Friday, January 25, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #92 - Part 4

Reality check for libertarians

Okay, this is a little wake-up call, a reality check, for any libertarians out there.

The house in the picture is in the Pelham Bay neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City. It's the home of Fernando and Patty Justiniano.

Just 12 inches from their house a four-story apartment complex is going up. The structure is being built so close that the Justinianos are able to reach out of their kitchen window and touch the cinder-block wall. That window once overlooked the empty, grassy side yard of a neighbor's house.

According to Fernando, the developer of the apartment complex initially told neighbors he would be building a "little home for his mother" on the 50x100 foot lot. But Patty did some digging on the internet and discovered that the actual plan was for an eight-story apartment building with 16 dwellings. (Since then, the plan has been revised to a four-story building with 14 units.)

The Justinianos say the structure is so close that ten of their windows have been rendered "useless" - just inches from a cinder-block wall. Their dining room now gets no sunlight. What's more, the new building is so close that the Justinianos are unable to clean or make necessary repairs to their first- and second-story gutters, which are now touching the new apartment building.

What can they do about it? Absolutely nothing - because there is no government regulation, no zoning requirement, to prevent the developer from doing exactly what he's doing, nothing to stop him from building literally right to the property line (which he is doing on the other side as well) and jamming 14 apartments onto a 50x100 lot.

So just a reminder: You really don't like government? That's what you get: Money makes might and might makes right.


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