A Libertarian Dilemma

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Not in my Backyard!

But what about when it’s in your neighbor’s back yard? What is the Libertarian attitude – and response – toward something you don’t like being built on someone else’s property?

The question contains its own answer.

It’s one I had to come face to face with recently, too. Proof of my Libertarian pudding, you might say. I think I passed. You tell me – and then tell me how you’d react.

Here’s the set-up:

I moved to a rural area, one with just one stoplight in the whole county – and no zoning laws, if you can imagine such a thing still exists anywhere in America today.

It is not necessary to supplicate the local Gertrude Schlotz-Klink before one is allowed to build a shed, or put a roof your house or cut a tree down on one’s own property. You can do literally whatever you want to do with any tree that’s on your property.

Italics added for the necessary emphasis.

Shoot the tree, if you like. Paint it red, drive a truck into it. Carve it into a 50 foot high Trump (or Hillary) statue.

So long as it’s on your property, it is considered – rightly – your tree. Do with it as you see fit.

Do with your land as you see fit.

Including sell it to someone who may do something some of your neighbors may not exactly like with it.

Such as sell to an evil corporation – Dollar General, in this case – and subject your soon-to-be ex-neighbors to Grubby Commerce or some other such.

Things change – and sometimes, not the way we want them to.

Like the fact that there will soon be a Dollar General store about a mile down the road from me. Ugh. It will be the first corporate commercial presence within literally a dozen miles of my place and without question it will change the area’s character in ways that may benefit some but will absolutely annoy others – including me.

Neither consideration being actionable – insofar as taking action against others. As by appealing to the government to thwart the building of the store, for instance.

If you’re a Libertarian – and practice your espoused principles.

As a Libertarian, I have the option to move. Or stay – and accept the changing topography.

Do I like that there will be what – to me – is an ugly, low-rent, box store purveyor of container-shipped cheap Chinese crap just a mile down the road from me? That traffic (and noise) will almost certainly increase? That “the element” – people I’d rather not see or have to interact with – will now be attracted to my general vicinity?


It makes my teeth hurt.

I am saddened to see the rural/local character of my little hamlet changing. I am selfishly annoyed by the coming of what, to me, is something as unwanted. I moved to here to get away from everything the Dollar Store represents. I had hoped to never see box store bleakness again, unless I drove a dozen or more miles down the road.

I worry that the presence of this latter-day KMart only a mile away will decrease the value of my place – leaving aside intangible quality of life/aesthetic considerations.

There goes the neighborhood.

I also worry that its presence may increase the value of my place – as the area becomes more agreeable to “city” types who up to now wouldn’t want to live out here because it’s too far away from everything and not convenient.

Now it will be more so.

My taxes may go up.


Worst case – from my point of view – the Dollar General will succeed. And that success will cause more interest in commercial development and that will in time turn this area into the very thing I moved 240 miles down the road to get away from: A replication of Northern Virginia.

That really makes my teeth hurt.

But I won’t join some of my neighbors in the rictus cry of authoritarian collectivism: There ought to be a law!

Specifically, zoning laws.

That is the reaction (and intention) of  several people I know who are – like me – not happy about the General but – unlike me – are willing to throw the concept of property rights in the Woods.

The danger of this ought to be apparent – but it makes no impression.

If zoning laws are passed limiting to whom (and for what purpose) X may sell his property and for what purpose,  it follows inevitably that Y and Z will be encumbered by a roster of additional restrictions, relentlessly expanding, until the once surprisingly free rural southern Virginia community becomes as suffocatingly corseted as any Northern Virginia suburb.

Gertrude Schlotz-Klink slouches toward Bethlehem . . .

Forget cutting down your tree. There will no longer be any such thing as your tree – whether (nominally) on “your” property or not. No more sheds without permission. And firing off a gun in the backyard? Might as well put the SWAT team on speed dial now.

You’ll continue to pay the mortgage – and the property taxes – but your neighbors, as expressed and enforced via Schlotz-Klink, will determine how you’re allowed to use “your” land.

No thanks. Give me Dollar General instead.

Or rather, give me liberty – and respect for my property rights. In return, I promise to respect the property rights of my neighbors, even when I am not pleased with what they’ve decided to do with their property.

Italics added, again.

For what, by now, ought to be obvious reasons.

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  1. People never worry about “light trespass” , the one thing they don’t realize is how easy this convenient light makes it for someone to break into your property, the best thing is a motion detector light, now that scares the heck out of burglars and malcontents .Practically everyone that has moved around here , has the utility put up night lights ( what the hell for ? what are they scared of ?)I resent these friggin subsidized lights, used to be a fan of the “Milky way” getting harder to see her now . People are crazy for ever wanting zoning, because anything that is undesirable gets a waiver anyway. There are no stoplights in this county , but it cant be much longer as the” fruitbats” and make” it like where I came fromers “,keep moving in in droves. Nothing left for the poor bastard who lived through the bad times and had to work for a living.

    • People are now of the opinion ‘just leave the light on all night, what are you some cheapskate?’ Um no. I want the light unpredictable. That’s the point. The motion sensors on my lights have their foibles. I can drive the car right up to the one on the garage and sometimes not trip it until I get out of the car. Porch lights have similar unpredictability. It’s that randomness that makes someone think ‘is it a motion sensor or did someone just hit a switch?’ They aren’t going to stick around or come back night after night to figure out.

  2. The problem, Eric, won’t be the Dollar General so much as it will the businesses that follow. Much as the big boys acquiesce with government regulations to stop potential competition from small business startups, new businesses will begin to push the county for zoning ordinances and restrictions on what land- and homeowners can do with their own land.

    Dollar General per se isn’t the problem as much as you think. Probably many years ago there was some sort of general store in your vicinity that is now long gone, and this simply fills the same function. Ask your older neighbors. As you note, the future development will be the issue.

  3. Sadly, property taxes make actual ownership of real property impossible. You may only lease it from the state with a “first right of refusal” to it’s use (as long as that use is acceptable to the local authority).

    I hope for your sake that the Dollar Store fails, but I applaud your libertarian approach to the situation. We’d be a lot better off if all our neighbors could similarly respect others’ properly rights.

    • Thanks, Andy!

      As I type, heavy trucks rumble up and down my formerly quiet country road… sigh. Next time, I am buying a place really out in The Woods… on as much land as I can afford…

      • eric, good luck. There is no pavement near where I live which is a great thing. Only the dedicated farmers and ranchers and oil field trucks traverse a sandy road filled with sharp chert and RR spikes that’s cost us many thousands of dollars of tires over the years but it beats living on “the highway” and having your animals run over willy-nilly by everybody who can’t be bothered to brake.

        Every time there is an oil well drilled though the trucks come in masses. I don’t mind it so much when I’m tasked with building the location or hauling equipment…..but it’s never happened on my road even though a couple people have tried to get the work for me. At least we’re 3/8ths of a mile off the beaten path that’s often 4WD accessible during those times and some times during rainy spells.

        20 years ago the county put in counters on this road since it used to parallel the RR tracks and was the road between two of the towns in this part. I knew what the counters were for but asked the county commissioner if they were trying to pave it. Sure, he said, don’t you want a paved road? Shit no, the fucker would be solid traffic. He knew what I was speaking of. Believe me, it would go from a few vehicles a day to hundreds or thousands during high oil prices. Don’t mean to be crude but “Fuck That”.

  4. In my corner of the state of Indiana, (NW just outside Chicago), we have the problem of not very desirable retail (and other things) that is driven over the state line from Illinois. Largely due to regulation and high taxes from both the state and Chicago. You come into the state of Indiana and see a 48 pump gas station (that isn’t a truck stop, but is as big as one), along with a smoke shop, pawn shop, gun store (banned in Chicago), firework stand (banned outright in Illinois), and strip club (so regulated they are defacto banned for the most part). One of the largest Wal-mart’s in the world faces Chicago on the state line too, it’s for Chicago residents, the other Wal-mart in town is for Indiana residents.

    There are often jokes about people coming from Illinois to open a business, and which one of those they are. Thankfully most of those business thankfully aren’t, but Chicago is losing tons of small businesses.

    • Wow! I found the walmart and gas station in Google Maps. That’s crazy! This should be evidence to the regulators killing Chicago that their policies cause harm to business. Of course, they don’t care, since their ideology is more important than the well-being which they sabotage.

      I’m increasingly convinced that we can no longer tolerate people turning to government to accomplish anything. We need to ostracize them, shun them, and doing anything via government should be viewed as shameful and as a failure. Seriously, where are the torches and pitchforks in Chicago? (Maybe I should sell them across the border in Indiana)

    • There are strip clubs operating on the Illinois side of the border. In Chicago heights, Harvey, etc. Gun shops in indiana can only sell long guns to Illinois residents and there’s two gun shops close to the Indiana border I know of. The infamous Chuck’s on Indiana ave in Dolton and there’s another one with a range in Glenwood at the end of Glenwood-Dyer road. Thus I can’t cede you those points.

      However…. When I take US 30 east into Indiana I find so many of the old businesses that were in the south suburbs when I was growing up. Stuff I thought had simply go out of business. There is an economic dead zone that goes from roughly the east side of Chicago heights to the Indiana border. Once across it everything blossoms.

  5. One of the biggest misstatements is that this is a libertarian hobson’s choice. There is nothing libertarian about the spread of dollar stores, fast food franchises, discount shopping strips and endless residential subdivision development that pervades the American landscape today. It is not a ‘free market’ when real estate investors have virtually unlimited access to political and monetary capital that individuals don’t. By their natures these real estate “investors” are corporate entities who have owned the land that remained vacant for decades. When the right deal comes along, the destruction process begins. Even in no zoning regions, individuals have to abide by state real estate codes in erecting storage sheds or collecting rainwater or face huge fines and penalties while these vile corporations can despoil large tracts of land with huge parking lots, 100 megawatt flood lighting, and ugly box structures that no one needs. In a libertarian “utopia,” there is no way that these coporations could afford to strain state and local resources as they do. I like the idea of a developers tax. Or price controls on commercial real estate to discourage development by large corporation. At least that would level the playing field. The end of corporate personhood can’t come fast enough.

    • Hi Swamp,

      You make several very strong points. In particular with regard to the peripheral costs born by the local taxpayers that ought to be born by the developer.

      Also: I wonder whether someone whose house is adjacent could successfully sue for the loss of value resulting from 24-7 glare from the megawatt parking lights?

      • yeah you can sue. Our local townships require led billboards turn off at a certain hour.

        Another good point is the developers tax. Almost every farm around here gets sold as a development. They simply drive the price up to the level that no farmer could pay. 100 acre parcels selling for well over $1million. No farmer could pay that.

  6. Ya know what was nice? In the days before zoning and all that, people towns and cities and suburbs had businesses, and they’d live in an apartment over their store/business, or in a house behind it. Places had unique character, instead of everywhere looking the same because now everything is segregated into retail, industrial, residential, commerical, agricultural, etc. Even people who didn’t want to be in the boonies, could do what they wanted to, and instead of REGULATIONS, people had common courtesy and decency, so it all worked out pretty good for everyone (much more so than it does today, where we’ve lost those traits and gained regulations!), and instead of outrageous taxes and everyone looking toward the state for every little thing, we had families and communities providing all of the functions which the state now provides.

    Man! What we have lost!

    • Even the “progressives” begrudgingly admit that Houston sans zoning has done a better job of achieving their ostensible goal: diversity and affordability.

      • Is it Houston? I always thought it was Dallas.

        Yeah, it would be absurd NOT to think that we’re better off without zoning (even from a non-libertarian purely “what’s in it for me?” mentality), because until recent decades in most places, that’s the way it used to be. And that is precisely why neighbiorhoods and towns and cities used to flourish, and purely through the private sector/individual. Whereas today, pretty much anything that’s done, has to be some tax-funded government “project”, with all of it’s planning and restrictions and waste of our money….and they work for a few years and then turn into slums or ghost towns…or worse yet, require constant subsidies to keep alive.

      • The “progressives” may admit that Houston’s style of zoning works, but that’s a far cry from accepting it in their own enclaves. Progressivism is defined by forcing other people to live by your views, even if implementing your vision is impossible, and even if attempting to implement it is detrimental.

      • Yup, facing that problem myself. Will be operating it out of my house for the time being, have no choice, I don’t have any money. I will go out of my way to not annoy the neighbors, but it shouldn’t be a problem (knock on wood). Thankfully, several of my neighbors are also running their business out of their homes too, so we won’t get each other busted, hopefully. All technically “illegal” according to zoning.

        But its the only way the area really can get any new businesses IMHO, the business climate is pretty terrible here. At least two of the businesses created on my block have managed to grow enough to move out though, so that is good news.

  7. Your page doesn’t allow one word comments? Why is that? I’m even more inclined to write my response to your article, now: Whaaa!

  8. The sad part of all this is that we have a few locally owned, mom and pop type stores in the area that have everything most people need, except the cheap junk from China. When the new corporate store opens and under cuts prices they may be forced to close, and that will remove what is unique in the community that Eric and I live in. It is nice to drive my Model A pickup to the local store and sit around a wood stove and drink a cup of coffee with the local farmers..

    • Hi Tony,

      Completely agree.

      It’s sad.

      As I drove home last night, as I slowed to make the left onto Hummingbird, I thought about what it will look like with the bright parking lights flooding the area, how it will no longer look and feel like I live in the country. The loss of the Check Country Store and probably also Terry’s place down the road will be even sadder.

      But what can we do?

      If we had zoning, “Gertrude” would tell me I can’t have stacks of wood lining my driveway and forget digging a pond out back unless I get permission first.

      She would probably say nein to your garage and mechanical doings as well.

      It’s a rough dilemma.

      I hope the store fails.

      • “forget digging a pond out back unless I get permission first”
        Well it’s not just the local clovers you need to worry about in that case. Uncle has plenty of alphabet agencies, from the EPA down, that can say nyet to that if they find out about it.

      • Funny, too- The zoning never saves a place from the bad. Where came from, it was once rural. Then a nice mix of suburban and rural (in a good way, if you can believe that such is possible- as it was done free-market style, so it was organic) and then the zoning Nazis came, and nobody complained because “it would preserve the quality of life”. Now the place is grossly overcrowded/over-developed. A sea of parking lots and strip malls; What woods remained were torn down for townhouses and apartments. People who grow-up there have never seen the stars at night in their life. What used to be a unique paradise, has turned into a disgusting noisy traffic-clogged urban sprawl hell-hole, full of crime and illegal immigrants- and taxes are insane, and you you pay evern more for every little thing you do to/on your own property, and have to get permission, and for what? It turns out, it was just a money-making scheme for the pols (big surprise) and another means of control- but had no beneficial effects.

      • Eric, I’m living in the end result of what you’re in the initial stages of. Thirty years ago where we live was the butt end of nowhere. You could pretty much do as you pleased. Nobody bothered you. You hardly ever saw a cop. The stars were brilliant at night. You’d drive into town to the local shops for supplies and to hobnob with the other locals once in a while. Our neighbors were farmers. In fact I used to walk up to the neighbor’s fence to give the horses a little sugar cube or carrot treat.

        That was then. Today there are regulations on top of regulations and high taxes. Traffic lights equipped with surveillance cameras have sprouted on formerly “clear sailing” back roads. These same roads now have traffic jams during rush hour. Cops are all over the place, many with automated license plate scanners. Strip malls and big box stores cover the landscape. Those and various types of housing developments have replaced most of the farms. The country road we’re situated on is now a major highway with almost constant traffic noise. Miraculously there is still an empty field across the road from us, but who knows what that’s going to turn into. Most of the local shops in town are gone. Lights from the parking lots blot out the stars at night.

        I don’t like it a bit, but what can you do? You can’t dictate to other people how they can live or what they can do with their property. About all you can do is pull up stakes and find another rural area. While I’d love to do that, plusbig problem is that we really can’t afford it. That, and the wife’s preference would be to have the next move be into a condo – living shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of other people in the middle of a parking lot, with an association dictating what color your drapes can be. Ugh. Shoot me now.

        • Hi Jason,

          Ugh… and, up.

          The one upside to my divorce is that I don’t have to sweat moving into a condo or apartment (shoot me, please…).

          I’d live in a single wide in the desert first.

        • Stories like yours get my claustrophobia up. My rural abode is in a township that requires anyone newly moving into it to buy at least a 20 acre lot–a daunting proposition. I somewhat guiltily confess to liking the regulation. The last thing I need in fighting Mother Nature out here three seasons out of four is a bunch of jackasses moving in a stone’s throw away from me.

          Despite my living near the edge of the world, a small local town that abuts the far edge of my township is rapidly expanding its population and businesses, and by law anything that we build out here has to be approved by that township. I even have to vote there, not in the closer town. Although we still have our solitude, it appears that a rivulet of entirely unwelcome modern society is beginning to trickle toward us.

          Moving is out of the question. Anything affordable like our place was decades ago is so far out in the boondocks you’d need an independent source of income or be a farmer. It’s rationalizing, but I like to think that part of being a property owner means being able to defend it from impingement.

      • Eric you and your neighbors could go together and offer to buy the property. Let it be a park or forest or what ever. If enough people feel the way you do it shouldn’t be that hard to raise the funds.

          • on the other hand. One thing that should be done is “new” development should be charged with it’s increased infrastructure needs. If this store means a better road, or traffic lights or anything measurable, they should foot the bill. Around us they are building a 700 home developement, this is going to be a huge tax on the school and roads. The development should have to pay a new school fee, new utility fee. The cost of all this should be included in the cost of the homes, maybe it would slow them down.

            • In many areas the government has created all sorts of fees and taxes on new residential development. As a result it has become unprofitable to build small houses. You can imagine what builders do instead.

              It’s not as if government saves this money they collect for the costs that will happen with the new development. It is immediately spent and usually squandered.

      • Hi Eric,
        I think that the coming Dollar General Store might not be all that bad if you are already a good distance from an urban area. My hometown has had a Dollar General Store on its outskirts for nearly a decade now; yet there still is no zoning laws in my county and my town hasn’t grown any either. This town has less than 1000 people in it who could simply drive 7 miles to a town with a population of 5000 than has a Walmart Super Center and a DG store. The local DG gets customers that do not like driving to a bigger town and do not lke walking in very large buildings trying to find something. It also helps out that our town already has a grocery store as well.
        I have been referring to this town as if I was still living there because I still own property 12 miles from it, but the bad thing about moving so far out into the sticks is that employment is scarce and pays poorly. My place is 50 miles from any town with a population of 10K or more which still has poorly paying jobs, and over 100 miles from any city where there exists a handful of good paying jobs. I therefore had to move to a small city for now, but I will return home as soon as I can figure out how to make a living there. I don’t have a spare $100K to put a down payment on a farm or small business. I sure do wish that I could start an on-line business, but upload bandwidth isn’t good there.
        If I were you; I would right now conduct a research on small trees and bushes that best muffle traffic noise, and plant them before potential zoning ordinances have a chance to be written just in case your community does go that route. Good luck.

        • That might be the case that the Dollar General is smaller and not as bothersome as a Wal Mart. The thing that is disturbing is that while Dollar General can buy off city and county politicians to build their “neighborhood” store, they also have unlimited access to capital to build it from scratch. They build the store on borrowed money that you and I could never have access to to get. They get it through corporate privilege and because of corporate personhood. Without sounding like some lib, corporate person hood is at the root of this. I, for one, am sick of the way this country is looking. Everywhere is the same. You can hardly tell where you are in the US nowadays.

  9. This isn’t an easy test for anybody. In the world we are passing through there are only shades of grey.

    Someone who puts up a rendering plant or a fuel rod recycling plant or a dog kennel in a residential neighborhood is aggressing against their neighbor’s property rights.

    The proper remedy is litigation, to be compensated for the loss of value. But that is hard and so the numb nuts brigade always want a law so they can get big brother to come and beat up those they don’t like.

    And there is always some assholes who pushes the limits and muddied the waters. I’ve dealt with it for decades myself. I became a small town mayor as a self defense mechanism after they tried to sic the lawyers on us car collectors.

    • Hi Ernie,


      If – as I suspect – the Dollar store blights the area and reduces the value of my place, I will make a fuss about my tax assessment and try to haggle it down.

      I’d love to get a dollar out of Dollar, too.

  10. I feel your pain, Eric. We used to live in a beautiful rural area until Dollar Store came around 16-17 years ago. Then, Family Dollar built a store right across the street from it about 5 years ago. Ugh. I don’t understand why five and dime stores have to be so repulsive. Kress stores were known for their pretty stores that blended well into the communities they competed in.

    After those stores were built, a low-income apartment complex for welfarites has been built. Crime ridden? You betcha! I’ve recently had to deal with the cookie-cutter, McMansion developments next to my house. They all probably wouldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for the Fed and HUD. To me, those kind of housing developments are the epitome of collectivism.

    • Hi Handler,

      Yup. I’m now faced with the decision: Stay put or flee before the area turns to shit. I was really hoping I could live out my life here or at least, live here until I got too old to deal with the upkeep and then sell and buy a smaller place for my Depends Years.

      Now maybe not.

      If I am forced to uproot, I may just bail on the USA entirely.

      Enough, already.

      • Don’t get into the “Depends” mindset! It becomes a self-fulfilling propehcy. There are guys out here in their 80’s still trading cows!

        I agree though: My next move is out of the US. Can’t find perfection or libertarian paradise, but you CAN find plenty of places where outsode of the big cities, they just leave you alone; have no governmental presence.

        Let’s face it: What we now have here in the US is more intrusive than what the Nazis ever had. In much of the rest of the world, you just don’t find that level of intrusion or enforcement – especially in the poorer countries, where they just don’t have the unlimited resources for such nonsense.

  11. Not sure I understand their business model. Obviously, their real estate costs will be much lower. But isn’t it hard to generate customer traffic when the physical store is located in a relatively isolated area?

    Do they sell their merchandise so cheap that their clientele are willing to make long pilgrimages to buy it?

    I understand you don’t “like the idea” of “that kind of store” nearby. But at a distance of one mile, what kind of tangible impact will it really have upon the use and enjoyment of your property? It’s not a meat processing plant, or a nuclear power plant, or a Ho House.

    • I’ve seen a lot of Dollar Generals in small towns where your choice is buying there — or driving dozens of miles to the nearest store. Dollar Trees are even more low rent — every thing there is literally one dollar.

      They generally have one, maybe two employees working for minimum wage, and are small enough to have a small inventory, and what the stuff costs is minimal — so, yeah, with such low overhead they can eke out a profit with a tiny customer base.

      I take pleasure in being thrifty, so I actually enjoy having one of those stores nearby for the handful of generic stuff where quality isn’t an issue — for instance, the Dollar Tree I buy a $1 snack in to eat at the $2 second run theater next door.

      But even if it was some business I loathed and would never set foot in, I’d still defend the owner’s right to buy or sell whatever they wanted, because principles.

    • Mike, I think the general (excuse the pun!) idea, is that many of these tiny towns which are now largely devoid of anything but a mini-mart and Post Office, can use a store to which the locals can just run to pick up a little something without having to go into a bigger town.

      Trouble is, these dollar stores don’t actually have much more than the mini-marts. Can’t get a pice of fresh fruit or a head of lettuce. Basically, it’s cleaning supplies, junk food and wardrobe items for meth-heads and welfare recipients.

      There’s a reason that all the little retail stores that once existed in these little rural towns went extinct. The dollar stores may be discovering those reasons very shortly.

      These modern business execs are morons. Everything is over-done. Starbucks on every corner, and now they’re going nuts with dollar junk stores. In the bigger town where i go shopping (Pop. 12K) there are 3 Family Dollars; 3 Dollar Generals; a Dollar Tree, and others. How the hell can a town of that size support all of those dollar stores? Answer: It can’t. A reasonably sane 7 year-old would know that.

      • Morning, Nunzio!

        Would you believe there are already two of these got-damned Dollar stores in the tiny (one stoplight) town of Floyd? This one will be the third.

        So, why? I think your observation is spot on: The meth heads and EBT crowd want their Grape Drank and chips close by, gnomesayin’?

        • And there’s the reason these stores are so prevalent: EBT propping up the low rent economy. People hate Walmart, but they don’t demand and end of food stamps that keep a lot of Wallmart profitable.

          Before the welfare state got entrenched, there was a thing called a department store. They had a variety of products at different price points. The high end stuff was subsidized be the high volume low end stuff, and vice versa.

    • It low rents the area.

      I would not have bought my current house if there had been a Dollar General or anything similar nearby. These places attract the EBT Crowd. Also, the whole point of living in a rural area is to not have high-powered lights at all-night parking lots glaring at you, to not have to hear and see the traffic.

      Granted, it’s a mile away. But that’s still too close. I will have to see the got-damned thing every day. The traffic at the intersection will be much worse and my bet is that they will eventually put in a got-damned traffic light. Then someone will sell out their land adjacent to KFC or some other loathsome chain purveyor of crap food.

      • Top O’ the afternoon to ya, Eric!

        My thoughts, exactly! It’s like leaving crumbs on the floor. You know the cockroaches are coming!

        The Mickey D’s or the KFC will be next. The cockroaches will start moving in, now that they have their amenities. Next thing ya know, they’ll be building an apartment complex for welfare queens with 6 illegitimate kids.

        And yes, the light pollution! It’s amazing. It was beautifully dark at night when I moved here. You could see every star in the sky, and few lights on the horizon. As people move in though, even though not right on top of me- they could be a mile or three away, they ALL have to have big “security” lights -ya know, basically street lamps, but on their own property, on their electric pole- and now, everywhere you look, at night, you see lights.

        This is never going to end. I specifically chose an out-of-the-way far-from-any-city rural place which was not desirable to most people, and which they keep saying is losing population or barely staying steady -but they just keep coming.

        When gas prices first went up to $4/gal there were articles about how everyone was abandoning the countryside for the cities! Seems more like more city folk are abandoning the cities to make way for the illegal immigrants and cockroaches.

  12. You did the right thing.

    I live under the iron fist of liberal California zoning laws. I can not cut down a tree damaging my deck, because it’s too big and so I have to ask the city for permission – this costs a lot of money and time, and if a single one of the few thousand people within a half mile of me object, the tree stays. Someone always objects. I need permits (per window) to replace my windows. I need to theoretically file a landscaping plan and have it approved when I plant flowers or tomatoes. I recently replaced a broken furnace, without permit, because the permit would have required bringing my old house up to code, which is impossible without rebuilding it. I fixed a broken shed myself over a weekend, neighbors threatened to turn me in because of weekend hammering sounds, turns out you need a permit to fix a broken shed since past a certain point it’s called a replacement. Seriously, this is some f**ked up s**t, and once the zoners have their foot in the door, it’s all down hill from there.

    You did well not to intervene.

    • Hi OP,

      Thanks for the affirmation… and very sorry to hear about your situation. I dealt with that in Northern Virginia. I cannot deal with it again.

      I will flee and live in a single wide in the effing desert before that happens to me again.

    • Thanks, Mike!

      It will be interesting to see how the Local Battle plays out… there is a big push being made to enact zoning; the county attorney is very much in favor of it.

      • There’s been talk here from time to time too, about enacting zoning. Most of the farmers and long-time/big land-owners oppose it, but the average person is agreeable to it, only because they don’t have a clue- never having lived under such oppression. They think it will benefit them. They don’t realize that it will mean a major extra expense every time they want to put up a fence (if they are even allowed to) or a swimming pool, or shed, and that it will have to be done to “code”; inspected; and permission applied for and paid for.

        They think it will increase the value of their property, not having Toothless Joe being able to have his falling down shed or chicken coop next to their property line….but they don’t realize that THEY won’t be able to keep a chicken in their backyard, or a cow on that extra acre or two they have down the road, or let the grass grow for hay, because their place is now inside of a boundary line, and they can’t let their grass grow more than 6″ high…

        Or how it conveniently works out that the land that the local politicians own gets zoned for a suitable purpose, and can be sold for a fortune, while their own land becomes worthless because it is prohibited from being used for anything; or is condemned and sold for nothing to the pols, and then rezoned and resold for a fortune.

        But the average Joe here has no knowledge or fear of that, because they’ve never had to live under it or seen it in action, so one day, they will “demand it”- in this country, which was supposed to have been built upon property rights.

  13. Dollar General serves a clientele…that may not be you but, there are probably folks that will love having a new shopping option.

    I served on a County Planning & Zoning board, your 1930’s Germany analogy is spot on. You have more say over preventing your neighbor to do with “his” property than you have say in what can be done with yours.

    Stasis is not an option for the living, only the dead.

    As one who also had to sell their house and had no employment, a place to live and a wife and two kids, I really don’t care what you do with the roof over your head so long as I have one for me and mine.

  14. Wow, Eric! A similar scenario happened to me, too! Moved to a paradisical rural couty with one traffic light, and within a couple of years, the guy just diagonally across the street builds a humongous shop building in which to have a tractor-trailer repair business! Then someone builds a house right across the street…then nextdoor….

    I loved it when there were no neighbors. But every time I get annoyed, I am still grateful to live in a place where people still have the freedom to do what they want with what is theirs. (Luckily, the guy with the semi repair biz didn’t do it very long…but I fear if he ever sells the place, what might come in).

    I came here from a very restrictive place, where I wouldn’t even have the freedom to live as I do, on acreage, in a mobile home- so I of all people can appreciate the value of being able to exercise one’s property rights. Ultimately, it would have been ideal if I had been able to take the time to find a place which was more secluded, like back on some dead-end gravel road; or surrounded by woods or steep hills, etc. But I didn’t have that option. I can’t expect others to give up their freedom just because of my situation.

    The good news is, in light of the little community that has sprung up around me, my property value increased dramatically (If people thought like I think, it would have gone down!), so I can always sell, and get a more secluded place.

    They opened a rural Dollar General a few miles from here, too, a few years ago. The place doesn’t seem to do much business. I don’t see these stores lasting long. A Family Dollar in the nearby trown of 1500 closed up because it was “under performing”. I don’t see these rural stores even doing as well as the in-town stores. I’m really surprised that they’re opening more. They never seem to see what’s coming until it’s already past them.

    And don’t forget: That freedom works both ways. When I first moved here, I had heard that they had once been thinking of building a housing development on the property next to me. I thought, if they ever started to, I would suddenly become a pig farmer. Nobody builds next to a pig farm, because no one’s gonna buy a house next to a pig farm.

    • “surrounded by woods and hills”
      Well what the ultrarich do to get that (think Rockefeller rich) is buy a Big chunk of land, then donate most of it to the gunvermin as a national park, giving themselves plenty of buffer that they don’t have to keep up or pay taxes on.

      • This is probably the biggest problem for Colorado. The mountain towns are surrounded by public lands. The people who have lived in these towns are getting tired of living (as one former Aspen resident said) in Disneyland. They sell out to the globalists who bid up prices to astonishing levels. The people who actually work in these towns are driven further away, leading to massive traffic and long commutes. Normally someone would build high density housing, but that detracts from the “charm” of the city, so no way. And no way to expand because there’s moneyed interests who can get Congressmen on the phone if anyone even suggests selling off some public land.

        • The very wealthy as I understand it often “donate” large swaths of land to the government park services to be forever undeveloped. This way they don’t have to pay to maintain it, don’t have to pay property taxes on it, and get to have the property they retain forever free of neighbors and development.

          In lake county Illinois the residents keep voting for the forest preserve to take/buy more and more land to prevent it from being developed. That is those who already have theirs use the government to keep others out. It’s having a delicious backfiring in that property taxes are very high in part or in addition to the usual Illinois factors because so much land has been removed from the tax roles.

  15. You got it exactly right, Eric!

    In my own mind, the only way to stop this kind of thing is to buy all of the property for several hundred acres around you, or several miles, if you could afford it. That’ll keep the Dollar General’s of the world away.

    Otherwise, it’s their property to do with as they please.

      • Depend on who you are or where you are. There is a family in the Mississippi Delta, that owns almost all the land between two towns (a distance of about 7 miles). It’s plantation land, and they been buying up the land since before the civil war.

        • I was talking unprivileged people like those of us here.
          Here in cook county illinois the property tax system is convoluted to intentionally make it so privileged people, connected people, people who hire speaker madigan’s law firm, and so on don’t pay nearly what everyone else has to.

  16. The irony of zoning. It won’t keep a place like Dollar General out. They have deep enough pockets (and time) to go through the process. They may even relent a little and “upgrade” something about their building. I know when they came to town here, they put a little bit of brick on the front of their otherwise pole-barn like building (people think brick makes everything “upscale” here). At least a little less agriculture metal siding then it otherwise would have been (lip stick on the pig, its still ugly IMHO). But if they give you a chance to say something about it (the aesthetics of it anyway), you can try for some things.

    When CVS came into town, people were concerned about the light from the parking lot lights. CVS wanted to put in 60 foot tall fixtures. At the community meeting, I suggested 15 foot fixtures with shields to keep light from leaving their property. Also to build earth berms with landscaping around the back in addition to the fence they had proposed. Amazingly they said yes on the spot. And the light doesn’t leave their lot.

    One of the councilmen approached me afterward and asked “How did you come up with what you asked for?”. When I was in college, I told him, that’s what the school had done to quiet down the neighbors when they were building on the edge of the campus (those neighbors had nothing to complain about, they built a beautiful limestone building). Now the town asks for short light poles (not building code, yet anyway).

    Oh, by the way, Dollar General recently closed their store here. Last I heard their building will be razed. It about 15 years old. So maybe yours won’t be around too long too.

    • Yep. Zoning doesn’t not only doesn’t keep out the bigs it makes it so only the bigs can do anything.

      Right in a chicago suburb, seven houses got torn down and a walgreens and a bank went up. Right there on the major street edge of the subdivision. 171st and 84th ave in Tinley Park IL if anyone wants to see. So zoning does absolutely no good because the bigs can come in and put up whatever they want next door.

  17. This is always a tough one for me as well. These “Dollar” stores are the rural versions ghetto pawn shops, popping up everywhere, selling the left over and remaindered junk that couldn’t be moved through the local Wal Marx. Ugh. That said, there really is no alternative but to respect the property rights of others to do as they see fit, at least until there is demonstrable harm done to your property as a result of their actions.


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