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Editorial: Planning preserves value

"More things in politics happen by accident or exhaustion than happen by conspiracy." —TV journalist and author Jeff Greenfield

There seems to be a growing concern, that has gained traction of late, that comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances and other instruments of community planning are all part of some vast global conspiracy to deprive property owners of their rights, a socialist (or fascist, depending on who’s talking) master plan for world domination.

Lawmakers, who are rarely, if ever, in perfect unanimity on any given issue, are believed to be the unquestioning foot soldiers of some diabolical plot to block progress, denying owners the right to make improvements on their own land, which, in turn, would mean losing a chance of raking in additional tax dollars. It seems counterintuitive, to say the least.

While some legislators, planning commissioners and other decision makers may have a personal agenda that trumps their civic duty, most seem to be a...

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