Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Coastal Comm. Slapped On Property Rights

The picture is of Cayucos, CA. The editorial is from the San Diego Union Tribune. It's so good, I'm not going to waste another word:
Coastal craziness
Court right to block new commission outrage

In a 1997 speech at a conference in Monterey, a radical environmentalist named Peter Douglas called for the U.S. Constitution to be amended to make courts the “arbiters” in what he called the “debate” over property owners' rights.

It was just another day at the green pulpit for Douglas, who thinks government powers should be used to coerce individuals to “care with mind and heart for Gaia and all life she sustains.”

Unfortunately, Douglas is in a position to use coercive powers in pursuit of his extremism. He is the longtime executive director of the California Coastal Commission, an institution whose hostility toward property rights makes the typical eminent domain-abusing redevelopment agency seem like pikers.

Consider the case of San Luis Obispo engineer Dennis Schneider, who hoped to build his dream home on a cliff above the ocean in a remote area north of Cayucos. Incredibly by normal cognitive standards, typically by Coastal Commission standards, the agency blocked his plans on the grounds that the home would be such an aesthetic affront to passing kayakers, boaters and surfers that it would violate their rights. We are not making this up.

Thankfully, on June 28, the 2nd District Court of Appeal said this was nonsense in a brisk 12-page decision that seemed perplexed at where the Coastal Commission comes up with stuff like this. The answer, of course: from the untethered imagination of its executive director.

Schneider's ordeal isn't over yet. After pondering Gaian case law and the need for kayaker empowerment, Douglas is pushing for an appeal.

But of course he would – if the Coastal Commission doesn't feel obligated to take the U.S. Constitution seriously, why should it take a state court seriously?
Amazingly, in opinion poll after opinion poll, the people of the Golden State say they think the Coastal Commission should do MORE to protect our coast. If they only knew what's really going on ....

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