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The Back Room Deal to Destroy America:
The Sierra Times ^ | 06. 1. 02 at 20:00 Sierra Time | Tom DeWeese

Posted on 06/03/2002 12:24:59 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

A group of U.S. Senators have conspired to destroy local zoning throughout the United States of America. They are trying to do it in secret. They don't want to hear from someone saying they are betraying the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Americans should take note of the names of these Senators: Former Republican turncoat Jim Jeffords; Republican Arlen Specter; Democrat Max Baucus; Democrat Harry Ried; Democrat Bob Graham; Democrat Joseph Lieberman; Democrat Barbara Boxer; Democrat Ron Wyden; Democrat Thomas Casper; Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Democrat Jon Corzine.

These U.S. Senators, members of the Senate Environment Committee, hold American liberty in such disdain that they conspired behind closed doors to railroad through a bill that would put faceless bureaucrats in Washington, DC, in charge of decisions that have always been made at the community level. The bill, S.975, also known as the "Community Character Act," authorizes the use of federal money so that un-elected environmentalists can advance their extreme-left political agenda.

Secrecy was needed because opposition has been growing as the harsh realities of S-975 are being revealed by property rights advocates. The Jeffords-led cabal knew fast action was required if the bill was to sneak past. S.975, and it's counterpart in the House (H.R. 1433) will turn all of Bill Clinton's land-grabbing Executive Orders into legislation. The Community Character Act will officially make the environmental goal of "sustainable development" the law of the land.

What is "sustainable development"? Imagine an America in which a single ruling principle is created to decide proper societal conduct for every citizen. That principle would be used to determine everything you eat, what you wear, the kind of home in which you live, the way you get to work, the way you dispose of waste, the number of children you may have, even your education and employment decisions. Imagine, too, that all of these decisions are called "voluntary" while the federal government uses its full power to induce-coerce--what it deems "correct behavior."

On June 29, 1993, former President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order #12852 to create the President's Council on Sustainable Development. Sustainable development calls for changing the concept of private property, protected by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, to nothing short of a national zoning system. Under such a system, the federal government, backed by an army of private, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and the National Education Association will influence, if not dictate, property and other policies to the States and to local communities.

Locally elected officials will no longer be the single driving force in making decisions for their communities. Most decisions will be arrived at behind the scenes by non-elected "sustainability councils" armed with truckloads of federal regulations, guidelines and money. The power of citizen's votes would be nullified. This system is already in place with regard to the nation's education system, controlled entirely from Washington, DC. It is comparable to the Communist system of the former Soviet Russia. The Community Character Act (S.975), and its counterpart in the House of Representatives (H.R.1433), is legislation that will legalize enforcement of "sustainable development" in every community in the nation. The bill requires local governments to implement land-management plans using guidelines outlined in a federal document called the "Smart Growth Legislative Guidebook." This publication was developed with $2 million provided by the Clinton Administration to "guide" counties, cities and towns on how to "update their local zoning."

The Community Character Act offers grants to communities that will pay up to 90% of the costs for localities to update their zoning, but only if they do it the way the federal government wants it done. Among other goals, the guide requires localities to "promote social equity." Communities will be required to establish social programs that will be paid for with new or increased taxes on businesses and industry. What better way to discourage business growth?

The Community Character Act requires localities to "conserve historic, scenic, natural and cultural resources." These are euphemisms that mean more land grabs and fewer places where humans can freely go about their daily lives. It means planned economies, restricted housing, diminished use of cars, and government control of property.

The Community Character Act demands that communities "integrate local land- use plans with Federal land-use plans." That means local needs, local problems, and local culture will be ignored as the entire nation is homogenized into one, unhappy, colorless, controlled Big Brotherhood.

The bill contains not a single mention of private-property rights protection. The federal government and states now own forty percent of the entire landmass of the nation. Under the Community Character Act, money would be provided to render more land unavailable for any development or use. This legislation must be stopped. If not, America will be unrecognizable to future generations. It is time for the Republicans in Congress to decide if they truly believe in the concept of limited government under which individual Americans are free to determine their destinies and achieve their dreams and goals, without intrusion and dictates. Under "sustainable development" there are no individual decisions, rights or actions. Virtually everything will come under the scrutiny of a Washington-sanctioned federal bureaucrat.

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Dennis Hastert must unite their party to stop this attack on one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution. If enacted, it will not "sustain" development. It will end it. It will destroy the machine that maintains our economy and insures its growth. A secret, backroom deal has set this in motion.

Tom DeWeese is the president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots, activist think tank headquartered in Warrenton, VA. The Center maintains an Internet site ate

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: development; environment; landgrab; libertarians; privateproperty; sustainable; zoninglaws
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1 posted on 06/03/2002 12:24:59 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I have a very bad feeling about the outcome...
2 posted on 06/03/2002 12:32:21 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Phone, fax and the Critters. According to Bob Barr, it DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. If we sit quietly by, we'll deserve what we get. While you are at it, knock off a quick email on the Immigration problem too.
3 posted on 06/03/2002 12:41:36 AM PDT by brat
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To: brat
4 posted on 06/03/2002 2:22:54 AM PDT by Lion Den Dan
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
They're forgetting one thing, state zoning laws. The locals are still restricted in following the federal guidelines if it conflicts with the state law. Time to start tightening up the state laws.

Either that or I just reminded them of something they forgot, and they'll bribe the states to change their laws.

6 posted on 06/03/2002 2:35:04 AM PDT by Quila
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Can't these people MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS?!

Key Provisions

H.R. 1433

The bill authorizes $50 million per year for 5 years for a grant program aimed at state and local planning.

HUD is the administrative agency for the grant program.

Individual grants of up to $1 million for states and $200,000 for Tribal Governments are available.

A minimum local match of 10 percent is required.

The purpose of grant program is to assist in the development or revision of state planning legislation, promote the implementation of planning in states with updated statutes, or planning for multistate regions.

The development or revision of state planning legislation is designated as the first priority for grants.

The bill establishes eligibility guidelines for receiving grants. The guidelines state that the basic goals of planning legislation / reform be consistent with the following principles:

citizen participation, multijurisdictional cooperation, implementation elements, comprehensive planning (which is further defined in the bill), regular updating, and professional standards. Grants may be use for the purposes of drafting legislation, R&D for planning programs or legislation, workshops and public meetings, and coordination with regional and federal land use planning.

S. 975

The Senate version attempts to clarify some legislative language and intent.

It authorizes $25 million per year for 5 years, plus an additional $1 million per year for an educational and informational grant program for planning / zoning officials.

The administrative agency for the program would be the Economic Development Administration.

In addition to the primary state grant program, the bill creates a local pilot project grant for local governments. This was done in an effort to clarify that grants could be used for local activities.

The bill creates ranking criteria for evaluation of grant applications. Six elements are set up as criteria:

outdated legislation, facilitate development of plans consistent w/ reform legislation, facilitate regionalism, experiencing significant growth, protect environment and promote economic development, and state financial commitment. The reform of outdated legislation is designated as the "fundamental priority."

The bill maintains the House bill's "eligibility criteria" but adds a stronger focus on environmental protection and public infrastructure.

The bill explicitly states that grants can be used by local governments for implementation of planning and to acquire new technologies for planning.

"No state in the nation is immune from the effect of rapid unplanned development. Suburbanization is expensive, costing state and local taxpayers dearly for extending roads and infrastructure and building new schools. Even states considered more rural are now facing rapid alterations in land use and quality of life. Federal grants under this act would help states promote citizen participation in the developing of plans, encourage sustainable economic development, coordinate transportation and other infrastructure development, conserve historic, scenic resources and the environment, and sustainably manage natural resources."

Sen. Lincoln Chafee
July 27, 2000
in the United States Senate

7 posted on 06/03/2002 2:36:16 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Judith Anne
bump for later
8 posted on 06/03/2002 2:37:37 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
If any government law or regulation can be abused, it WILL be abused.
9 posted on 06/03/2002 3:31:38 AM PDT by Maelstrom
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To: Judith Anne
I have a very bad feeling about the outcome...

I'm pro-environment protection, and see a problem with these laws. In Massachusetts, an option to add a small amount to property tax, to be matched by the state, could be voted on locally. The problem is that the money that was supposed to be used to buy land for conservation has one nasty little can be used to subsidize low income housing! (That's REAL GOOD for the environment, huh?)

10 posted on 06/03/2002 3:38:49 AM PDT by grania
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To: brat;Ernest_at_the_Beach;all
Phone, fax and the Critters. According to Bob Barr, it DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Go here:

Ignorance Making You Ill? Cure It!

for links, tools, & instructions about how to contact a pile of different people, and how to send a link to this story right here ( or anywhere else ) to a "mass email" using Outlook Express.

Do be advised that since I increased my volume of mass emails to letters to editors I have gotten return volleys of virus attacks- my ISP filters them out before the get to my PC, but if yours does not, take appropriate precautions to guard your PC.

I take this as a positive- my emails are simply links with no editorial content; so the other side must fear & loath the information even reaching the public.

11 posted on 06/03/2002 3:41:55 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: backhoe
12 posted on 06/03/2002 3:59:04 AM PDT by knarf
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Community Character Act

The name alone was enough to send chills up my spine.

13 posted on 06/03/2002 4:13:04 AM PDT by Samwise
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Executive Summary of the HUD/APA Smart Growth Legislative Guidebook

Some chilling excerpts from the summary:

By adopting the model statutes,
a state is subjecting itself
to the mandates and policies of the federal government.

Uniform national standards have been
devised that include technical
specifications even for such
traditionally local issues as parking and landscaping. (8-101)

The practices of a small minority
of states are recommended for adoption
by all states - for example,
the Guidebook recommends and authorizes amortization
of non-conforming uses while currently
only eight states authorize even a limited
form of what the Guidebook recommends. (8-502)

Model statutes confer broad regulatory
power in "local governments"
- local governments being broadly defined as
"any county, municipality, village, town, township,
borough, city or other general purpose political subdivision." (3-101)
This means, for example, that New York County, New York City
and the Borough of Manhattan could all regulate land use in Times Square.

State legislatures must require local governments
to draft ordinances to mandate that virtually all
employers adopt and implement a commute trip
reduction program which must include, among other things,
designation of a transportation coordinator,
annual reporting to local authorities and implementation
of transportation measures, such as providing subsidies
for transit fares and permitting the use of
the employer's vehicles for carpooling. (9-201)

And this , which to me is one of the scarriest provisions:

Administrative warrants can be issued to search
private property if the search is consistent with
a valid administrative scheme, such as housing safety -
probable cause is not required.
Inspection warrants issued pursuant to an administrative
scheme can be easier to get than
criminal search warrants. (11-104(4)
see also Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1987)
and See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1987))

Check it out.

14 posted on 06/03/2002 5:31:58 AM PDT by metesky
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Nothing like having international terorism backed up by domestic terrorism, fully supported and promoted by our own lawmakers.
15 posted on 06/03/2002 5:54:40 AM PDT by sweetliberty
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
16 posted on 06/03/2002 5:57:55 AM PDT by Ahban
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To: brat
Will do brat. I'd like your opinion, seems to me eventually this will end up before the Supremes, will it pass Constitutional muster? Or will the court just refuse to hear it?
17 posted on 06/03/2002 6:09:30 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks for this alert. bttt
19 posted on 06/03/2002 6:38:15 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Quila
Either that or I just reminded them of something they forgot, and they'll bribe the states to change their laws.

They don't bribe the states they hold our tax money hostage with their so called fedral matching funds. If a state doesn't meet the fed's requirment on a range of issues and that is everything from low income housing to enviromental laws they keep the money they take from us. This bill will just add more money for enforcement and line the pockets of the ecofreak NGO's.I keep wondering what the hell happend to the 10th amendment?

20 posted on 06/03/2002 6:43:19 AM PDT by johnny reb
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