What this means is before the passage of 207 if the government suddenly decided that a rose was protected, and land had natural roses growing on it the land could not be sold or developed as the owners would be government ordered to set aside that land as a natural preserve.
The change that proposition 207 brought was that if a government action reduces the value of one's land then the government must pay the landowner for causing that to happen.
Another example of this is when a person owns a large piece of land and that land is currently zoned to allow 20 houses to be built on it. If the government decides that it does not want that dense of a population in the area, due to current traffic congestion or any other reason, then the government might decide to change the zoning to only allow three houses to be placed on that land. If this happens since the passage of 207, the government must now pay the landowner for the inconvenience and aggravation of changing the value of the land through regulation adoption.
David Baird, a retired Air Force officer who moved to Pima County Arizona "in 1972, said he's a strong supporter of property rights, but he supported the change and doesn't think property owners should be compensated for not being able to put more houses on their lots (Meltzer, 2006)."
The voters spoke in a collective voice a few weeks ago when they passed the proposition however, there are people who were opposed to its passage and are now concerned about the ramifications of its existence (Plans, 2006).
They believe it is going to tie the hands of officials when it comes to making sound land use decisions in the growth of the areas that govern. One example was a landowner who wanted to build mini dorm style apartments on his land. This would increase traffic, noise and other problems that the area was already suffering from. Several neighborhood meetings were held to try and stop the allowance of such land use but just as the local government was set to vote to change the density provisions for that area, Proposition 207 passed. This now means the local government and taxpayers either have to allow the mini dorms to be constructed or pay the land owner a significant amount of money because of the reduced per dwelling value his property will have if the government moves forward with the zoning changes.
Another issue for those who opposed the proposition is animal protection. According to animal groups the proposition makes it difficult if not impossible to protect species found on private land (Hurt, 2006).
Prop. 207 was seen by many as a reaction to a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of a Connecticut town to seize a woman's house to make way for the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer. There have been examples in Arizona, as well (City, 2006)."
The new law does not stop the right of eminent domain for public use to include sewers, water lines, roads and other things, but it regulates and reduces the right to take land for private development or to legislate the value of someone's land in a reduced manner.
The passage or Proposition 207 provides protection to landowners, however, there are some problems with the implementation of the new law, by way of difficulty protecting certain species that are found on private land and the ability to protect public peace through controlling the density of private land zoning. The proposition calls for landowners to be compensated if their land value is reduced through zoning changes. In addition it forces the government to look at individual land parcels for eminent domain when it comes to private development instead of looking at an area and finding one small blighted parcel to declare the entire area under eminent domain.
It is a measure that protects the landowners, according to those who voted for it. The outcome remains to be seen.
____(2006) EDITORIAL: Proposition 207 step to restoring property rights.
____(2006) Impact of Prop. 207 Vexes City Officials: Land-Use Decisions Will Feel Effects of Voter-Passed Law. The Tribune