Thursday, January 08, 2009

The view belongs to who??

(I realize that the proper use in the title is 'The view belongs to whom??', but 'who' rhymes with view better)

This morning I was rummaging though my Facebook home page and found a link to this article from back in April of 2008. Mainly the article is about a very up-scale residential development located south of Las Vegas in Henderson high up on a hill/mountain.

Here is a photo of the view from the link...

No doubt the view is nice and all that, but I took something else from the article a property rights issue.

From the article...

It is the project that you can see from just about anywhere in the valley, the cuts into the mountain looking like stairs toward the clouds. (Opponents down in the flatlands see it more as a disgraceful defacement that has forever destroyed a view enjoyed by millions for the benefit of a few hundred rich people. But more on that later.)

Emphasis mine above... and my initial reaction is quit whining to the 'opponents', whoever they are. I lived in Vegas for a number of years and the least striking view of the surrounding mountains from the valley was towards the south, where this development is. I realize that my view is objective and others are free to disagree if they want, just like I have just now with the 'opponents'.

So I ask, the view belongs to whom??

Not everyone is thrilled about the exclusive community. Preservationists have opposed the project, saying it has obliterated the mountains’ natural beauty. Over the past four years, a battle has been waged regarding blasting at the site, with neighbors below complaining it shook their homes, even cracking windows and foundations.

Those complaints led to lawsuits, a series of sometimes contentious meetings and, eventually, changes to Henderson’s blasting laws.

Now, however, the blasting is nearly complete. All permits needed by Ascaya have been received.

Okay this is better... while we don't know who the 'preservationists' are, we know they oppose the project.

The rest of the folks making a complaint at least had a valid argument. Blasting caused cracked windows and foundations and that does infringe on the rights of others. But at least there is a transgression against another persons rights.

But again, we are right back to my question... the view belongs to whom??

The land that the development is on appears to be owned by a private entity... with property rights. Anyone that wanted those rights and that land could have purchased. Sounds to me that the 'preservationists' needed to pass the hat when they had a chance.

Last time I checked, 'views' cannot be purchased. They are at best a feature that could come with land and property rights, but certainly not something that can be protected... unless those that want the view of a mountains' natural beauty protected bought the property and the rights that come with said property.

I often side with the property owner on issues and the property owners that were subject to damage caused by the blasting were entitled to have their grievance heard, and it sounds like lawyers got paid. I'm cool with that.

But 'preservationists' (whoever they are) don't have a leg to stand on. They can bitch, whine, and complain all they want... but they can't interfere with the rights of the property owner.

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