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Re: Zoning laws; government finances

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Dr Sabhlok has raised a fundamental point.

We are barely able to talk about zoning laws at all, because we have not yet
in this country gotten any sensible property, repeat, property laws.    It
is often often often the case that nobody knows who owns what piece of land;
there is a plethora of rent-control all over the place, and as a result
enormous distortions in the allocation of resources.    The rot of many
cities and towns is due to this.  So also land use in rural areas.   This is
a crucial area of State level governance in which most States, perhaps all,
are woefully lacking.
Also, just think of how much real estate the Government itself owns (and/or
misuses).    Getting an inventory of ALL that is a first step in improving
Government finances.

Subroto Roy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr. Sanjeev Sabhlok <sanjeev@sabhlokcity.com>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 1:42 AM
Subject: Zoning laws

>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>I had met the Director, Urban Affairs, GOI, a few months ago and asked for
>a copy of zonig laws prevailing in India. He expressed complete ignorance
>about such laws. Without these laws we have a total mess all over urban
>India. Does anyone have any info on such laws in India and if so can they
>send it over? We need to look at the nitty gritty of such matters and
>debate these, before India becomes a big slum.
>BTW, my wife looks after urban affairs and I look after housing in
>Meghalaya, and it would be of great help to us to look into such laws. If
>you know about these laws and can send over info (from any part of the
>world), that would be v. useful. If you have time and can research the
>internet and provide a bunch of relevant sites that would be v. useful. If
>the laws are not in wordprocessed format, and you wish, you can mail the
>laws to:
>Dr. Sanjeev Sabhlok, IAS
>Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya,
>Departments of Housing, Arts and Culture
>Additional Sectt. Building, #510
>Shillong - 793 001
>Below is some info on zoning from the Help section of a legal software:
>>From 1994 Edition of LegalPoint.  Teneron Corporation 1-800-529-5669
>Zoning Ordinances
>Nearly every city has established zoning ordinances and other rules that
>dictate where certain businesses may locate.  It is crucial that before you
>commit to a location for your business, you make sure that the zoning
>ordinances permit you to operate your business in you selected location.
>Zoning enforcement officials may be able to close down your business if you
>are improperly operating in an area not zoned for your type of business.
>For example, your business may be engaged in light manufacturing.  The
>zoning ordinances in your city will likely restrict the operation of light
>manufacturing businesses from residential and commercial areas.
>Determining whether an area is properly zoned is a sometimes difficult
>matter.  You should begin your search by checking with your local planning
>or zoning commission or city planning department.  If the office is not
>listed in your local telephone book, call the courthouse or city hall.  Do
>not rely entirely on the opinion of the city official given over the phone.
> You will probably need to review the zoning ordinances and the maps and
>plats that define where the various zones are located.
>Constructions Permits and Occupational Licenses
>Even if you have solved the zoning question, you may still have a problem.
>Some cities also regulate the location of businesses by the grant of
>construction permits and occupational licenses.  Those matters may be
>handled by a different department in your city.  Contact the appropriate
>officials and determine what licenses and permits may be needed before
>making any investment or committing to a given location.
>Zoning Appeals Board
>Even though the zoning ordinances may prevent you from operating your
>business in the manner that you prefer, sometimes there is relief.  Most
>cities have a board of zoning adjustment or zoning appeals board that
>reviews zoning ordinances and complaints.  It may be possible to appeal to
>that group for a change in the zoning ordinances or to receive a
>"variance".  A variance is a kind of special permission to use property for
>a specific purpose not otherwise permitted by the zoning ordinances.  That
>group may also permit a "non-conforming use" in certain circumstances.  In
>this case, a use that was previously permitted may be allowed to continue
>following any change in the zoning ordinances that would make it otherwise
>illegal.  In other words, the prior use is "grandfathered" because it would
>be unfair to take away the right to use the property in manner previously
>Conditional Use Permits
>Most zoning ordinances require "conditional use permits" in certain cases.
>This means that even though the intended businesses is proper for the zone
>that you want to locate in, an extra permit is still required.  For
>example, you may desire to establish a recycling business that will
>generate noxious fumes or waste in an industrial area.
>Home Businesses
>Remember that zoning ordinances and permit rules apply even if you operate
>your business from home.  If you live in an area that is mostly single
>family homes, it is likely the local zoning ordinances prohibit most home
>businesses.  Many times, neighbors upset about increased traffic flow or
>the risk of lower property values will ask zoning officials to shut down
>your home office or home business.  To avoid this problem, make sure that
>you are operating within the zoning ordinance and that you have all the
>requisite licenses and permits.
>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/