Comment 41540

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 03, 2010 at 13:00:44

My point in posting that paper was not that it directly reflected my view, it was that in 10 seconds on google you can dredge up very well thought out, well-referenced critiques of traditional Euclidian Zoning Laws, an idea which has a number of basic flaws, as the paper points out.

I'm not saying that there aren't better zoning laws, or that they can't do any good, ever. However, they're a poor substitute for actual community input into what happens in that community. Ryan's Jane Jacobs quote is right on the mark - communities have a number of legitimate fears about what goes on "in their back yard" which need to be adressed.

However, a bunch of blanket regulations imposed by bureaucrats who have little direct experience with the area in question can only attempt to mimic choices it thinks a community would make, or (more likely) what it thinks is best for it. We need real, neighbourhood scale democracy. And not just "homeowner associations" which cater to wealthy property owners in the area. These organizations need teeth, ie: the ability to, with a large majority vote, take legal action against offenders. Such a system would be "Performance based" in ways never approachable by even the most progressive zoning laws.

And as for slaughtering animals in my garage, I neither eat meat nor have a garage. As a vegan it constantly frustrates and amazes me how much more opposed most people are to things like butchering animals than I am (I see the utility), yet would never consider actually giving the stuff up. If you couldn't watch it, or live near it, why base your survival on it? People have been butchering animals within human settlements about as long as we've butchered animals or had settlements, and consigning it to big corporate factories in rural areas has produced methods of doing these things which are much more toxic and much less safe than traditional methods. Read (or watch) the section in Fast Food Nation on slaughterhouses.

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