Video: Backdoor Zoning in the Unzoned City

May 4th, 2014

Here is the video of my presentation at the Association for Law, Property, and Society on the zoning issues related to Ashby Highrise. The focus is on Backdoor Zoning in the Unzoned City.

A few issues that were raised:

  • Like in Boomer, it is permissible for the Court to award damages, but not issue an injunction.
  • This case also reflects the view in Euclid of multi-family dwellings as a “parasite.”
  • In cities that have moved form strict used-based zoning to mix-used zoning to allow nuisance law to police land use, such as regulation of chickens. This is an interesting devolution.
  • The San Felipe developers are wealthier, but less organized. Another related example is the Center City fight against the Texas Medical Center.
  • In any event, those with means are better able to pursue nuisance¬†cases, but at least zoning process provides some way to channel the voice.
  • One way of looking at the damages is that it reaches a Coasean solution, whereby the developers internalize their costs. But these payments are only offered where the neighbors can fight back.
  • This could create a cottage industry of plaintiff lawyers who seek rent extractions.