LA: Prophecy Come True

In 1979, Justice William P. Clark, Jr., of the California Supreme Court stated in a dissenting opinion, criticizing the court’s abject deference to extreme land-use regulation in California:

“Many landowners — particularly small ones — will be economically unable to challenge even a confiscatory enactment, being compelled to walk away from their properties.

 

“Perhaps of greater concern is the consequence that Tiburon — and many other govenmental agencies enacting similar land use plans — will price properties within their control out of reach of most people. Only the most wealthy will be able to afford purchase of and construction on lands in such areas. The environment which Tiburon seeks to preserve will disproportionately benefit that wealthy landowner, whose home will be surrounded by open space, unobstructed view and unpolluted atmosphere.” Agins v. City of Tiburon, Clark, J. dissenting

 

And so it came to pass thirty-five years later. Today,

“California has both the most “ultrarich” (people worth more than $30 million) and the worst poverty rate in America. Even though San Francisco recently overtook Los Angeles in ultrarich residents, ostentatious affluence and permanent poverty live side by side here.” Hector Tobar, How Los Angeles Is Becoming a “Third World” City, NY Times, July 6, 2015, on line http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/opinion/welcome-to-hooverville-california.html

 

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