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A Mayor Can Change His Mind

And in this case I’m glad he did.

Some of you may recall that a few meetings ago our mayor announced his intention to make a major change to the way Belmar applies zoning laws, from a way that prohibits all but what is listed as permissible property uses in our code to one that allows everything that isn’t specifically prohibited by the code.

Obviously this change would have been fraught with all sorts of problematic effects going into the future as it’s impossible to predict what sorts of unwanted enterprises might want to make their home in Belmar.  It would be almost impossible to bar them post-facto.  As Robert Forte pointed out at the last Council meeting, it is much easier to add an acceptable use that we might have missed than to ban one after somebody has already applied for something about which there is no law prohibiting it.

This came up because although there are already a couple of health clubs and gyms in town, they are not currently on the list of permitted businesses.  But it looks like Doherty decided against throwing our zoning wide open because scheduled for a first reading at tomorrow’s meeting is Ordinance 2014-13 , which adds gyms and health clubs to the permitted uses in Belmar’s zoning.

I know I’m not sounding very libertarian on this, but I’m not an anarchist, I’m a libertarian and there are some things even a libertarian wouldn’t want going on in his town.  And there’s just no way to name all of them ahead of time, especially ones that haven’t even been invented yet.  And we can, if we want, be very open minded about the introduction of new business types that we hadn’t thought about previously.

Added to that is that in a proper distribution of power, the towns should have a lot more leeway in making laws than should the state because it’s very easy to move to a different town if you don’t like the way your town is doing things but it’s difficult to move to another state.  In the same vein, the federal government should have very little power in our lives because it’s impossible to move to a different country for most people.


One Comment

  1. Land of the Free wrote:

    Is the mayor giving away free land tonight , how much is kapalko paying for the land the mayor is giving him , and how do I get some also?

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

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