Right now the Mineral County Planning Commission is in the mist of developing its Comprehensive Plan under Section §8A-3 of the
Governments have tried to plan economies and land use for hundreds of years, and I can think of none that ever found success. Starting in 1607 over the course of 2-years 604 people were sent to the centrally planned
Economic Development and Land Use are linked to prosperity, yet they are two separate sections of the state code on developing a comprehensive plan. That alone speaks volumes of the government’s ability to effectively plan that which it doesn’t understand. While local WV governments do not have the power to centrally plan production, they can restrict the economy through removal of property owner rights more commonly called Zoning. Let’s make no mistake zoning is only a restriction; it can never enhance the economy. A free market needs choices to operate, remove those choices through zoning and you create inefficiencies that slow or reverse economic growth.
The first looser is the entrepreneur, which create most of the jobs in the state and usually start those businesses at home. A good example is Thermo Gauge located in
The dark sides of zoning are they create a class of public officials with the power to restrict the self-determination of land owners with no consequences for themselves. This power favors those with political and monetary clout at the expense of the original land owners and less affluent. Land use restrictions also create regulatory takings, this happens when a governing body restricts the use of private property so that the value is lessened. The victim of a regulatory taking still holds deed to the property, but much of its value will have been removed without compensation.
The answer to my question is government should stay out of central planning as much as possible. While not perfect, the free market will always be smarter and fairer than the bureaucrats when deciding economic and land use issues.