My latest piece for the Civitas Institute discusses Raleigh's rezoning plan, citizens' concerns, and the legal outlook in terms of property rights. The city seemed unprepared for the massive public outcry over what the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) would mean for long-term residents' way of life. Some feel that the city is giving too much control over to federal and international entities by taking national grants and adopting United Nations standards:
Zoning is supposed to be performed at the municipal level, subject to state laws. But some Raleigh residents are concerned that the city’s planning initiative is largely driven by federal and international guidelines.
The City of Raleigh’s 2012-2013 annual grant report lists of a number of federal grants that push top-down ideas of how municipalities should plan for the future. Wonderful as the money may seem, federal largesse does not come without strings attached.
Moreover, the WCTA is concerned that the UDO is part of a larger push for international control. “The cornerstone of the vision for these plans is sustainability,” the WCTA said. “Sustainability entails a green infrastructure that is costly, is an international plan, and is not part of our American form of government.”
Such standards, combined with the American Planning Association’s commitment to “social justice,” have put conservatives on alert that control of their lives is more and more based on high-level, top-down initiatives rather than local needs.