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Importunate Tom

Administrative Searches and the 4th Amendment

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Administrative Searches and the 4th Amendment

Sorry to report that my libertarian elk are engaged in yet another assault on the American justice system.
 

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In an alleged effort to root out slumlords, some cities treat renters as though they don't have any rights, forcing residents to allow government officials in for mandatory warrantless "inspections" to make sure homes are up to code.

The lawyers at the Institute for Justice, a national public interest law firm, have been trying to fight these inspections for years as unconstitutional violations of the Fourth Amendment. This week they've filed a class-action complaint against the city of Seattle that attempts to put a stop to its inspection program.

According to their lawsuit, Seattle launched an inspection program in 2015 that requires landlords to register rental properties with the city. The city then randomly chooses 10 percent of the rental properties to inspect each year. This includes inhabited apartments and houses. The rental inspections are very thorough, allowing searches of the entire premises and therefore mandating that the people living there allow strangers in to look over their stuff.

In July, according to the lawsuit, a group of renters sharing a home wrote city officials telling them that they do not consent to a search of their property. The owner of the home also wrote to let the city know that she was respecting her tenants' wishes. The city responded that if the landlord refused to let the inspectors in, she faced penalties of $150 a day for the first 10 days, and then $500 a day afterward. Seattle did not even respond to the letter from the tenants.

The Institute for Justice is now representing both tenants and landlords in these cases to try to stop unwarranted inspections under the city's law, arguing that it violates the privacy provisions of the Washington Constitution.

 

Those whining renters just don't understand that warrantless searches for their own good should be welcomed. No wonder Seattle didn't reply to them. As for their slumlord, it's no wonder those evil libertarians at IJ would associate with that kind of scum, after seeing their association with the likes of Suzette Kelo and noted heroin dealer Tyson Timbs.

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I'd love it if something like this were tried here.

My target of choice would be my tenant who is a lawyer for the County. He's a really nice guy. I've seen what happens when you piss off really nice guys who have law degrees.

And I'm pretty sure that if something on the property he is renting is out of order, he'll again look where he should for the solution: to me. And if I fail, at the rate he's paying, I'd lose a good tenant because he has plenty of options.

On the other end of the spectrum, I went to look at a house in 2017 and was pretty appalled. It was summer, so storms every afternoon. And every afternoon, the rain came through the leaky roof. There's a lot of this. Landlords who just won't fix anything. The tenants seemed like nice people, doing their best to move and empty buckets in their house. I thought taking their money should be some kind of crime. And it's that kind of thinking that leads to laws like the one in Seattle.

I didn't buy the house.

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Those damn pesky constitutional rights!!!

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21 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Those damn pesky constitutional rights!!!

Well, yes, and excesses of capitalism too.

I'm pretty sure those tenants in that leaky house had a contract saying they'd pay in exchange for housing. It looked to me like they were paying and the landlord was only sorta providing housing. So sorta breaking the contract. But unlike my lawyer-tenant, their options are pretty limited in terms of getting a real remedy for that apparent breach of contract. That's not what it says in the free market theory books.

The policy of registering every rental and inspecting 10% of them is ridiculous. In any rental market, you can identify the people with choices by the rent they're paying. Around here, the annual market for homes ranges from around 800/month to around 1,500/month. Hmmm... where might we find landlords who are neglecting maintenance to the point of breach of contract? Might it be the landlord who has a friggin' lawyer for the county paying near the top end? Or maybe we should look elsewhere?

Looking elsewhere leads quickly to: rich lawyers have fourth amendment rights and poor janitors don't.

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4 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Well, yes, and excesses of capitalism too.

I'm pretty sure those tenants in that leaky house had a contract saying they'd pay in exchange for housing. It looked to me like they were paying and the landlord was only sorta providing housing. So sorta breaking the contract. But unlike my lawyer-tenant, their options are pretty limited in terms of getting a real remedy for that apparent breach of contract. That's not what it says in the free market theory books.

The policy of registering every rental and inspecting 10% of them is ridiculous. In any rental market, you can identify the people with choices by the rent they're paying. Around here, the annual market for homes ranges from around 800/month to around 1,500/month. Hmmm... where might we find landlords who are neglecting maintenance to the point of breach of contract? Might it be the landlord who has a friggin' lawyer for the county paying near the top end? Or maybe we should look elsewhere?

Looking elsewhere leads quickly to: rich lawyers have fourth amendment rights and poor janitors don't.

So are you saying that profiling is or is not OK?  I'm not really sure where you stand on this issue.  You sorta come off as these searches are unreasonable, but that it would be ok if the "inspections" were only being done on poor people so we could "help" them.  Can you be more clear?  Thanks.

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5 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

So are you saying that profiling is or is not OK?  I'm not really sure where you stand on this issue.  You sorta come off as these searches are unreasonable, but that it would be ok if the "inspections" were only being done on poor people so we could "help" them.  Can you be more clear?  Thanks.

Talking about the rationale for the rule isn't the same as agreeing with it.

The reason they're inspecting a random 10% is because no one, especially not loons like me who believe in fourth amendment rights for illegals, would go along with the proposition in my last sentence. I hope. BTW, some illegal immigrants are poor.

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OK, so the 4th amendment is obviously very boring.

How about zoning?

 

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On Friday, the City Council passed Minneapolis 2040, a comprehensive plan to permit three-family homes in the city’s residential neighborhoods, abolish parking minimums for all new construction, and allow high-density buildings along transit corridors.

“Large swaths of our city are exclusively zoned for single-family homes, so unless you have the ability to build a very large home on a very large lot, you can’t live in the neighborhood,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told me this week. Single-family home zoning was devised as a legal way to keep black Americans and other minorities from moving into certain neighborhoods, and it still functions as an effective barrier today. Abolishing restrictive zoning, the mayor said, was part of a general consensus that the city ought to begin to mend the damage wrought in pursuit of segregation. Human diversity—which nearly everyone in this staunchly liberal city would say is a good thing—only goes as far as the housing stock.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

OK, so the 4th amendment is obviously very boring.

How about zoning?

 

As I learned more about religion, one of my take-aways is how institutions of power protect themselves from those uncooperative followers who just can't seem to get with the program.  The obvious Judeo-Christian version is the money changers but it crops up here and there in most religions.

In modern society, we call the 'money changers' the 'zoning commission'.  One of the fundamental flaws in capitalism is that it works on a cyclic principle - you play a game, decide a winner, and start over.  But what happens when you can't start over and you lock in the results?   Welcome to the zoning commission :)  What happens if a particularly cooperative person - say someone with lots of money - shows up?  Like magic.. the zoning commission is your savior. 

We'll see how Minneapolis fairs but my guess is that the changes aren't so altruistic and have little to do with systemic racisim - there's some developer already in the pipeline.  

 

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15 hours ago, cmilliken said:

What happens if a particularly cooperative person - say someone with lots of money - shows up?  Like magic.. the zoning commission is your savior. 

That only sometimes works but sometimes there's a higher authority.

I inquired about getting zoning changed on a piece of property. The County zoning guy agreed with my reasons and said his office would have no problem with the change, but he also promised me that it would NEVER happen without an Act of God because it meant deviating from State govt requirements to change the boundaries of the Urban Services Area. There really are developers with more money than God who really want this done in communities around the state. For the most part, they can't get it done any more than I can. Act of God required.

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Administrative Searches In NYC
 

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When undercover NYPD officers offered to sell stolen electronics to customers at Sung Cho’s laundromat, near the northern tip of Manhattan, Sung never imagined the sting operation could be used as a pretext to shut down his business. But that’s exactly what happened. Attorneys for the city threatened Sung with eviction merely because a “stolen property” offense had happened at his business.

The city presented Sung with a choice: See his business shut down or sign an agreement giving up constitutional rights—including his Fourth Amendment right to be free from warrantless searches of his business. Faced with the imminent closure of his laundromat, Sung had no real choice but to sign.

In New York City today, this experience is all too common. Under New York City’s so-called nuisance eviction ordinance—more appropriately termed a “no-fault” eviction ordinance—residents and business owners can be evicted simply because their home or business was the site of a criminal offense.

 

That's obviously just a common sense law enforcement practice, but unfortunately my libertarian elk at the Institute for Justice, notorious for assaults on our legal system, are challenging it in court.

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On 12/12/2018 at 7:24 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Well boith'jeez..... That looks a awful lot like flat land..... Up nawth of burlintin, izit? Just off th'newyawk bawdah..... Yep..... Figirz....

 :rolleyes:

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10 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Well boith'jeez..... That looks a awful lot like flat land..... Up nawth of burlintin, izit? Just off th'newyawk bawdah..... Yep..... Figirz....

 :rolleyes:

So Snaggy is from Vermont, huh?

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This is weird.

Two major assaults on the American legal system by pesky libertarians and none of the wise people around here want to explain why libertarians are soooo very wrong to do this kind of thing?

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On 12/16/2018 at 4:59 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Administrative Searches In NYC
 

Quote

 

When undercover NYPD officers offered to sell stolen electronics to customers at Sung Cho’s laundromat, near the northern tip of Manhattan, Sung never imagined the sting operation could be used as a pretext to shut down his business. But that’s exactly what happened. Attorneys for the city threatened Sung with eviction merely because a “stolen property” offense had happened at his business.

The city presented Sung with a choice: See his business shut down or sign an agreement giving up constitutional rights—including his Fourth Amendment right to be free from warrantless searches of his business. Faced with the imminent closure of his laundromat, Sung had no real choice but to sign.

In New York City today, this experience is all too common. Under New York City’s so-called nuisance eviction ordinance—more appropriately termed a “no-fault” eviction ordinance—residents and business owners can be evicted simply because their home or business was the site of a criminal offense.

 

That's obviously just a common sense law enforcement practice, but unfortunately my libertarian elk at the Institute for Justice, notorious for assaults on our legal system, are challenging it in court.

I think it makes perfect sense that if I sell drugs on out on the far corner of your property while you're asleep that you should lose your house.  I mean, you should KNOW what's going on at all times 24/7.  

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2 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I think it makes perfect sense that if I sell drugs on out on the far corner of your property while you're asleep that you should lose your house.  I mean, you should KNOW what's going on at all times 24/7.  

Nobody sells drugs, drugs sell themselves.  (credit to Chris Rock, Bring the Pain).  

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7 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I think it makes perfect sense that if I sell drugs on out on the far corner of your property while you're asleep that you should lose your house.  I mean, you should KNOW what's going on at all times 24/7.  

It's a bit worse than that.

The guy did know about the undercover operation going on at his business because the cops told him about it.

The analogy would be: cops tell me they're going to sell drugs on my property, do it, then take my property because of it.

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WOW!  How does this BS even make it to court??  I would think a 1st year law student could get this thrown out in her sleep.

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1 minute ago, Shootist Jeff said:

How does this BS even make it to court?

In the usual way.

The evil libertarians at the Institute for Justice exercise their corporate first amendment rights by filing lawsuits.

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6 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:
8 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

How does this BS even make it to court?

In the usual way.

The evil libertarians at the Institute for Justice exercise their corporate first amendment rights by filing lawsuits.

No, you're missing the point.  I'm saying how does the original charges even make it past a judge or DA in the first place??  

Public defender:  "Your Honor, I'd like to introduce into evadents the following conversation between my client and the LEO's conducting the sting:

Cops:  "Hey laundromat owner - do you mind if we use your place to run a sting?"

Owner:  "Sure, have at it"

Cops:  "Owner, you're under arrest for the sale of illegal activity being conducted on your property".

Owner:  "WTF?  You're joking right?"

Judge:  Hey DA - GTFO of here with this BS case and punch yourself in the dick for even thinking of bring this mickey mouse shit in front of me!!

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Heh. I think you're missing the sarcasm.

It's actually not clear whether they told him about the sting operation. It's clear that it doesn't matter.

 

Quote

 

Sung came to America in 1981, and he opened his laundromat in 2008 in Inwood, near the northern tip of Manhattan. The business prospered, allowing Sung to put three kids through college.

Twice in 2013, undercover NYPD officers came to the laundromat and offered to sell stolen electronics. Both times, someone allegedly took the bait: The first purchaser was an individual totally unknown to Sung, and the second was a son of a friend. Neither Sung nor his employees were involved in any way.

Seven months passed after the second of these incidents, and then, without any warning, Sung found a brightly colored notice on the window of his laundromat informing him that he was the target of a no-fault eviction action. Sung had just days to prepare for a hearing—scheduled for Christmas Eve—where he would have to convince a judge that his business should not be closed.

Worse, when Sung finally found a lawyer willing to take the case on such short notice during the holiday season, he learned that innocence was no defense under the city’s ordinance. Sung could be evicted, and his business closed, simply because his business was the site of a crime. The identity of the criminals was beside the point.

City attorneys, however, made clear that so long as Sung signed an agreement waiving various constitutional rights, they would not shut down the laundromat. Under the agreement, Sung was forced to: (i) allow police to conduct warrantless searches of his business, (ii) provide police unfettered access to his video surveillance system, and (iii) consent to future fines and sanctions for alleged criminal offenses without any need for a hearing before a judge.

The agreement proposed by the city would waive not only Sung’s rights, but also the rights of other people. If Sung sold his business, the agreement would bind the new owners as well.

Despite the agreement’s onerous terms, Sung found he had no choice. Reluctantly, and only to save the laundromat, Sung agreed to sign.

 

The two other cases in the class action are a bit different in nature but are also outrageously outrageous. To evil libertarians.

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4 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

It's actually not clear whether they told him about the sting operation.

But you just told me they did.  <_<

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26 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

But you just told me they did.  <_<

That's my suspicion just because it's a good way for undercover cops to avoid being kicked out by observant owners.

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18 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

That's my suspicion just because it's a good way for undercover cops to avoid being kicked out by observant owners.

 

So this was speculation and not actual fact??  Usually, things like that are preceded by "I suspect....."

1 hour ago, dogballs Tom said:

It's a bit worse than that.

The guy did know about the undercover operation going on at his business because the cops told him about it.

Didn't sound like speculation.

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2 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:
 

So this was speculation and not actual fact??  Usually, things like that are preceded by "I suspect....."

Didn't sound like speculation.

But reading a bit further in my posts...

Quote

When undercover NYPD officers offered to sell stolen electronics to customers at Sung Cho’s laundromat, near the northern tip of Manhattan, Sung never imagined the sting operation could be used as a pretext to shut down his business

Two possibilities are suggested by this:

1. He never imagined that would happen because he did not know about the sting in his business and couldn't imagine things of which he was unaware.

2. He never imagined it because, despite his awareness of the sting, he had the faith in the goodness of government that leads people to look at cases like his and say stuff like:

1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

WOW!  How does this BS even make it to court??

And my suspicion is that it's 2. But anyone who followed links could see the full story for the context of that suspicion.

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On 12/10/2018 at 5:22 AM, dogballs Tom said:

OK, so the 4th amendment is obviously very boring.

How about zoning?

 

 

Also boring, it seems, but it's pretty funny to me that San Fran is forcing a guy to rebuild a historic home he tore down.

We have a Punta Gorda historic district that would react the same way. It's charming as hell unless you want to repair your old house.

The look of pre WWII FL Crackershacks apparently has historic significance. This is funny to me because I'm typing from one right now. My office was built in the 1930's as a home in Port Charlotte. In the 1980's a church bought the historic building with the intention of expanding their parking lot. They put up an ad saying, basically, "Anyone who wants a free house, please come and take it." My mom bit. So it was transported here instead of meeting the end of most of these historic buildings: a bulldozer.
 

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...

This isn't the city's only conflict pitting new developments against a desire to stop anything from ever changing.

Working its way through the courts right now is a lawsuit filed by business owner Robert Tillman, who for years has been stopped from converting his laundromat into apartment complex partially on the grounds that the current laundromat is of historic significance.

...

 

Isn't "historic laundromat" oxymoronic? And other kinds of moronic?

 

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From the Amazon thread:

On 11/14/2018 at 4:05 PM, Left Shift said:

Watching Amazonians every day by the thousands, I can reliably report that they walk, bike, bus, tram, hoverboard, skate board, electric-assist bike, motorscooter, uni-wheel (whatever those things are called), Lyft, Zip-car, and do anything BUT get into a personal car.      I would bet 20% don't even have driver's licenses. 

We are building residential projects aimed at Amazonians with maybe 1 stall per 5 units, or no parking at all.  

Not your average office worker.  

They're legalizing that kind of development in San Fran.
 

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The City of San Francisco, long notorious for having some of the most restrictive zoning rules in the entire country, recently abolished minimum parking requirements for new construction. This might not seem like a big deal. But such mandates add many thousands of dollars to the cost of new housing construction, and thereby reduce the amount of housing, and raise the price of what is available. San Francisco still has numerous other restrictions that block housing development. But this is a notable step in the right direction, and follows in the footsteps of several other cities that have adopted similar reforms.

It's worth noting that abolishing parking requirements and single-family home zoning mandates would not forbid the construction of either single-family homes or buildings with lots of parking spots. It would merely permit the construction of new housing of other types, which previously had been banned. But, in so doing, these reforms would facilitate a great deal of new construction, and thereby reduce housing prices.

 

The thought of not having a car is so foreign to me that it's hard to wrap my head around it. I have my old truck and a minivan and plan to keep both. But they both take space, they both require insurance, both require maintenance, etc. It would be nice to get out of all of that, but not necessary and the vehicles are necessary where I live.

But I'm a rich guy (defined as "someone who owns at least one boat for pleasure") and can afford two vehicles. The overhead of a car is a real drag for people for whom the math of life is such that they have no boats.
 

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Why should any of this interest you, unless you're planning to rent or buy a home in one of the affected communities? The answer is that exclusionary zoning is possibly the most important policy issue most nonexperts have never heard of. In addition to greatly increasing housing costs, it also cuts off many poor and lower-middle class Americans from valuable job opportunities, thereby greatly reducing economic growth and cutting GDP by as much as 9.5%. It is one of the main factors holding back both poor minorities and working-class whites, and preventing millions of Americans from having the opportunity to "vote with their feet" for areas that offer greater opportunity.

The issue unites economists and land-use scholars across the political spectrum. But until recently, progress has been stymied by a combination of public ignorance and resistance by powerful interest groups. But the firewall holding back zoning reform finally seems to be cracking.

 

Or maybe planning to buy and then rent a home. The county wants landlords to provide housing in the under $900 range in this area. That would be nice, an underserved market. So let us build duplexes in more areas.

Sometimes zoning results are just weird. The City of Punta Gorda wouldn't let me put up a fence on one property because, they say, they might close that street and make a park. OK. Super. If they do, it'll enhance my property value. They don't want my ugly fence next to their pretty walking park. OK. I get that. Makes sense until you look across the street at the chain link and barbed wire fence around the mini storage facility. I just wanted a normal chain link fence, no barbed wire or anything.

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On 12/19/2018 at 6:59 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Isn't "historic laundromat" oxymoronic? And other kinds of moronic?

Determining that the answer to the first question is "yes" cost $23,000 plus the lost rent on 75 units for 4 months, which is a hell of a lot more than $23k.

They're still working on the second one.

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I'm surprised they haven't seized the property in Asset Forfeiture.  Maybe they'll do that after they lose on the first lawsuit.

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12 hours ago, sam_crocker said:

I'm surprised they haven't seized the property in Asset Forfeiture.  Maybe they'll do that after they lose on the first lawsuit.

I'm not sure if the historic laundromat building has committed any crimes but one could no doubt be invented.
 

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...The Supervisors held a public hearing on the project on June 19, 2018. Four and a half years into the process, Ronen and the other Supervisors raised a new issue: Citing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an environmental law, they expressed concern that the building would cast a partial shadow on a playground next door. The Supervisors voted to delay the project.

Tillman says such shadows are not a legitimate grounds for appeal under CEQA, and that the Supervisors manufactured the issue to delay his plans further. So he sued San Francisco for $17 million in damages, or what he says his building would have generated thus far if not for the city's illegal delays. Litigation is rare tactic by San Francisco developers, who fear political retaliation on future developments. With only one project, Tillman had less to lose.

But in October of 2018, just two months after Tillman filed his lawsuit, the Planning Commission delivered a surprise. It had independently studied the shadow issue and found that it wouldn't have a significant negative impact on the playground next door. The Commission quickly reapproved the project, and Calle 24 declined to appeal.

Tillman finally has the green light to move forward, but he hasn't yet withdrawn his lawsuit out of concern that the Board of Supervisors is devising new ways to try to derail his project.

 

"We have a housing shortage due to our rent controls, but don't you dare destroy a historic laundromat to build housing!"

"We have a housing shortage due to our rent controls, but don't you dare build enough housing to cast a shadow!"

The alternate plan being promoted is to somehow get money from taxpayers and donors to build 100% subsidized housing. OK, great. Have at it. And after the taxpayers' reps and the donors have come up with a pile of money and you have a real plan, find a site and execute it. Meanwhile, leave the guy who has money and a plan alone with the nonsense about historic laundromats and playground shadows.

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Hong Kong's answer to their housing shortage:

We could build some islands.
 

Quote

 

The Our Hong Kong Foundation—which first released a detailed policy proposal for building the new islands in August 2018—put the cost at HK $1,360 per square foot of reclaimed land which works out to be about $32 billion in U.S. dollars, or roughly 10 percent of Hong Kong's GDP. One government source told the South China Morning Post that the land reclamation plan would cost up to $68 billion, while an environmentalist group has pegged the costs at closer to $128 billion. The government of Hong Kong, a self-governing "special administrative region" of China, has not released official estimates.

That's a lot of money however you slice it, which only further frustrates those who say the project's aspirational completion date of 2032 won't address the region's immediate and pressing problem of housing affordability.

There are things the Hong Kong government could do right away to help reduce the city's astronomical housing costs, including reforming zoning in the territory so that more housing can be built on land that already exists. A large majority of land that falls under Hong Kong's jurisdiction is actually zoned for "green space"—meaning parks, reservoirs, and farmland—and is thus ineligible for housing.

Rezoning this green space could open up a lot of new land to development, but it would be incredibly controversial.

 

$32 $68 $128 billion and done in 2032?

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On 12/10/2018 at 5:22 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Single-family home zoning was devised as a legal way to keep black Americans and other minorities from moving into certain neighborhoods, and it still functions as an effective barrier today

Or, as was a practice in Avondale Estates, Atlanta, you could just put it in the deed.  It is just a shame that people have to hide their racism today.  Political correctness I guess.  (Where is the sarcasm font)?

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On 12/26/2018 at 4:39 AM, dogballs Tom said:

I just wanted a normal chain link fence, no barbed wire or anything.

Tom,  

Some people would like controlled development.  We build nice neighborhoods like that.  Just because you are less offending than the worst offender doesn't make you a good neighbor.

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7 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Hong Kong's answer to their housing shortage:

Singapore has been doing it for years .

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7 hours ago, hasher said:

Tom,  

Some people would like controlled development.  We build nice neighborhoods like that.  Just because you are less offending than the worst offender doesn't make you a good neighbor.

We own three houses in a row. They let me put chain link fences on two of them. Just not the one that's across the street from the yuge chain link fence with the barbed wire.

Just because there's a rule doesn't make it a good rule.

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49 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

Just because there's a rule doesn't make it a good rule.

I lived in a historical neighborhood.  People worked very hard to keep apartments from replacing homes.  It was very affordable back in the day.

I now live in a very nice building downtown.  I selected this carefully.  We are a community and we are going to make sure that no on violates the community agreements.

This is not a high end or exclusive existence.  The street people know my first name and I would love for them to not live on the street.

I don't want a garbage developer coming in here, ever.

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That's nice. All three of the homes in question have the 6' wide front porch as required by the historic code. Two have fences.

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Mayor DeBlasio Is Going To Take On The Worst Slumlords

And he should probably start at the top.

Quote

It's worth noting that the worst landlord in New York isn't even a private landowner. In December, then-NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, who's since been sworn in as attorney general of New York State, put the city's own housing authority at the top of her "2018 NYC Landlord Watchlist."

 

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Uh Oh. DeBlasio Also Wants A Vacancy Tax
 

Quote

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday vowed to lobby Albany to pass a vacancy tax that would penalize landlords who leave shopfronts empty.

“It feels to me as a New Yorker…it used to be there were some storefronts vacant – and for a limited period of time – and now you have lots of storefronts vacant for years. And that’s a blight on neighborhoods,” the mayor said at an unrelated City Hall press conference.

 

It might be smart to just pay it. "It's blighted" is what politicians say about your property right before they take it and you wind up in the Kelo thread.

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On 12/10/2018 at 5:41 AM, cmilliken said:

In modern society, we call the 'money changers' the 'zoning commission'.  One of the fundamental flaws in capitalism is that it works on a cyclic principle - you play a game, decide a winner, and start over.  But what happens when you can't start over and you lock in the results?   Welcome to the zoning commission :)  What happens if a particularly cooperative person - say someone with lots of money - shows up?  Like magic.. the zoning commission is your savior. 

LMAO at what happens when an uncooperative person shows up.
 

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When the city of Santa Rosa, California, told Jason Windus he had to lower the fence around his home, he complied. But the Santa Rosa Code Enforcement Division probably couldn't have predicted his next move.

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It all started after Windus built a fence to keep his dogs from leaving his property, which is on a street corner. "It was a 6-foot fence, like everybody else's around here," he told The Press-Democrat. At least one neighbor wasn't a fan. A city spokesperson told KTVU someone filed a complaint last October regarding the fence. It was found to be in violation of the city code because it might block drivers' views of the intersection.

"They were going to fine me a lot of money if I didn't cut the fence down," Windus told KTVU. "I don't know who [the neighbor] is and I'm sure they're not going to come forward."

Windus shortened the fence to 3 feet. Incidentally, he happened to have several mannequins in his yard that he had obtained via his job running a moving company. "I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. I was going to use them for target practice," he told KTRK. It turned out they would come in handy.

"I guess the average person would get angry," Windus told KTRK. "I throw a naked party in my yard."

"You want to see the inside of my yard, now you get to," he added to NBC Bay Area.

 

 

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