Interested citizens are encouraged to learn more about the issue and contact their legislators. Details below:
Background: House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 2031 and Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1019, in their current form, propose a ballot measure that would require governments to compensate property owners for every zoning or land use decision they make. If adopted, this measure would have an inestimable negative financial impact, draining funds from vital public services. It would also freeze current zoning, preventing government from responding to future community concerns. The measure even provides a right to compensation when the zoning authority takes no action, if the owner can show that inaction reduces the value of his or her property. Examples of actions that could trigger lawsuits and payment from government:
- Approval or disapproval of historic overlay zoning
- Enforcement or enactment of neighborhood preservation codes
- Change from commercial, residential, or industrial use, or changes in density
- Approval or disapproval of building height limits
- Approval or disapproval of neighborhood-developed special planning districts
- Approval or disapproval of restrictions associated with buffers for military installations and airports
- Approval or disapproval of liquor licenses
- Regulation of business hours or building design standards
- Virtually any other land use regulation
Background: A version of this bill has been around for several years, but has never received support. This year, however, it's being tied with eminent domain reform that would eliminate eminent domain usage in redevelopment areas.
What you can do
- Review the summary of HCR2031 or full text of HCR2031.
- Find your legislator and contact him or her that provision 12-1136 (which was added to HCR2031) is bad public policy. Zoning protects property values. If cities or other governments are discouraged from making land use decisions for fear of creating a right of compensation, businesses and neighborhoods will suffer –- and under this measure, that alone will create a right of compensation. HCR2031/SCR1019, as currently crafted, will cost taxpayers millions, encourage speculative land deals and frivolous litigation, and employ legions of lawyers. There is no good reason to do this.