complex next to the York River Crossing Shopping Center. This complex will contain around 120 apartment units and will share parking with the shopping center. The apartments will also share the existing entrances to the shopping center, as there are no plans to construct additional entrances. In this instance our local government made exceptions to their zoning restrictions in order to accommodate the developer even though, People spoke against the apartments at the Public Hearing and there will be traffic and other impacts that will negatively affect a significant number of us. Yet, they would not approve a small developers request for an exception to their zoning rules so he could build a single duplex apartment unit in a Courthouse area neighborhood.

About three years ago our local government approved a developers request to rezone land behind the American Legion Hall so they can build around 260 apartment units. This land is well outside of their Village Plan development area, but the rezoning request was still approved. Recently a developer requested our local government to rezone five and half acres of land so he can build five, four unit, apartment buildings; for a total of 20 apartments. This developers rezoning request was denied.

Recently a Gloucester land owner spoke publicly at a Board of Supervisor meeting about his dismay at not being able to rent out a house located along Route 17 because the house had not been occupied for two years or more. As it turns out, some years ago our local government implemented a local law that rezones residential property within the Development District to commercial property if the residence remains uninhabited for two years or more.

Our local government would like us to think they are taking steps to accommodate growth in Gloucester, when in reality they are just hand selecting what they want to see in Gloucester and continuing to follow the United Nations micro-zoning path created by their predecessors back in the 90’s. I believe the village plans and other constrictive zoning and zoning associated laws and policies should be scrapped. I believe land owners should be given their property rights back. If it does not pertain to health, safety or security, our local government should refrain from interfering in what landowners do with their land. Getting rid of micro-zoning practices will save a lot of tax dollars and will also generate additional revenue from growth.
Do you agree or disagree?

Comments about articles and submissions for publication on GVLN may be emailed to:
Let your voice be heard on any topic pertaining to our community.
We will publish many opinions the newspapers will not.

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia

Friday, January 27, 2017

Who Owns Your Land; You Or Our Local Government?

Gloucester, VA - Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website.

Another Rezoning Request
Here goes Gloucester County, Virginia down the rezoning road again. Gloucester resident and businessman, C.W. Davis is asking our local government to rezone 5.4 acres of land on Short Lane so he can build five, four unit, apartment buildings; for a total of 20 apartments. Mr. Davis’ land and the land surrounding his are currently zoned for single family homes only. Our county government is recommending the Planning Commission deny Mr. Davis request which will be deliberated during a Public Hearing at the Planning Commission meeting on February 2, 2017.

Over the last couple or three years there have been numerous requests submitted to our local government to have land rezoned to allow the construction of approximately 440 apartments or apartment like units. (i.e. condos, town homes, etc) Of those requests only one has been denied by our Board of Supervisors; the request of Gloucester resident and businessman, Tabb Bridges. Mr. Bridges requested that a single lot located in an established single family dwelling neighborhood in the courthouse area be rezoned so he could build one duplex rental unit (two apartments). One of our elected supervisors had this to say about the Board of Supervisors decision to deny Mr. Bridges rezoning request.

“First, the proposed development was right in the center of a cluster of single family homes.  A duplex would look out of place in that subdivision, would you not agree?  It would have caused a slippery slope of events going forward, and I am opposed to "micro zoning".” 

“Second, we believe the Comprehensive Plan incorrectly classified this subdivision as multi family use (we will be correcting that).” 

“Thirdly, while not all of the residents appeared at our meeting, we were inundated with an overwhelming number of residents opposed to the proposed development.”

The following was my reply.

As I understand it; micro zoning is the detailed preparation of land use maps by local bodies and public authorities, fixing specific land uses for each site (such as residential, educational, commercial, etc.). Micro zoning also details the density of land uses at particular sites. In other words; micro zoning establishes a detailed land use pattern.

I too, am against micro zoning, but it appears we may interpret the words “micro zoning” somewhat differently. In my simple mind I believe Gloucester County is micro zoned and such zoning is further micro managed when requests like Mr. Bridges’ are denied and others are approved.

Basing decisions on “how something looks” is micro managing micro zoning to the extreme. What you find acceptable from a “how it looks” standpoint may not be acceptable to others and vise versa. As I shared in my article on GVLN, there are duplex units within multiple neighborhoods here at Gloucester Point that cause no negative impacts on any of the surrounding single family dwellings. Most people don’t even notice they are duplexes. So I guess my answer would be; no to your question about the duplexes “looking out of place” within the courthouse area neighborhood.

As for potential errors in the comprehensive plan; I don’t know what to tell you other than it is the BOS’s plan. I am of the opinion that local and other government involvement in how a landowner uses their property should be strictly limited to protecting the health, welfare and safety of the citizenry. Nothing more, nothing less. No level of government within the United States should have the power to prevent any land use based on how something will look or whether or not it will aesthetically fit in with surrounding properties. I also believe no level of government should have the power to restrict growth to predetermined areas as is the case with the “Village Plan” and “Development District” concepts our local government has adopted without consent of the people.

It is great the people of the neighborhood at the courthouse successfully rallied together to exercise their 1st Amendment rights, but they are not the only ones to speak against such rezoning requests. I would be willing to confidently bet that if the voices of every person in the Gloucester Point, Hayes, Guinea and Wicomico areas (primary users of the shopping center) were heard, there would be overwhelming opposition to the 120 apartments that will now be constructed as part of the York River Crossing Shopping Center. I would also be willing to bet that if all of the responses the BOS received, in one form or another, pertaining to the YRCS rezoning were tallied, we would find there were more voices who spoke in opposition of the rezoning than who spoke in favor of it. We just were not as organized and public about it as the folks in the courthouse area neighborhood were.      

Personally, I believe we have more than enough existing apartments and apartments approved for future construction, but who am I to say what Mr. Davis or any other land owner may or may not do with their property? How will our Board of Supervisors “Rule” on Mr. Davis’ rezoning request? Will the “good ole boy” system come into play? Will they continue to support United Nations land use agendas on American soil? Or will they begin to return Gloucester to the Republic land of freedom that it once was? At this point, your guess is as good as mine. We will continue to follow this story and provide you with updates as necessary.

Email your comments to

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gloucester: Potential Fake Warrant Leads To Potential Continued Harassment By County Officials?

Are Gloucester County officials trying to harass us?  Are they attempting to break the law in order to force us to comply with some hidden agenda they may have of trying to silence us?  We are going to show you a letter county officials recently sent to us and the response back.  Then we are going to show how they obtained access to private property with the use of a highly questionable warrant in debt for some person who does not live on this property and has not been on this property for over 5 years.

Gloucester County Complaint and Response from Chuck Thompson

Above is a copy of the letter sent to CRF Ventures LLC.  This is a 4 page document.  The first two pages contain the alleged county complaint and the last 2 pages are CRF Ventures LLC's response to the county.  Now how did this all come about?

The above is a copy of the Warrant in Debt that a Sheriff's deputy had that he used to intimidate some commercial tenants on the property stating they had to let him onto posted private property because he had this warrant to serve.  He told them, according to their own words, that he would charge them with obstruction of justice, if they did not let him onto the property.

  Here is a major issue.  The person on this warrant, does not and has not lived on this property in over 5 years.  That in and of itself is bad enough, but it gets worse.  The date this was attempted to serve this warrant on the property was two days after the court date listed on the warrant.  There is an arrow to show that the case was being continued on May 22nd 2015 at 9:00 AM in the General District Court.  But the question must be asked.  Where was the original warrant served before the first court date of April 24th, 2015?  It was not served anywhere on anyone on this property.  So why all of a sudden was it attempted to be served on April 26th, 2015 on this property?

  We gave the deputy a very difficult time as we had told him that there was no one here by that name and that he was in fact trespassing on the property.  He said he did not see a sign that said no trespassing.  He drove right by a very large sign that states such and has been there for years.

  Deputy John Doe threw the warrant out his vehicle window at me and said I was served.  He served me knowing full well I can not be mistaken as a female.  But he must be legally blind and he is driving on the roads?  So if the source of the complaint came from Deputy John Doe, it was not valid.  I complained to Sheriff Warren and also explained to Sheriff Warren that his deputy did not know how to conduct a proper service as the deputy failed to sign the back of the Warrant as required by the rules of the court.  (An indication that the Warrant was possibly a fraud just to get on the property?)

  Also, Deputy John Doe, throwing the warrant out his window at me, and it landing on the ground, he littered on private property.  After Deputy John Doe left I contacted Sheriff Warren as already stated and he had another Deputy come out and pick up the original warrant that Deputy John Doe came on the property with.  But not before I made multiple copies of it front and back.

  Deputy John Doe also threatened me with charges of Obstructing Justice.  I know what it lawfully takes to obstruct justice and was not committing any such act, so I told Deputy John Doe he had better look up the code and make sure he fully understands it.  He then threatened to conduct an illegal search and seizure on private property without a warrant to do such.  You bet I gave this guy a very hard time.  So it was not long afterward that the County complaint came in and that looks like its in retaliation to these events of Deputy Jon Doe.

  What was the threat of illegal search and seizure?  He said he was going to run a plate on a vehicle in our driveway to see if the name for the owner of the vehicle came back as a match for the name on the warrant.  (No it did not).  Did he conduct that violation?  I can only imagine that he did.  I can not prove it without records from the Sheriff's office.  I trust that Darrell Warren has taken care of retraining this deputy or getting rid of him.

  Had the name of the owner of the vehicle actually matched, then I would have been possibly guilty of obstructing justice.  If the person actually lived somewhere on this property and I did not inform Deputy John Doe of such, then I may have been guilty of obstructing justice.  Without those two facts, I was being threatened by an armed thug after he was told that the person named on the warrant did not reside here.  That in my book is criminal behavior by someone who is charged with holding higher standards of conduct and is being paid to serve us, not threaten us.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gloucester, Virginia Zoning For Horses: None By Federal Law

Now here is a very interesting case that was brought up before the Board of Supervisors and we just covered this issue in an earlier post tonight, but the issue involves zoning for horses in Gloucester County.  Well zoning only applies to county owned land.  Not to anyone with a farm, business, or personal use.  The county has no legal say whatsoever in this matter, yet, are trying to state that they do.  You have no obligation at any time to ask for permission to do anything here in the county or anywhere in the 48 states of the Union.  (We know there are 50 states, but you better look up some facts on who the Constitution actually applies to).  The claims made by Ted Wilmot simply are not true based on the information below.

Again, let's look at those laws:

California Law prohibits Cities and Counties from enforcing City or County Codes and Ordinances upon property that is not OWNED by the City or County even if the property is within City limits.

California Penal Code: Chapter 5b CITATIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF COUNTY, CITY, OR CITY AND COUNTY ORDINANCES Sections 853.1through 853.4 was repealed in 1967.

The Supreme Court ruled that Municipalities cannot exert any acts of ownership and control over property that is not OWNED by them, see Palazzolo v. Rhode Island 533 US 606, 150 L.Ed. 2d 592, 121 S.Ct. ___(2001) (no expiration date on the taking clause for City's illegal enforcement of its Codes on the man's private property and restricting the man's business), affirming both Lucas v South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 US 1003, 120 L.Ed. 2d 798 (1992).(butterfly activists and Code Enforcement cannot restrict development of the man's private swampland unless they lawfully acquire the land FIRST, surveying with binoculars constitutes a "takings"), and Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes, 526 US 687 (1999), 143 L.Ed. 2d 882 S.Ct.____ (1998).

In the Monterey case, the California private property owner was awarded $8 million for Code Enforcement's illegal trespass and restriction of his business, and another $1.45 million for the aggravation of a forced sale.

Federal Law also prohibits Cities and Counties from issuing citations against businesses, see Title 18 U.S.C.891-896, quoting Section 891 "An extortionate means is any means which involves the use, or an express or implicit threat of use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation, or property."

Black's Law Dictionary 5 th Edition (page 1140): Recaption. At Common Law, a retaking or taking back. 

Now even though California law is cited here, it is applicable throughout all 48 contiguous states of the union.  Ted Wilmot does not know the law?  Whomever brought the charges against these people should be sued to no end.  Each county employee involved should be sued as a private individual as well as the county in our opinion.  Again, the audacity of these folks is unreal.   Please note the amount the man sued for and won.  The county needs to be taken to task on this outrageous invasion of the people the county brought to court.  The massive invasion of their rights is unconscionable.

  Now what is truly sad is the fact that the people who are in court over this, their own attorney does not even know this nor tried to look it up.  What does that say about their own legal council?  You need to hire an attorney why?  Ever?  Good luck with that.

But as we like to state, none of this should ever be construed as legal advice.  You can only get legal advice from a Franchised Bar attorney which we have not bought into the Bar franchise nor are we even interested in doing so.  So for franchised legal advice, please see a franchised legal consultant known as an attorney.  We only discuss lawful concepts which everyone has a right to do as that right is inherent and unalienable.  No license required.  In fact, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it's the people who make the laws, not the government.  If you question that, please see the Commonwealth Constitution.  

  Those codes that the legislature churns out is only the color of law.  If it were law, it would say it was law.  Instead, they are statutes, codes and or ordinances.  That is not law.  Those codes, ordinances and or statutes really do not apply to you.  They apply to a person.  Who is a person?  An actor who wears a mask.  

  Who are the true actors?  Government employees.  Most folks are wrongfully charged and do not even know it and get thrown in jail, prison, or charged with crimes they did not actually commit.  And you thought maybe something was wrong with the system?  Yes there is.

The Official State Office Known As Person 

The above document is free to download from our SlideShare site.  It explains who a person is.  We verified the definition of a person through the Oxford dictionary as well as the Catholic Dictionary.  An actor who wears a mask.  If it was meant to be against a man or a woman, the codes, statutes and or ordinances would say so.  They clearly never do.  You have to ask why.  Or just learn the real definition.  Have you been fooled by the legal system?

Coming soon.  How to disqualify any judge or prosecuting attorney.  The legal term?  Recuse them.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisors Meeting, May, 2014 with Notes

Open Letter to the Citizens of Gloucester County Virginia

What an interesting meeting

The Virginia Constitution was written for us to limit the government intrusion into our lives.  Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States?  How about the Constitution of Virginia?

Mr. Hodges:  Thank you for continuing to support smaller government and local government and taking time to update us on developments in Richmond.  Just say no to the Governor’s proposal to increase Medicare.  It looks good short term but we do not need any more unfunded mandates from DC.

Marinas Zoning Ordinance:  Makes sense make it consistent for everyone and reduce government oversight.

17 Corridor Overlay:  A good program we can do without.  There is too much government in our business.  The purpose was to stop business from coming to Gloucester and it worked well.  Mr. Don Mitchell how can we expect our BoS to be consistent when we present a position one way in eliminating ordinances and then use an opposite argument when it affects us personally?  I do not care what position you take but please be consistent.  I am for less government in our business and personal lives (“For the Common Good. “) so we can grow and prosper that way the government gets more without have to raise the percent of income it takes.  I have firsthand knowledge of work performed on 17 and what it cost the person to do the work. Based on this work it encouraged business neighbors to clean up and improve their properties also and that helped their businesses.  I understand the cost and do not have a problem with getting rid of the excess rules.  What I have a problem with is the County made upgrades to their property across from Providence Road after the 17 Corridor rules were in place and did not come into compliance.  It was too expensive?  How about consistency?  Why does PHA to this day not meet the 17 Corridor Rules with all the changes made to their new building?  How can we expect new businesses to come to the county and build to County standards if we do not require existing businesses to comply with the same rules?  Was there a pay off?  Good old boy network? Why are there different rules depending on who you know?  Let’s get the rules consistent!

5 yr capital improvement plan Ms. Champion:  We do not have a 5 yr plan? No wonder the county is so messed up.  We react from one situation to the next.  A 5 year plan allows you how to recognize what is important and not be jumping all over the board.  If you had a good 5 year plan you would be able to tell a judge we would love to build a jail to keep you in, I mean a wall around the parking lot, but we would not do maintenance to the roof of the court house.  Mr. Chriscoe do you plan to fail in your private life as well as your public life?  Failure to plan is planning to fail!  Are you so afraid of change that you are willing to continue to shortchange the county and not give it the best we can afford?  No business or government in this day of tight funding can afford not to plan wisely. And that is what you are implying when you are against planning.  Ms. Champion what a good job you did in educating the board and coming forward with this plan most saw it as the way to go.  The plan will allow you to get to action not reaction. We do not need to continue to jump from one hole in the dike to the next, which is what we are doing now.  What Ms. Champion proposes still needs work but it is going in the right direction.

Mr. Wilmot you have been doing a good job representing the county this year keep it up.
Mr. Bazzani we missed you during the meeting.
Mr. Hutson that is the most positive I have seen you for a complete meeting.
Mr. Meyer keep on doing what you promised us during the election.
Dr. Orth you are showing us you are a capable leader that is trying to do what is right for the county.
Mr. James keep looking out for the best interest of the county.
Mr. Winebarger you do not say a lot, which is ok, but you keep everyone on their toes when you do speak.  On behalf of Mr. Thompson thanks for the compliment and verification what we are doing is working.
Mr. Chiscoe maybe you should look for a non elected position that does not require planning?

I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice.  Our founding fathers used common sense and Christian scripture when establishing our founding documents. 

“For the Common Good. “

Alexander James Jay

P.S.  "In the next place, the state governments are, by the very theory of the constitution, essential constituent parts of the general government. They can exist without the latter, but the latter cannot exist without them." --Joseph Story Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

"If it were to be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws -- the first growing out of the last. ... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government." --Alexander Hamilton, Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, 1794
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Gloucester, VA Container Use Ordinances and Codes Updated

17 Courthouse Area, Container in the back visible from the highway.  

Closer view of the container on the left back side.

Route 17 south, Ordinary.  Container to the left in back.  Visible from highway.

As the one directly above only more of a side view.

Route 17, south, Gloucester Point.  Container next to billboard.

Route 17 South.  Container barely, but, still visible from highway behind shop.

Route 17 South, Container sticks out just enough from side of building to be seen from highway.

Route 17 South.  One container stuck out from side of building just enough to be visible from highway.  When we went back behind area this is what we saw.  4 Containers.

Route 17 South.  S&B Muffler and Brakes.  To the right of the building behind little dumpster.  Very visible from highway.

Again, we are not picking on any business by any means.  The board of Supervisors are looking at ordinances that will affect the future use of containers on any property in the county.  At the moment, every single one of these businesses are in violation of county ordinances.  The county does not enforce these ordinances in any way unless of course, you are foolish enough to ask for the county's permission.  Best advice?  Do not ask for permission, just do it.   If you get questioned, refer them to this site.
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gloucester Housing To Dramatically Change In Near Future?

Obama administration using housing department to compel diversity in

In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the
Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule
that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s
neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems

The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will
require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every
single neighborhood and try to remedy it.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP
convention in July.

"Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter
how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child,
even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This
is simply wrong,” he said.

Data from this discrimination database would be used with zoning laws,
housing finance policy, infrastructure planning and transportation to
alleviate alleged discrimination and segregation.

Specifics of the proposed rule are lacking. Now published in the
Federal Register and undergoing a 60-day comment period, the rule,
"does not prescribe or enforce specific” policies.

But one critic says it smacks of utopian idealism.

"This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social
engineer the American people," said Ed Pinto, of the American
Enterprise Institute. "It started with public housing and urban
renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the 50's and 60's. They
tried it again in the 90's when they wanted to transform house
finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of
foreclosures and financial collapse.”

Some fear the rule will open the floodgates to lawsuits by HUD -- a
weapon the department has already used in places like Westchester
County, N.Y., where mayors and attorneys representing several towns,
like Cortlandt, are writing HUD to protest burdensome fair housing
mandates that go far beyond those agreed to in a 2009 settlement with

One letter written by Cortlandt town attorney Thomas Wood expresses a
common dilemma.

"Cordlandt is mostly residential and has only a few vacant parcels
that could be developed for commercial use," he writes. "In order to
stabilize the tax base amongst the most affordable in Westchester
County, the Town Board needs to encourage the development of
commercial property for commercial use."

Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive recently said, "What
they are trying to do is to say discrimination and zoning is the same
thing. They are not. Discrimination won't be tolerated. I won't
tolerate it. Zoning though, protects what can and can't be built in a

Also troublesome to critics is that the HUD secretary, in announcing
this proposed rule, blamed poverty on zip codes – rather than other
socio-economic factors that studies have shown contribute to poverty.

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