On today’s show we’re talking about your property, and where your rights end.
If you happen to own a factory that borders on the Hudson River and you dump millions of gallons of toxic material in the river, most people would agree that those affected should have the right to make an argument that they’re being negatively impacted and you should stop. That’s pretty clear. In fact, the government should step in for violating environmental regulations. That too is pretty clear.
But if you build a house in a neighbourhood, should the neighbours who did not make an investment in your property get to dictate what you do on your property?
In an effort to prevent neighbours from arguing with each other over aesthetics, cities have created rules in the zoning code. These are the same rules that the neighbours who live next door and across the street have to live by. It becomes a difficult argument that a rule was good enough for you, but is not appropriate for the neighbour.
The grey zone is when variances are involved.
Host: Victor Menasce