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Property Rights and Responsibilities

April 28, 2002

Re "Landowners Dealt a Blow by Justices," April 24: I think it's time we moved away from absolute property rights in this country. Landowners should not have unlimited power to pollute Lake Tahoe or any other natural area. People should not be allowed to buy up forests and cut them down, destroying natural life forms, just because they own the land.

Ownership should mean stewardship of the land, holding it and protecting it for future generations and honoring the land itself and the nature that sustains us. Just as we take children away from violent and abusive parents, we should protect the land from abusive owners.

Roger Angle

Culver City


The 6-3 Supreme Court ruling that upheld such land-use planning tools as a temporary moratorium on building that does not result in a "taking" under the meaning of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution was a welcome and unexpected decision, given this court's previous rulings.

It must be remembered that owning a piece of property guarantees some use of the property. Nowhere in the Constitution, however, is there a guaranteed right to make a killing. Speculative developers might wish to keep that in mind in the future.

Peter F. Xander

Lake Arrowhead

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