Magazine article Insight on the News
Sneaky Democrats Trying to Federalize Land-Use Planning
Senate Democrats blocked public access to a committee meeting and vote on a bill that critics say is anti-development and amounts to a federal takeover of local zoning laws. The bill would provide federal grants covering 90 percent of the cost of updating local zoning ordinances to "improve environmental policy" and prevent "loss of community character," according to a report in the Washington Times. The phrases are seen as code words for further inroads on private property rights.
Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee asked that the heating and vote be public. They couldn't make that happen because the committee is under Democratic control. The meeting was, however, open to credentialed press, though members of various property-rights groups hoping to attend were excluded. While it is true that tightened security measures greatly have restricted public access in the Capitol building, this particular meeting was held in a conference room that was off-limits to the general public even before the recent ratcheting up of security precautions. …