Texas Public Policy Foundation applauds property rights bill

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is applauding the Texas House of Representatives’ work on curtailing the local government’s authority on land use regulations, saying current laws go against an individual’s property rights.

In a recent blog post, Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Analyst for the Center For Local Governance Bryan Mathew said House Bill 3787, which was recently voted out of committee, will help to stop unjust regulations affecting property owners.

“The bill, as filed by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), would prohibit cities and counties from enforcing land use regulations on properties if the regulations were not in effect when the owner acquired title to the property,” Mathew said in his post. “Respect for property rights has been the bedrock of liberty, financial independence and economic opportunity in Texas. Unfortunately, our state’s commitment to this fundamental principle has eroded over time – leading to outcomes that are both unjust and unwise.”

As Mathew highlights the story of a Dallas automotive shop owner who operated his business for 20 years only to have the city rezone his property, he suggests property development should be taken out of the hands of government officials with the exception of some reasonable regulations.

“With its favorable vote on House Bill 3787, the Land and Resource Management Committee stood up for the principle that it is better for the state as a whole to leave property development to property owners, not government officials – with some allowance for stable, predictable and reasonable regulations,” Mathew said.

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