Author: Timothy Sandefur
The view of southern California's landmark Hollywood sign will be preserved thanks to a large donation from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Note the difference between this kind of land use control and the kind imposed by government planners: the owners of the nearby land, who had proposed development that would interrupt the view, were compensated by a voluntary agreement–and that agreement represents what people actually want done with the land. By contrast, when government imposes land use controls–such as "viewshed" ordinances–property owners are frequently deprived of their rights without compensation–and all to serve what bureaucrats think is a good idea, not what the people actually consider worth paying for.
Here are some related thoughts from Randal O'Toole.