Category: Local issues

The antidote to majoritarianism: Part 2, There are outer limits

12 February, 2015 (09:00) | Apartments, Constitution, Fifth Amendment, Housing, Law, Local issues, Markets, Rent control, Rental, San Francisco, Takings, US News | No comments

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.] By: David A. Smith As we saw in yesterday’s Part 1, essential to democracy is the protection of minority rights against the majoritarian impulse to rewrite the rules by increments, and as property rights are human rights, they must be protected by an entity or branch of government that stands […]

The antidote to majoritarianism: Part 1, On its face fails both tests

11 February, 2015 (10:00) | Apartments, Constitution, Fifth Amendment, Housing, Law, Local issues, Markets, Rent control, Rental, San Francisco, Takings, US News | No comments

By: David A. Smith In case of emergency, think for yourself Once a society has decided that a particular group of people is morally guilty against the public interest, it can and often will embark on a series of exactions, each of which it justifies as necessary to ‘level the playing field,’ ‘correct historical inequity,’ […]

Cleaning up at the casino: Part 2, “What else could you do?”

30 December, 2014 (10:00) | Casinos, Development, Environmental, Everett, Housing, Land use, Local issues, US News, Zoning |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.] By: David A. Smith Yesterday’s post on the immediate benefit of Massachusetts’ casino license award to Wynn’s group focused not on the state’s win ($85 million in licensing fee) but the City of Everett’s imminent environmental cleanup of the casino site, an oblong finger into the sleepy shallow muddy Mystic […]

Cleaning up at the casino: Part 1, “A fairly rough site”

29 December, 2014 (10:00) | Casinos, Development, Environmental, Everett, Gambling, Housing, Land use, Local issues, US News, Zoning |

By: David A. Smith The referendum to repeal casino gambling in Massachusetts having been decisively defeated (as I and everybody else expected, in part because proponents of casino gambling outspent opponents 20 to 1), the Wynn group is proceeding with its site’s development (having wired the $85 million licensing fee the day after the referendum), […]

Whose woods these are? I think I know: Part 6, And miles to go before I sleep

25 November, 2014 (10:00) | Affordable Housing, Belmont, Cambridge, Chapter 40B, Development, Eminent domain, Environmentalism, Housing, Inclusionary zoning, Local issues, NIMBY, Protests, Zoning |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 5 and the preceding Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.] By: David A. Smith Finally, in the story of the potential 298 apartments in Belmont, 60 of them affordable (at no cost to the Town of Belmont, mind you), we come to the (most recent) day of reckoning, […]