Rightside Zoning Out

The Concept Of Open Space Is A Direct Question Of Zoning—A Question Which Should Not Be Answered By Made Up Committees Or Greedy Businesses

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As a shout-out to tree huggers, I freely admit that I don’t want to live in a world where humans crowd out everything. Like it or not, we share this planet with a whole bunch of other creatures, and as stewards I think we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to share this earth—not be a cancer upon it. We don’t have a very good track record. The lack of swim classes in the Elizabeth River comes to mind. The devil’s in the details, of course, but if we can agree that it’s better for wildlife to have wild places, we’re headed in the right direction.

Yet, despite efforts to have a reasonable approach to humans vs. nature, there are those who will take their human-guilt a bit too far down the bunny hole of environmental authoritarianism. We now have in place in communities around the country the power of preservation boards and city councils to deny landowners the right to use their own land because it might affect a frog that currently doesn’t reside there, but one day might live there. A friend of mine in Chesapeake was once told by a well-meaning group of unelected preservationists that if he followed all their draconian, non-science-based, punitive, made-up rules, he would be “allowed to use his property.” You mean the property he purchased and has paid taxes on? It’s one thing to set aside tracts of land for the betterment of the environment and society as a whole—it’s quite another to take away the right of people to use the property they already own.

Dave Parker hosts The Dave Parker Show on AM 790 WNIS weekdays from 10 a.m.–noon. He can also be heard each afternoon on US1061 and reached at dparker@wnis.com. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two daughters.

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