Property Rights

Directive 10-289: A Threat to Property Rights

“What [government does] is either hurtful or profitless, injurious or ineffectual.  It never can bring any useful result.” —Frederic Bastiat

The Salt Lake City Council is proposing to increase the scope of government interference in private property rights and free market commerce. According to their website, they propose to require that businesses with drive-through services accommodate all potential customers (whether on foot, bicycle, motor vehicle or other mode of transportation) to the same extent that they accommodate motor vehicle drive-through customers. The Council proposes to require that, during the hours in which any business offers drive-through services, they must also offer a walk-up window and/or walk-in services.

The proposal also includes new design standards for future development, including direct entry through the front of the building, paths leading to the entrance, well-established pedestrian routes, decorative paving, etc.

These requirements clearly violate basic private property rights.   We have discussed these general rights in previous posts, and we have discussed specific violations of these rights as other government entities, such as Highland City, San Juan County, Sandy City, the State of Utah, Woods Cross, and Cedar Hills, have violated or considered violating these rights.

Private property can only be so called if the owner has the right to determine what he or she will or will not do with that property.  So long as the property owner does not use the property to violate the rights of others, then no other individual or group of individuals (even under the guise of government) can rightly interfere.

We urge Salt Lake City residents and all Utahns to oppose the Council’s proposal.  They request your feedback here.