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Re: SG-W:/ prop 2

So is it the case that circumstances where the profit motive is small, 
Prop 2, if passed, will have helped protect local government from being 
overridden, but in cases of a really big upside for an industry (i.e, the 
worst cases), Prop 2 won't be enough?

When Harvey Wasserman spoke at the Ecology Center a week or so ago, he 
gave a very poignant example of the power of money. When electric 
deregulation was being decided in California, utility companies stood to 
lose $25 billion in so called "standed costs". They spent about $40 
million in the campaign to get them included in the package, so consumers 
will cover those costs through the electric rates they pay, rather than 
the stockholders of the companies that made the bad investments. They 
won. The most they would have paid to ensure victory? Probably about $24 


>Supposedly, zoning isn't even an issue in this effort -- opponents of Prop. 2
>claim that zoning is a "local issue" that they don't seek to control [I guess
>we are supposed to ignore SB 205...]  But, I would argue that zoning is in
>fact central to the argument for Prop. 2.  Why?
>If you support the current system then you are allowing for the possibility
>that the state government could strip local communities of the power to
>control their own zoning.  Impossible you say?  Well, maybe the state won't
>remove that power completely but look at what has been happening over the
>years -- bit by bit, the state has been stripping the ability of local
>governments to control zoning within their communities.  As the article in
>Planning and Zoning Center magazine noted, sometimes those were for "good"
>reasons and sometimes not.  Recent history is peppered with examples of
>"sometimes not" -- SB 205, etc.  If you oppose Prop. 2 then you support a
>future where that chipping away of local control can continue to happen.
>Here's an example of where Prop. 2 is going to make all the difference.  This
>example combines land-use with other local control issues.  Currently, the
>Michigan Supreme Court is considering a case between the City of Holland and
>Adams Outdoor Advertising over the regulation of billboards. The City has set
>strict control on billboards with the goal of gradually eliminating as 
>many as
>possible from the City. Adams sued the City after the City stopped Adams from
>erecting a slew of new billboard [without permits and some in City ROW]
>claiming that the City's billboard ordinance was unconstitutional.  The Court
>of Appeals sided with the City saying it was a valid exercise of the City's
>Home Rule Powers [http://www.icle.org/michlaw/oview.cfm?caseid=20854321].
>While one can only speculate on how the Court will rule in this case, it is
>worth noting that the Supreme Court ruled against Adams in a similar case
>against the City of East Lansing over the regulation of rooftop billboards
>[http://www.icle.org/michlaw/oview.cfm?caseid=11367411].  It is very possible
>that the Court will uphold the City of Holland in this case, affirming its
>Home Rule Powers.
>Why is this relevant?  For this reason -- one of the areas that the HB 4777
>sought to strip power from local governments is in the area of regulating
>outdoor advertising [billboards].  Now, if the Supreme Court affirms the 
>of local governments to strictly limit billboards, do you think Adams and the
>rest of the industry is just going to accept that?  No!  They are going to
>push the legislature to enact HB 4777 or something similar to it to remove 
>power of local governments to regulate billboards.  Would they succeed?
>Maybe, maybe not -- but why should local governments even have to fight that
>battle?  If Prop. 2 passes - we probably won't.  Adams might be able to
>convince some legislators of the beauty of billboards but they won't convince
>2/3ds of them.
>Billboards might come first because of the Adams case but you can bet that
>there will be those who argue that all of these units of government with
>different zoning regulations is "bad for business" -- this is the argument 
>HB 4777.  If Prop. 2 loses, I'm afraid that those who support that position
>will be emboldened to strip even more power from local government.  And why
>not?  If you are willing to allow the state to determine all local control
>then that is the situation that could be created.
>Andrew Mutch

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