Even though policies being made at the federal level get the most cable media attention, it is the policies that are made at the local level that are most likely to impact the day-to-day life of the average citizen.
And it is at the local level that your freedom is most likely to be stripped away.
Take the most recent example of Denver City councilman-elect Rafael Espinoza trying to impose a historic designation on a house in the Jefferson Park neighborhood against the wishes of the homeowner. By doing this, Espinoza hopes to block the homeowner from selling his property to a developer.
The homeowner and developer are suing and alleging that Espinoza used his position of power to pressure staff with the Landmark Preservation Commission to bend the rules, so he could get the Non-Historic Status of the home revoked.
According to Denver Real Estate Watch, here’s what happened:
Espinoza hand delivered the application [for historic designation] on the evening of May 28, the deadline date set by the city for applying for historic designation status for the project. However, a Certificate of Non-Historic Status was issued by the City’s Landmark Preservation Commission at 4:18 p.m. on that date.
The next day, the city “revoked” the Certificate of Non-Historic Status for the property. The city had never before rescinded a Non-Historic Status in the wake of a “hostile” action like this, according to the plaintiffs.
Setting aside for a moment the fact that this homeowner should be able to sell his home to a willing buyer without interference from his soon-to-be city councilman, it is absolutely appalling that Espinoza used his power to get the Landmark Preservation Commission to revoke a status it had already awarded to the home in question.
Sure there are people in Denver who are freaked out by all the development going on, but this is the wrong way to handle it. The million people moving here over the next 20 years need somewhere to live, and a dense city center is better than the urban sprawl in places like Phoenix or LA. For those that don’t like apartment complexes going up near your home then move, don’t run for office so you can stick it to your neighbor.