Boulder reaches new lows of social engineering
[My letter to the editor which you can see at the end of this note was PUBLISHED in the Boulder Daily Camera on 6/9/07)
see "Boulder County looks at limiting house size", Rocky Mountain News, 6/5/07
see also "When neighbors are not friends", Boulder Daily Camera Op/Ed, Bob Greenlee,6/3/07
From the Rocky Mountain News article:
Boulder County is considering house-size restrictions that could be waived only if the homeowner bought development rights to preserve open space or agricultural land in the county.
If adopted, the plan would put Boulder County among a handful of counties nationwide that have put caps on the size of new homes.
The proposal would limit new houses in unincorporated Boulder County to 4,000 square feet on the plains and 2,600 square feet in the mountains.
As a resident of Boulder County, I can only say that I'm embarrassed by the socialist, Big Nanny government elected by the muddle-headed residents of the county.
Private property is PRIVATE!
There are plenty of practical reasons why this proposal is a bad idea: It will make any existing large houses unaffordable for people who want to move here (while generating a windfall for current owners.) To be clear, I don't object to profits, and I own a house that would benefit from this insanity.
It will make Boulder a place that middle or upper-middle class people with kids won't be able to move to because it is pretty hard to raise a family in a small house, and it's certainly not worth trying to do so if you don't have to.
It is a transparent attempt to extort money from "rich" people. All it will do is lower the average income of new residents to Boulder. And while the old hippies out there think Boulder would be nicer if it were less gentrified than it is now, the world doesn't work that way.
To Boulder liberals: Who are you to judge what people deem best for their own lives? That's a huge difference between economic liberals and economic conservatives: Liberals are all about judgment. You don't see people who believe in liberty and free markets telling you that you should live differently. But people like you, of whom Boulder has far too many, believe they have some claim to the moral high ground because you think your motives are purer. Or, if you are one of the many Boulderites who revels in your low-income-ness, and think you're somehow morally superior to someone who actually earns a decent living, think again. At best, you're probably a slacker, and at worst a sponge off those who do actually live productive lives. Yours is a bogus position and nobody should accept it. You live your life and let the rest of us live ours.
There is some real argument to be made about a house so large and intrusive that it clearly damages the property values of other peoples' houses due to loss of view. That is something that should be worked out on a case-by-case basis with the benefit of the doubt going to the builder of the new home so that frivolous or weak complaints do not trump PRIVATE property rights.
Arguments about "land use" and "energy efficiency" are ridiculous, subjective, and against the very concept of humans being able to increase their quality of life. For Boulder liberals, energy efficiency means living colder, darker, more sedentary lives. They're free to live that way if they want to, but leave me out of your troglodyte reminiscences.
I hope that residents of Boulder County will wake up and stop electing these apparent refugees from the Soviet Union.
Here is my letter to the Editor of the Boulder Daily Camera, in response to their article on this issue:
Boulder County’s proposal to limit the size of houses is just another step down the leftist road to tyranny which residents of our county need to recognize the danger of before it is too late.
I suppose it is not surprising that people in the same political party which wondered “what the definition of ‘is’ is” do not understand what the word “private” means, such as in the term “private property”.
The idea that county officials could limit how people spend their own money on their own property because of a completely subjective and pointless concept such as “carbon footprint” or “land use” rules created by people whose idea of a good time is living in a yurt, eating macrobiotic tofu, and singing Kumbayah. And for the few commissioners who support this for a reason other than this muddle-headed attempt at environmentalism, it represents a transparent attempt to extort money from the “rich”, meaning anyone who can afford to build a house big enough that their kids don’t have to sleep in the same room as the parents.
Just because people believe their motives are noble does not give them the moral high ground or any rational basis to impose their socialist views on society. Imagine the outcry of these same people against a conservative trying to do something similar. The touchstone for our republic is liberty. It is the thing that has made us great.
There is a reason we call this “The People’s Republic of Boulder”. But this proposal has crossed the line between ignorant but essentially harmless public policy and a direct attack on the sanctity of our homes and the way we live our lives as free people.
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