Eminent Domain, One Room at a Time

You know that extra room in your house? The city of Chesterfield, Missouri, has taken control of it, or at least who can room in it: Council approves ban on renters in houses:

Although they added an exception for foreign exchange students, Chesterfield lawmakers approved legislation that prevents homeowners from renting rooms in their houses.

City officials – and some residents – have insisted the practice can lead to excessive crowding, parking difficulties, more transients, and other neighborhood nuisances.

Other residents, who spoke to the City Council on May 15, protested that renting rooms can be a valuable aid to young students and elderly homeowners.

Besides, the single occupant isn’t high enough density. If you’ve got a spare room in your house, the city of Chesterfield will put a retail outlet of some sort in it, since that’s the best use of your downstairs bedroom from their perspective. And they’ll stick you with the bill to make your walk-out basement ADA-compatible.

In a shocking turn of events, the prosecutors are eager to begin:

Those who violate the law will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or jail time of up to three months.

Tim Engelmeyer, the city’s prosecuting attorney, favored the bill and recently told city officials in an E-mail that the law would “protect the integrity of our neighborhoods.”

As a bonus to eroding property rights, it will also generate revenue! What’s not to like about it?

Other than the erosion and generation parts to the benefit of a government, I wholeheartedly support bending the dangerous individual to the will of the community.

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