On the Commons with Steve Siegel

On The Commons with us this week is Steven Siegel. Steve is a lawyer and a doctoral student at Columbia Law School. He wrote an article titled: "The Public Role in Establishing Private Residential Communities: Towards a New Formulation of Local Government Land Use Policies that Eliminates the Legal Requirements to Privatize New Communities in the United States" that was published in the Fall 2006 edition of The Urban Lawyer. Please join us On The Commons. We'll talk about the ramifications of these trends and find out what he means by Public Service Exaction.

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  • 3/12/2011 4:25 PM gnut wrote:
    Since I've been linking to this radio interview a lot lately from other web sites, I thought it might be a good idea to to include a link to the the article itself here:

    article: onthecommons.us/images/stories/Views/Siegel,The%20Public%20Role....pdf

    table of contents: onthecommons.us/images/stories/Views/Article%20table%20of%20contents.pdf
    Reply to this
  • 4/26/2011 10:13 PM gnut wrote:
    On Evan McKenzie's blog today (4/26/2011), Tom Skiba, president of the Community Associations Institute, wrote in the comments section:

    "Fortunately or unfortunately there are many associations that provide extensive services including roads, storm water management, parks, etc. That is why the local governments required them in the first place, to push the costs out of the government budget while retaining the property tax revenue."

    That is a major admission coming from the president of the HOA lobby.

    I guess the whole "HOAs are a lifestyle that people choose" Communisty Party line just isn't believable anymore, so the tune is changing. As regular listeners of "On The Commons" know, the explosive growth of HOAs has been supply driven, not demand driven, creating major distortions in the housing market with fewer choices for consumers.

    Maybe Mr. Skiba's admission is a sign of a coming "preference cascade" following years of American homeowners being abused by the Community Associations Institute:

    Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it – but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

    This works until something breaks the spell, and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers – or even to the citizens themselves. Claims after the fact that many people who seemed like loyal apparatchiks really loathed the regime are often self-serving, of course. But they’re also often true: Even if one loathes the regime, few people have the force of will to stage one-man revolutions, and when preferences are sufficiently falsified, each dissident may feel that he or she is the only one, or at least part of a minority too small to make any difference.”
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