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No midstream rule changes

A recent The Union editorial regarding property rights concluded with the following: “Most folks don’t mind playing by the rules. They just want to know that the rules are being changed in the middle of the game.”

I agree with this observation and sentiment entirely. In fact, let’s use it to weigh the effectiveness of the property rights initiative in preventing this abuse.



Consider someone who, after doing his homework to find out what was allowed on his and adjacent properties at the time of purchase, finds the county won’t enforce zoning restrictions on the adjacent property because of this ambiguous initiative, and what was slated to be low density will now be high-density housing. Would the initiative compensate the owner who paid too much for his property by thinking that he was buying a little privacy? Absolutely not!

Why? Because the apparent intent, contrary to the stated intent of preventing devaluation due to midstream rule changes, seems to be to cripple government through endless litigation in true anti-government fashion. Whereas the repeated allegation has been made that the anti-growth movement is hiding behind environmentalism, isn’t this a case of anti-government forces hiding behind the good old patriotic (ironically) property rights claim?




The initiative seeks to protect you against government action, but not against government inaction. When I pay my taxes, I expect enforcement of the legally adopted General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. People desiring change should endeavor to revise them in the honest and democratic way, not by trying to undermine the entire civil structure of society in devious, destructive ways.

The fact is that the main author of the initiative publicly proposed not enforcing the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance as a means of avoiding the financial ruin of the county. And the main challenger for the 3rd district seat gave unqualified support to the initiative, even after the financial impact study on the initiative showed that it could turn county government upside down on its head.

Are these the kind of civil and fiscally responsible positions we hope for when we step into the ballot box?

Jim Ciaffoni

Nevada City


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