CDA Council bans private property from sadness
CDA Council bans private property from sadness

The Coeur d’Alene City Council has voted to strip some home and business owners of their property rights because, believe it or not, the demolition of old buildings might make some people sad.

However, the Coeur d’Alene Press did not force this headline on its readers, but instead claimed that the council voted to “protect history.”

The council voted 5-1 to place a 182-day moratorium “on demolition and relocation permits and building permits for significant exterior alterations to buildings (excluding residential) in the Downtown Core and Downtown Overlay (Northside) and Downtown Overlay (Eastside) development areas, and for buildings listed on the National Historic Register.” The stated intent is to prevent old buildings from being demolished to make way for newer ones.

Of course, this action was accompanied by the usual “I support property rights” statements from politicians and bureaucrats, followed by yes votes to take away people’s property rights.

Coeur d’Alene and other local governments in Idaho do not have the authority to impose a blanket halt on construction and demolition on private property unless they misapply Idaho law. The Local Land Use Planning Act states that a moratorium can only occur if the local government determines “an imminent danger to the public health, safety or welfare.”

The obvious purpose of the law was to protect people from immediate physical threats. The City of Coeur d’Alene’s false argument extends the meaning of the law to include mental health, which is obviously not the case.

The resolution implementing the moratorium reads as if it came straight from a left-wing guide to safe spaces:

(M)ental health experts in the community are highlighting mental health impacts associated with the loss of historic buildings. (sic) Research on grief and loss is significant. The loss of historic buildings represents not just an architectural change, but also a loss of belonging, identity and rootedness. For many, these buildings have sentimental value and evoke cherished memories, and their demolition can trigger feelings of grief and uprooting. The demolition of historic buildings can exacerbate existing mental health problems in the community. It promotes a sense of powerlessness and disempowerment among residents, who feel unheard and undervalued in decisions affecting their community. The loss of familiar landmarks can disrupt a person’s sense of place and belonging, leading to feelings of isolation and alienation;

In other words: “They are tearing down the old savings bank building and that makes me sad. I should call the city to protect me from my feelings!”

The state exists to protect people’s rights, including the right to own property and do what you want with it. Now the state exists to protect people from sadness.

By Everly