Senators Fighting Federal Zoning Bill!

from American Land Rights Association

5/1/02 -Opposition to S. 975, the Federal Zoning Act, continues to build.  Only a
few months ago, this was an obscure piece of special-interest legislation
being pushed by an obscure outfit called the American Planning Association

But now, thanks to  HEROES  like Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe and Idaho
Senator Mike Crapo, it has been exposed as a massive federal government
takeover of local land use zoning!

Senator Inhofe immediately objected to the Environment and Public Works
Committee moving its meeting at the last minute to a secret room in order
to hide its votes from the public.  However, as the smoke clears from this
sleazy episode, it turns out that it was not just Inhofe, but also Senator
Crapo as well who immediately filed a statement  (SEE  BELOW)  in support
of the United States Constitution and against Big Brother reaching into
every local zoning board in America.

S. 975 is basically a guaranteed, permanent Full Employment Act for members
of the American Planning Association (APA).  S. 975 provides $125 million
in grant money to pay - you guessed it - APA members to rewrite zoning
laws!  That's a pretty cozy deal - write a law for yourself that guarantees
$125 million in taxpayer funds put into your pocket!

APA is the trade association for the professional, certified planners that
work with governments on zoning.  Many of their members are excellent
public servants who work with elected officials on the difficult and touchy
subject of land use.

However, many in the APA leadership are elitists who believe they know
better than elected boards and commissions on how things should be.
  Examples of this can be seen coast to coast, for example the incredibly
arrogant and abusive bureaucrats with the Pinelands Commission in New
Jersey or the Coastal Commission in California.  The APA have been great
supporters of  the Endangered Species Act for example, because it increases
government control over private property - regardless of whether the ESA
actually helps species!

Take a look for yourself at the APA's "smart growth" agenda - which greatly
enhances the power of unelected APA bureaucrats at the expense of  both
democracy and private property rights.  Their website is

HERE  is Idaho Senator Mike Crapo's excellent statement in support of the
separation of powers between Big Brother versus local and state government:

Statement of Michael D. Crapo
United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

Discussion of S. 975

April 25, 2002

I have very serious concerns about S. 975, the Community Character Act. I
oppose the bill, and due to my numerous concerns, do not see any
opportunity to resolve these differences with my colleagues who support the
bill. S. 975 is an example of federal intrusion in local land use planning
despite changes that have been made to the legislation.  I believe that S.
975 raises potential constitutional questions under the Tenth Amendment,
which states that zoning and land use decisions are reserved to the state
and local governments.

The precedent that this legislation sets is dangerous. The federal
government should not have a role in what planning activities occur on the
state or local level and they certainly should not be encouraging planning
to be done in a such a way that provides financial incentives through the
grant process to acquiesce to burdensome or inappropriate federal planning

Most troubling is the fact that the Secretary of Commerce decides in the
legislation what is considered to be "inadequate or outmoded land use pl
anning legislation" and which areas have experienced "significant growth."
Not only are these very broad and vague terms, but I do not believe that
the Secretary of Commerce has the kind of background necessary to make
these kinds of determinations. This is not an appropriate role for any
federal official.

Further, in order to be eligible for a grant, a state or tribal government
must include "recognized approaches to land use planing" in their land use
grant proposals. In my view, this essentially requires the state or tribe
to utilize planning approaches outlined in federal guidelines or forfeit
any opportunity to receive a grant.

The top down approach that this legislation takes is also underscored by
its emphasis on encouraging planning to take place on the state and tribal
government level. Planning should start with collaboration at the
grassroots level with local governments and citizen involvement.  My
colleagues who support S. 975 argue that there are no preferences outlines
in the bill, but just by having the federal government determine who gets a
grant, we are creating preferences. The bottom line is that the federal
government should not play a role in state and local land use planning.

I am pleased that HUD Secretary Mel Martinez as well as the Department of
Commerce have gone on record for the Administration in opposing S. 975 and
House companion bill H.R. 1433. Obviously, the administration understands
the dangerous precedent this bill sets.

THANK  YOU  Senator Crapo!


S. 975, the Federal Zoning Act, may be voted in by full United States
Senate within the next few months - unless you tell your Senator that you

The grassroots already has them on the run -  YOUR  ACTIVISM  caused an
entire committee of Senators to run and hide from the public in a backroom
and attempt to cast secret votes.  HEROES  like Senators Jim Inhofe and
Mike Crapo forced a recorded vote and foiled the plans of the land

The promoters of this bill, primarily leftwing Senators Harry Reid of
Nevada and Hillary Clinton of New York, will be pushing hard for a floor
vote of the entire Senate.  Reid is the Senate Assistant Majority Leader -
that is the #2 position in the Senate!

Contact both of your own state's Senators and tell them to:

#1  -  RESPECT  local zoning laws and the constitutional separation of

#2  -  OPPOSE  S. 975, the Federal Zoning Act.

You may call any Senator at the Capitol Switchboard -- (202) 224-3121 or
the temporary FREE NUMBER  (800) 648-3516.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

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