Zoning Laws Must Change To Meet Needs Of Poverty Stricken Nation
was a time in America when jobs were plentiful, folks were realizing substantial wealth and comfort and government planning
and zoning boards were busy drafting documents to assure a utopian future for all.
were the days when federal grant dollars were readily available to communities that jumped through certain hoops. Among the
hoops were the establishment of a planning commission (comprised of local citizens) that drafted a “master plan”
for future development, and a zoning board (also comprised of the citizenry) that created zones, or specific mapped areas
within the town where property owners had to meet certain standards of compliance.
the town council adopted the master plan and approved the zoning laws, the federal money began funneling down the pipeline
to help complete all kinds of community improvements from the creation of city parks to extensions of water and sewer lines
into planned new urban development neighborhoods.
this period population growth, the construction of better highways and urban development virtually covered the landscape,
often covering some of the best agricultural land in the nation.
phenomenon that occurred was the development of industrial agriculture, with big corporate farms buying up smaller family-owned
farms. The food produced on these massive farms was no longer pure as farming moved into genetically modified crops and livestock
was saturated with antibiotics and other chemicals designed to make them grow faster and produce more food by-product such
as eggs and milk. There has been a growing demand for organically produced foods.
good times have now come to a screaming halt.
those federal grant dollars have long dried up as have the federal and state revenue sharing programs, leaving counties, cities,
villages and townships fighting to balance their budgets and meet weekly payrolls. Dreams of utopian development have been
put on the shelf as local plants and businesses plunge into bankruptcy and workers by the thousands lose their jobs.
as neighborhoods reorganize to collectively adjust to low-income lifestyles they are running head-on into restrictive zoning
laws designed to assure that residential neighborhoods remain prim and well cared-for.
existing zoning laws conflict with the concept of turning green grass lawns into vegetable gardens to produce food for the
homeless and hungry. Also a growing number of “urban farmers” want to go even farther and utilize vacant lots
and spacious yards for not only producing vegetables, but keeping chickens and other farm animals for the production of milk,
eggs and other fresh food products.
now outmoded zoning laws, and some of the employed and still comfortable folks living in homes in many of those utopian-styled
neighborhoods, are blocking this new social need, however. After all, chicken pens, goat and cow barns and the keeping of
even small numbers of such animals creates smells and calls for barn-styled buildings that violate zoning laws and anger neighbors
that desire life in a well manicured environment.
America struggles to adjust to what has happened to us there has developed a growing conflict between those urban gardeners
and city zoning boards over zoning laws that govern residential gardens.
the laws must be changed to allow people to put those green spaces into better use than merely providing attractive, spacious
and well manicured lawns and shrubbery.
fact, some groups want to take zoning law changes even farther. They would like the laws to allow people to work out of the
home when employers allow it.
also would like to allow for development of new business and potential industrial models by would-be inventors who wish to
work in home garages and back yard structures. While they may have the genius for a new product, they lack the resources to
try their ideas outside of the home.
it or not, some of the zoning laws were drafted to prevent anyone from working in the home, and some of the laws prohibited
anyone from living in apartments built on the second floor of downtown business places.
There is a crying need today for such laws to be relaxed, if not entirely stricken from the books. And those
old master plans should be abandoned altogether, or at least locked in a vault somewhere for use at some future time when
and if America ever climbs back out of the deep pit it down finds itself in.