States Are Seizing More Regulatory Power in the Name of “Deregulating” Housing
Local zoning is not likely to garner much national attention, and in an ideal world, this is the way it should be. However, with state governments taking aim at local zoning restrictions, the issue has taken on greater importance. In recent years, the movement to limit single-family zoning restrictions has been championed by left liberals and libertarians alike. According to these libertarian supporters, antizoning laws represent simple deregulation. However, calling these laws deregulation is akin to calling the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) a free trade agreement. To the contrary, this trend has already led to the further erosion of private property rights in California with the passage of Assembly Bill 670.
Such is the power of AB 670 that it nullifies private restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that are deemed “unreasonable,” such as restrictions included by homeowner’s associations in their CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions). Yet, the nullification of all such private restrictions is in direct conflict with the title-transfer theory of contracts. Murray Rothbard explains,
a person should be able to sell not only the full title of ownership to property, but also part of that property, retaining the rest for himself or others to whom he grants or sells that part of the title….Similarly valid and enforceable would be restrictive covenants to property in which, for example, a developer sells all the rights to a house and land to a purchaser, except for the right to build a house over a certain height or of other than a certain design.
It should be clear, then, that priva
Article from Mises Wire