Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Constitutional Right to Sewer Service?

Give me a break. The News Journal reports that mega home builder Toll Brothers is suing to force New Castle County to provide sewer service to an undeveloped piece of land:
A Port Penn couple and the Toll Brothers house-building firm have filed a lawsuit against New Castle County, claiming the government violated their constitutional rights by not extending sewer service to land they want to develop south of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.
Public infrastructure is expensive. It seems to me that the plaintiffs want it both ways by seeking to build a new greenfield development with taxpayers paying for the public sewer connection.
There is no inherent right to develop a piece of land to its highest and best use if it requires others to pay for the infrastructure that gives the land its value.

9 Comments:

Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

Agreed. I've long felt that if developers want to put up new housing, they should bear the burden of paying for any enhancements the county or state have to make as a result.

Need sewers? The developers can pay for it? Roads need expanding? Hello, Mr. Developer.

As it stands now, the government is essentially subsidizing home building, making newer homes cheaper than they should be.

12:36 PM, November 24, 2007  
Anonymous Alan Coffey said...

Not on your life! If they let this go, they will have done a Kelo sized disservice to the State. Let the developer pay for it and be reimbursed when and if others develop off of their mains.

That is what we have to do to be annexed into Newark. It works fine and saves the City the cost of building out.

1:39 PM, November 24, 2007  
Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

Alan, just to be clear, you're agreeing with Tom and I, and disagreeing with the lawsuit? If you meant to disagree with me, I might not have been clear enough: I oppose the government subsidizing new home construction. (Looking back, I can see some bad punctuation that might have undercut what I was trying to say.)

Sorry if I was confusing.

1:43 PM, November 24, 2007  
Anonymous Alan Coffey said...

Paul, I am agreeing 100% !

Unfortunately, City, County, State and Fed lawmakers and administrators frequently screw this kind of thing up. They just do not plan ahead far enough. And they are outmaneuvered by the developers almost every time.

2:12 PM, November 24, 2007  
Blogger Steve Newton said...

Does my 100% make it 300%?

What I'm wondering is what inside information Toll brothers has that convinces them they can win this suit? Has litigation like this been successful before in Delaware?

8:32 PM, November 24, 2007  
Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

This is a product of the planning commission's view that approval of record plans have nothing to do with the timing of those developments. I think that they should restrain themselves....they should be denying record plans until there is infrastructure in place since the developers, once they have the plan approval, think that they then have the right to sue in every case I have studied.
County code related to concurrency of infrastructure is clear that before any development breaks ground, infrastructure needs must be met/in progress. But developers feel [see: Shawn Tucker's testimoney in the Comp Plan docs] that tax payers should provide all of the funds for development (there are miniscule impact fees in our county, at least).
So very many in county government are by and large the sleaziest creeps around. A law suit that was won was the one against Capano and opening the 1-95 Builtmore Hotel.

Is anyone else suspicious that the storm water control system now being installed at the 141 exit is in service of Builtmore's owner and racino billionaire, and HUGE contributor to Paul Clark etc?

10:49 AM, November 25, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

Nancy, every time it rains, that road floods...Irregardless of who is friends with who, that project is something that needs to be done....

1:54 PM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

Here is the rough draft:

Section 1. Equality of rights for public treatment of private sewage under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

The opposition could start calling it "Public Funds for Private Poop." And those people who support the bailout could, of course, be titled "Shitheads".

2:12 PM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Nancy, every time it rains, that road floods...Irregardless of who is friends with who, that project is something that needs to be done....
*
My point to that would be costs.
What is the cost of this project?
I sure would like to see the process behind this decision.

What alternatives were reviewed.
Wouldn't it have been cheaper to simply raise the road beds?
But that would have meant that the Builtmore wouldn't have been saved.

2:54 PM, November 26, 2007  

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