Property Rights

Your home is your castle—unless the government thinks it should be a shopping center. Learn how citizens and local governments can protect homes and businesses from government takeovers.

<p>Your home is your castle—unless the government thinks it should be a shopping center. Learn how citizens and local governments can protect homes and businesses from government takeovers.</p>

(From The Wall Street Journal)

Just over six years ago, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 207, one of the nation’s strongest protections for property rights, which requires governments to pay property owners when regulations reduce their property values.

 

For over a year and a half, the historic town of Tombstone, Ariz., has been in a stand-off with the U.S. Forest Service over the restoration of its municipal water system in the Huachuca Mountains.

When Susette Kelo bought her dream home in New London, Connecticut, she didn't expect a private development corporation to show up under city auspices and demand that she turn her property over for redevelopment.

But that's exactly what happened, forcing Kelo and several neighbors to sue for relief in a case that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court's ruling, expected this month, could have important ramifications for property owners in Arizona.

Uncle Sam wants to replace the fast food in your diet with government pork. Arizona’s Pima County is one of 44 municipalities receiving federal stimulus money to address obesity within its borders.

The Washington Times recently reported that Arizona rancher Roger Barnett is being sued in federal court for $32 million because he detained 16 trespassers on his ranch at gunpoint. The trespassers were illegal immigrants and they are claiming Barnett used excessive force and conspired to violate their constitutional rights. Barnett says his actions were justified because trespassing illegal immigrants previously invaded his home, destroyed his property and killed his calves.

The 1990 movie, The Hunt for Red October, has a poignant scene in which the Soviet submarine captain and his second-in-command contemplate what they will do once they defect to America.

The second-in-command speculates that he might get an RV and drive from state to state. They let you do that, don't they? he asks, and the captain agrees. No papers? No papers, says the captain.

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.

Concerns about safety and liability undoubtedly prompt some property owners to ban storing guns in cars parked on their property. But that does not justify using the right to bear arms as a means to limit private property rights. Recently introduced legislation in Arizona threatens to do just that.

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