Thursday, April 19, 2007

Property rights measure proves its worth

I note with satisfaction that Arizona's Proposition 207, a strong property rights measure approved by almost two-thirds of state voters this past election day, is already bearing fruit. Specifically, the Phoenix City Council backed off its designation of a crime-ridden dump as a historic site, freeing the property's ambitious owner, Scott Haskins, to level the deteriorating apartments at the site to make way for a new development that will spruce up the neighborhood while providing, hopefully, a nice return on the initial investment.

Had the historical designation remained in place, Haskins would have been forced to beg and scrape before city officials for permission to build structures that met their approval.

The city council didn't back off out of the goodness of its power-hungry little hearts, of course. They backed off because Haskins threatened a $40 million lawsuit for devaluing his land--which, under Prop. 207, he stood a very good chance of winning.

Every now and then, the good guys score.



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