Thursday, 14 February 2013

Policies in search of a problem, or why citizens hate city hall

Brampton residents are angry about one of their neighbors knocking down a small house and building a huge house in its place. It appears that his construction is legal... But in response to the public complaints, Brampton City Council passed new zoning rules that prevent anyone from adding more than 15% of their existing house without gaining a zoning exemption (which takes time and costs money). The new rule will not impact the house that everyone is already upset about. Instead, it will affect almost everyone to expand their kitchen or add a new bedroom or sun room to the back of their house.

Is anyone asking why council passed this rule, knowing that it a) would not solve the existing problem, b) will create lots of red tape for many other people? Any policy change that fails to solve a perceived existing problem while causing more red tape restricting individual rights and property values for many people can only be called 'bad policy.'

This is why citizens hate city hall: powerless to stop a [perceived] problem, lacking the guts to admit impotence, and a new rule that overcompensates by generating unnecessary red tape for hundreds.

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