The Bismarck City Commission: Elected Tyrants Deny Home to Landowner

For Bismarck property owner, Anne Cleary, meeting with the Bismarck City Commission this week was supposed to be an intermediate step towards having a home she only now dreams about and sees on paper. Unfortunately, her dream became a nightmare recently as the tyrants, otherwise known as the Bismarck City Commission, denied her request to build a home on a vacant lot she owns within the city.

Cleary’s property lies within the Cathedral District, which is home to many historical houses. Because of this, Cleary’s proposed home would be a new construction amongst older ones. And unfortunately, the other property owners in the area think they should be able to dictate to others what they can and cannot do with their own property. Not real neighborly if you ask me.

Ms. Cleary is not proposing to build something obnoxious or troublesome. In no way would her new home harm anyone. So, what’s the big deal? Neighboring landowners are "concerned about [the] neighborhood changing". I’m not joking.

This is the problem with planning and zoning ordinances. They are legalized tyranny. When a property owner, such as Anne Cleary, must go hat in hand to a city commission and beg for permission to build on property that she owns; is this true property rights? There’s a simple answer to that… No. This is tyrannical and nothing else.

We can pretend all that we want that we are the freest nation to have ever existed upon the face of the Earth. And there was a time that this was probably true, but that time is not now. At least not for the City of Bismarck and Anne Cleary. Fundamental to Liberty and Freedom is the ability to own and utilize property as you see fit, so long as nobody else is being harmed.

Yet, should we be surprised by these actions? I suppose not. After all, these are the same people that love giving tax breaks and shelter to their buddies in Renaissance Zones and Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF) while everyone else picks up the tab.

What the Bismarck City Commission did this week by denying Ms. Cleary the ability to build her home is criminal, not to mention embarrassing. And every single person on the city commission that supported this action should be run out of office. Bismarck deserves better than the elected tyrants that now lead them. Cleanse yourselves, Bismarck. And the sooner… the better.


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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.