Re: The Libertarian Action?

Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 15:38:43 MST

Eli asks:

>Suppose Person A wants to open up a bar, and applies for a liquor
license. Persons B, consisting of the resident/owners of a nearby
condominium complex, are annoyed by this for the standard reasons
- increased noise, increased traffic, violent drunks wandering
around, and decreased property values. Suppose that Persons B
sign a petition to deny a liquor license to Person A, thus annoying
Person A and any investors thereof. Do you agree or disagree
with the following statements?<

A & B: no.

>(C) The city government deciding the issue is the nearest
>available approximation to the dispute resolution mechanisms
that would exist in a libertarian society - for example, distributed
ownership of "noise rights".

Iíll answer Eliís query as a deep-foggy rather than an old-timer,
(while remembering that it is size that matters, not age.)

If I understand the setup correctly, the folks who live in condos
are complaining that the bar will be too noisy and the issue
is how to they resolve the impending conflict.

As a former homeowner, I remember attending town meetings and
listening the wranglings night after night. I purchased a home
in a commercial zone which was primarily residential, all resident
knew before purchasing their homes that this location would,
at some point, be developed. I was there to turn my home into
be a business that would have live music. The fact that people
lived in homes next to me was secondary to the fact that we were
commercially zoned.

The bottom line is this: If you purchase a piece of property
in close proximity to a business district, the community will
end up dealing with how much revenue will come from the business
and how much the town needs the business and who does or will
work for the business. If the personality profile of the town
is rowdy, rowdy will win. It is a conservative or spiritual
community, then not too many folks will end up stooped at the

The folks that purchase homes or condos near commercially zoned
areas have to deal with the consequence development and growth.
Zoning laws may have community buffer zones which give residence
a sort of padding between their homes and bustling businesses.
 There are also zoning variances and ordinances.

If a person purchases a condominium or home which is near the
buffer zone or right smack up next to a commercial zone, then
this is part of the possible situations that can occur. If the
person does not want to be near a bar, then she or he needs to
purchase a homestead near a national forest which cannot be developed.
 A commercially zoned location is zoned to the businesses that
the community desires regardless of who lives next door.

Regarding noise, I believe in the 1970s Congress passed a Noise
Control Act as a sort of template for local and state bodies
to use when designing their own regulations. However, even my
townhouse manager where we live doesnít stop the noise pollution
coming from the people across the way.

It seems that the resolution could be obtained through voluntary
cooperation. In that the idea is for the individuals involved
to have the power to decide, rather than a governing body, it
still boils down to a set of values or guidelines that folks
will have to follow. So, if the community wants more business,
business will win. If the community wants more spas and meditation,
there will be a juice bar instead of martinis.



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