Property Zoning… Past Residential, does it matter?

Proposed_LU_ranges_July 7 2007I’ve been working on a small research project for a couple of months on Zoning ordinances and people’s trust in the government.  While I’ve noticed no major correlation, it has raised an interesting point I thought I’d share.

While I’ve always understood the need for Zoning residential property — as it ensures the ground is not contaminated, or otherwise unsafe for residences, why are there oodles upon oodles of commercial or industrial zoning regulations, aside from the fact that, say, a nuclear power plant can’t sit next to a farm?  That much I get…

But for instance, say an adult store, or a strip club (which I’m using as an example in my paper, actually) wants to open its doors in a particular city.  I can understand people’s desire not to have one in their town…  but — instead of having a government board tell an otherwise-legal [assuming it is in that area] business owner, who is conducting business that s/he can’t open the business there… why can’t people just *not* patronize it?

Further, again, leaving out safety issues such as a nuclear waste facility next to a cattle farm — is this just an example of local government trying to just appropriate things JUST for the sake of appropriating them?  Is telling a car-wash that it can’t open next to a library when the land has been bought and paid for and the business owner follows rules like the reasonable person should — that “Your business can’t be there”?

Again, just food for thought…  discuss amongst yourselves… or here.  😀