Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Claremont v. Pomona

Not long ago I said that if it could be guaranteed that Pomona would get money for law enforcement from selling off the land it owns in Claremont to a developer, I'm all for the development. Will Bigham of the Daily Bulletin poked around and discovered that it is unclear if Pomona would get any money from the sale, although there is a potential for Claremont to get lower water rates and improved service.

Thing is, Claremont likes to keep lots of "open spaces" on its upper hillsides, mainly because no one perceives much in the way of more pressing issues to worry about in Claremont and the area can afford to say no to development. Heck, Claremont simply buys up millions of dollars of land rather than see it developed.

This is one of those odd foothill city issues. So much of city politics in the SGV revolves around the virtual strangehold cities have over the use of private property. I am willing to grant that cities have the right to decide many development issues as they see fit, but I am not willing to discount the importance of the rights of private property owners. There is a lot of gray area here, but cities usually err on the side of "we tell you what to do with your land," which makes for some pretty darn medieval and/or communist politics when it comes to land use.

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