Legacy of California Coastal Legislation

Re “Legacy of State’s Coastal Act” (Commentary, April 23):

When Big Government decides what is good for “the people” is when personal freedoms are quickly eroded, often without warning.

True, some concerns raised by the Coastal Commission are relevant and need to be addressed, but the approach taken to ensure compliance is incorrect. To deny a landowner’s request to use his property in a legal manner in order to benefit society at large, this is clearly a confiscation of property. Perhaps not all of the land was taken, maybe just portions, or even use restrictions placed upon it. The issue is that the property rights are being slowly eroded, and the owner of the land should be compensated as such.

It would appear that the costs of providing public benefits are now being placed onto the shoulders of the private property owner without just compensation. If the public is deemed to require a scenic vista or an unblemished hillscape, then let’s quit fooling around and buy the land outright to ensure that it remains status quo for the future, if indeed this is what society wants (paid for by taxpayers’ dollars, of course). But then again, who decides what society wants will have a great deal of responsibility and power? Dare we entrust this process to mere elected or appointed officials?