Longtime readers will notice that my position on preserving the King George Inn, and specifically the tactic I want South Whitehall zoners to use to preserve it, is something of a departure from my usual position, which is the same as Michael Molovinsky’s position – people who want something to happen to someone else’s land other than the use the owner wants should pay up or shut up. Typically that’s because the situation at hand is in an urban setting, and it’s neighbors trying to block a new business or some housing units from going in because they are paranoid about more competition for public curb parking.
I’m not going to deny the hypocrisy. I’m going to point it out before anyone else does, to make the point that my political values are purely consequentialist. I want more urban infill housing to get built, and I don’t want any more sprawl to get built. Anybody who’s on the opposite site of either of those goals is usually going to be wrong in my eyes, and it’s not because of some high-minded commitment to strong or weak property rights as such. I want the land uses to happen that I like, and I don’t want the land uses that I don’t like. That’s my ultimate principle.