The concept of insulating a commission, charged with protecting vast natural resources from the politics of politics, is a good idea.
Unfortunately, this insulated configuration allows abusive agents within the quasi-judicial (California Coastal Commission) regulatory agency to usurp abilities beyond its original scope. They grew to create their own laws, judge the legitimacy of the laws they created, and enforce these laws.
They became the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government in one body. Now the commission, armed with absolute power, can do whatever it wants. If the desire for a particular rule comes up, and it didn’t previously exist, they can create the necessary rule, ratify it themselves, and enforce it ruthlessly, free from any encumbrance of rationality.
For instance, in homeowner Kathleen Kenny’s case, for the permit discrepancy on her 741 sq.ft home, a $2.4 million dollar fine was renewed post mortem, and still stands against her surviving mate.
By changing course in incremental steps, over a vast period of time, no one saw the changes happening in the BIG picture. Since most every action involved individual homeowners, and the commission has case-by-case discretion, the commission’s inconsistencies could not be proven.
SINS OF COMMISSION approached many people living in coastal California who’ve had dealings with the commission, to see if they would talk about their experience on camera. People refused, either because they had a case before the commission, or were about to begin one. Nobody wanted to exacerbate their current predicament nor be forced to travel up and down the coast, attending meeting after meeting, only to be postponed or dismissed at the whim of the commission.When People fear Government there is Tyranny... When Government fears People there is Liberty. - Thomas JeffersonIn Nollan v. California Coastal Commission U.S. 825 (1987) The United States Supreme Court found the California Coastal Commission guilty of extortion and specifically prohibited the commission from conditioning building permits in exchange for land.
However, the commission found a way to circumvent the court’s ruling. By inventing a new requirement for permit approval called a “dedication of property,” the commission was able to continue exacting land without fear of legal recourse nor loss of property tax revenue.
SINS OF COMMISSION also found out that previous attempts to restore balance and fairness to the commission by acts of legislature, no matter how slight, were greeted with the loudest howls from those who stand to lose should the lopsided system find balance. In 1988, AB 4122, a bill that would prohibit Coastal Commission members from engaging in political fund-raising activities, was introduced by Tom Hayden. It was defeated.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
somebody in the state is standing up for property rights:
Posted by Hatless in Hattiesburg at 6/16/2009 05:10:00 PM