Houston is the largest US city without zoning and relies on complex internal mechanisms for property and traffic management. As the metropolis reaches beyond six million in population, these obsolete mechanisms are failing at the hands of poorly-trained city personnel and corrupt officials, often leading to grotesque violations of property rights and civil rights.
Houston, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/03/2014 -- Why would a white guy declare a Hunger Strike in front of the city hall in a town with an openly lesbian mayor? Ironically, to protect your civil rights and your property rights. Houston, a metropolis of over 6 million in population, is the largest city in the USA – and it appears in the world – without zoning. This can be sugar-coated, but in a nutshell it means that any real estate in the city is neither residential nor commercial and that the city’s Planning Commission and the so-called Department of Public Works and Engineering, with their various associated branches bearing convoluted names, are responsible for managing the city’s rapidly evolving neighborhoods and deciding, case by case, how each property gets to be used.
The problem is, these departments and branches have too much discretion over the process and routinely fail to observe real needs of the city’s taxpayers. If you are the owner of a shopping mall or a twenty-story office building, chances are the city will "work" with you to address your needs. But another good example is Alex Nizini – a Ukrainian immigrant who escaped as a refugee from Russian oppression in Kiev, worked for many years to buy a mixed-use property that should be (but isn’t) worth over a million dollars today, and suffered a loss because the city slammed a "No parking 7-9am M-F" out front, which crippled his ability to use the property – either as a business or as a residence.
Nizini fought the bureaucrats for over three years because he learned that the only traffic flow study conducted within his block for the 7-9am hours took place at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Consequently, he learned that the city falsified public records, discriminated against him on the basis of national origin, failed to observe his basic constitutional freedoms and blatantly neglected his property rights - all with written evidence present on his blog site CorruptHouston.org. How is this for a city that claims zoning is entirely unwarranted? Week two of the strike begins this Wednesday.
About Fix Local Government Campaign (aka FixLocalGovernment.org | FairHouston.org | CorruptHouston.org):
Founded by Alex Nizini, we strive to prevent negligence, corruption and violations of civil rights and property rights by America's local governments. In today's global society, we are so busy looking at the "big picture" that we may forget to see major issues right in front of us. Painful lessons are learned every day by observing how irresponsible a local government can be. These lessons must be shared with the nation's public eye.