Politicians’ odds of being re-elected may greatly depend on what they do for the cause of liberty. Some may yet do us all a great service while in office. Others can be educated if they’d just read an article a day at mises.org and watch the Ron Paul Liberty Report. Most though will not be re-elected after a major crisis.
by Robert John Stevens, February 23, 2017
Asphalt roads dedicated to and maintained by county governments at the expense of taxpaying citizens are a relatively new concept. Mankind has survived and prospered without them for thousands of years.
Utah County, Utah requires driveways in new subdivisions, which may consist of only one buildable 5-acre parcel, to connect directly to paved, dedicated state or county roads. No dead-ends or cul-de-sacs are currently permitted.1 Regulation changes or deletions are needed to remove such barriers.
To appease county government and propose a compromise, here is my solution to build roads in phases:
- Build road stubs. This should be enough to fulfill the requirement for driveway access because there is absolutely no difference between shared road stubs and shared driveway stubs for emergency vehicle access.2 A legally binding contract can be drawn up to protect all parties.
- Pave one or more road segments. Using fill material (not asphalt), install temporary hammerheads3 for emergency vehicle access in compliance with Appendix D of the International Fire Code. If possible, excavate the remainder of the road, remove all grub and install fill material4 so trucks can drive all the way thru.
- Pave the remaining road and remove the temporary hammerheads.
Notes and Issues to Discuss
- Because developers will not always complete future phases, county governments want to be left with something they can live with.
- Governments were formed to protect property rights, not keep people from building on their own property.
- All government-run tasks that can be done by the free market should be taken away from government and given to private businesses for better, faster and higher-quality service.
- Asphalt will probably not be the primary material to construct roads in the 22nd century.5
- Taxpayers do not want to pay for the maintenance of rural paved roads. If usage is considered, when should a road be paved, and then maintained by government? If savings accounts were created and gold and silver deposited for future maintenance, would government rob them?
- Governments regulations experience feature creep. Governments make the same mistake as software development firms by listening to and innovating for the minorities who complain the loudest.
At what point should paved or unpaved roads be dedicated to the county government?
- Developers should be leery of dedicating roads too early because of unforeseen changes in government regulations or tyranny that will disable their ability to complete future phases.
- Currently, Utah County won’t approve subdivisions until entire roads are built, paved and dedicated.
- Dedicating a completed paved road is less risky.
- Building entire roads with fill material only will allow trucks to enter and exit.
- Until a road is ready to pave, road base should not be installed because of erosion due to weather, vehicles, geological movement resulting in high maintenance. Road base is designed to be a cochin for road pavement and to enable raised center crowns for drainage.
- So-called protection by providing legal wording on recorded plats is not always upheld, especially if it contradicts current government regulations or wishes.
- Increasing populations affect land prices, making it nearly impossible for new farms to emerge. An orchard farmer recently told an inquiring BYU student that 220 acres would be required to create a profitable fruit orchard business.
- Whether intended or not, many regulations to halt or slow development also hinder agricultural competition.
- The average age of farmers is increasing and most of their posterity do not want to farm.
- Although government officials brag about their county agricultural production, most know if trucks stop shipping food due to an extreme cataclysmic event, local farms cannot provide enough food to sustain the local population and most citizens would die in months.
- Most people do want to become farmers. Many who were raised on farms just want one to 5.25-acre parcels. These are the next generation farmers to surround incorporated cities and towns.
1 Although some bureaucrats not like dead-end roads because they become party areas and places where people park cars, trucks and recreation vehicles, is that a good reason to ban them?
2 I lost this battle in September. See Utah County Commissioners Vote Against Inalienable Property Rights and Private Party Contracts but now that Nathan Ivie replaced the opposing Utah County Commissioner, it should be reconsidered.
3 Temporary asphalt hammerheads are too costly to build and remove when the next phase begins.
4 From Excavator Brian Sorensen: Engineered fill or a good bank run fill material consists of rock and dirt mixture. When installed and compacted properly it serves as the structural or stabilization layer to start building a good road. It can be used in some cases as a permanent road, but makes snow removal difficult.
5 Like asphalt, cement has a short lifespan so roads, driveways and buildings built today will need to be torn down and rebuilt, probably at far greater prices.
The Romans’ concrete has lasted 2,000 years. It was used in the Pantheon building in Rome which still stands today. Their cement formula included volcanic rock which is abundant in Utah.
The U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation tried to recreate Roman cement. If their formula works, it could literally save taxpayers trillions of dollars in the future. See Understanding and using the properties that allow Roman concrete to last over 2,000 years.
by Robert John Stevens, May 5, 2016
During the Brigham Young administration alone, Mormons founded nearly four hundred settlements with three hundred more thereafter.
Surveyors drafted township plats. Pioneers moved onto their land with no regulations other than to follow the golden rule.
Today Utah County’s Land-Use Ordinances are 290 pages. How many violate inalienable private property rights as implied by The Declaration of Independence, stated in Article 1, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution and probably every other state’s constitution?
For example, suppose you are denied subdivision approval because Utah County will not recognize your private road easements even though they are clearly stated as enforceable for perpetuity on your agricultural subdivision plat. Do you want government to tell you that you cannot build on your own property without first building and paving an interior road and turning ownership over to them?
Or suppose the county health department decides they don’t approve of your well water quality and demands you buy expensive filtration equipment. Does government have the right to dictate whether or not you can drink your own water, distill it or import it?
Notice the Utah County Code is also more than 200 pages.
Do these codes and ordinances truly represent the consent of the governed?
If you own property in Utah County, especially outside of the cities, try and develop it and you’ll discover the unconstitutional burdens placed upon you. Remember, every ordinance is backed by the use of force.
Are Mormon Utah County government employees worried about their eternal exaltation regarding how well they defend the U.S. Constitution, uphold free agency, and oppose socialism and the regulatory state that burdens mankind, requires non-limited government, encourages debt, and enslaves citizens via legalized theft (also known as taxation)?
How do Mormons who create and enforce these ordinances interpret versus 7 of D&C 98:5-7? I sincerely want to know.
5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
The only exception I can find in Mormon scriptures is D&C 101:79:
Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
Of all the citizens in the United States, as far as I know, Mormons are the only group whose scriptures specifically affirms and endorses the U.S. Constitution. I’d expect Utah government to lead the nation in their resolve to uphold it, especially in Utah County—home of Brigham Young University and the Mormon Missionary Training Center.
I’d be happy to discuss this anytime in public or private. Please enlighten my understanding.
How different history would have been if Jesus said, “If You Want Security, Pursue Liberty.”
Only the clear enunciation of the fundamental rights of man–rights which no man, or government can rightfully violate (even at the “local” level) will stand as a permanent bulwark against the slow erosion of liberty.
It takes a highly educated and wise majority of people to be able to sift through the obscuration of pseudo-educated liberals who throw out benign appearing and lofty concepts of compassion that secretly destroy other’s rights.
…the burden is upon government to prove that such laws are in accord with fundamental rights. Most importantly, public officials should be aware that they are PERSONALLY LIABLE for any infringement of another’s rights, and that men may ultimately and rightfully defend their fundamental rights with appropriate force, when no practical or fair legal recourse is possible.
The principles and rights listed are sufficiently self-evident that a man who chooses not to accept God may still accept them as “natural rights.”
If there is one principle, and only one principle, that libertarians ought to apply when considering strategy, it is this: radical decentralization of state power must be our relentless goal.
This is sad and very unfortunate. People who don’t understand liberty and freedom may ask, “Should government outlaw swings to protect children?”
“But the reason we focus on these issues in the first place is that we realize the State cannot be reformed. The State is a monopolist of aggressive violence and a massive wealth-transfer mechanism, and it is doing precisely what is in its nature to do. The utopian dream of “limited government” cannot be realized, since government has no interest in remaining limited. A smaller version of what we have now, while preferable, cannot be a stable, long-term solution. So we need to conceive of how we could live without the State or its parasitism at all.”