Arizona's Private Property Rights Protection Act (Proposition 207) remains one of the strongest pro-property rights laws in the nation. It requires government to compensate owners for land use regulations that reduce property values. A group of Maricopa County landowners near Luke Air Force Base are a perfect example of the importance of these protections.
In August 2008, the County adopted a building moratorium, stopping all new building permits from being issued. A family who lives there can no longer put a pool in their backyard, install solar panels on their roof, or do basic electrical or plumbing work--let alone add a garage or start construction on a new home.
While Arizona's counties are given authority to restrict land uses, Prop 207 requires them to compensate the owners. Thanks to that law, landowners around the air force base will not be forced to shoulder the costs of the county's building moratorium. The Goldwater Institute yesterday filed claims for compensation with the county under Prop 207 on behalf of more than 175 landowners.
These claims illustrate exactly why the voters enacted Prop 207, to protect owners from unfairly losing property rights to government land laws.
Carrie Ann Sitren is an attorney with the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.
Goldwater Institute: Prop. 207 right for property owners
Goldwater Institute: $20 million in Prop. 207 claims filed against Maricopa County
Arizona State Legislature: Prop 207
Maricopa County: Building moratorium