There’s something energizing about midsummer. If it’s not the camping trips, or the afternoon concerts in the park, it must be the flurry of property rights campaigns gearing up for the fall election.
Here’s the latest:
In Oregon, the “Yes on 49” campaign kicked off yesterday. (Measure 49 is the state legislature’s referendum that will trim back some portions of Measure 37.) I can’t find a website for the “No on 49” campaign, so no link today. But if you want the low-down on Oregon’s property rights politics, check out landusewatch, where Peter Bray dishes the dirt with a keen eye for detail.
In California last week, a group of activists began gathering signatures for a new property rights ballot measure that will appear on the 2008 ballot if it qualifies. The initiative appears to concentrate on eminent domain reform (basically, outlawing Kelo-style takings), but leaves regulatory takings alone. This is a departure from California’s failed Proposition 90 of 2006.
And while we’re on California, the National Institute on Money in State Politics released a report (PDF) revealing that the secretive Howard Rich was responsible for millions of dollars of funding to support Prop 90, as well as ballot measures in other western states. The Sacramento Capitol Weekly has good coverage.
(By the way, I haven’t vetted any of this stuff: I’m just passing it along to interested readers.)
Finally, in Arizona, the Republic has two articles on the effects of Proposition 207, the sole takings measure to pass muster in 2006. This one, worth skimming, relates how the town of Avondale is working with Wal-Mart to improve a new store’s design features; the city council can’t stop the new store from coming in because of Prop 207.
This one — worth a close read — is excellent reporting on Prop 207’s surprises that are just now becoming clear. A partial list of citizen’s growing concerns:
- Grand Avenue shop owners in Phoenix who want to create a special business district must persuade 1,300 landowners to sign the waiver.
- Phoenix’s $900,000 plan to bring shade and pedestrian-friendly development to downtown could be delayed two to three years or longer because it involves about 2,000 property owners, the city says.
- The law is likely to sink efforts to preserve Tempe’s oldest neighborhood.
- Flagstaff is bracing for lawsuits over a historic district that could protect buildings linked to its founders.
It will be interesting to watch Arizona wrestle with Prop 207 during the coming years. Unlike Oregon’s Measure 37, Arizona’s new law isn’t retroactive. So there isn’t likely to be a wave of horror stories emerging in the next six months. What we’ll see instead, I suspect, is that paralyzing Arizona’s laws in 2006 will be more like watching a disaster flick in slow motion. We’re still on the first reel.