Bellows Falls approach belongs in North Korea, not Vermont

BELLOWS FALLS — RE: “Bellows Falls Trustees urged: hold homeowners 'accountable'” [News, Nov. 21]:

True pride requires freedom in order to thrive. Here we're seeing “health and safety” used as an excuse to try to regulate the aesthetics of our neighbors' homes.

So “a strong police presence” is to be used to make Bellows Falls more beautiful? Such an approach to “look and feel” belongs in North Korea, not Vermont.

What we as people do freely is far more beautiful than what we do under coercion. If we're to enforce the details of home appearance to meet some arbitrary and perhaps impractical standard, can an ordinance about how people dress be far behind?

In gated communities, where everyone agrees to be bound by arbitrary standards on moving in, such rules can be enforced by contract.

In a traditional free village, where deeds carry no covenant, the attempt to impose one after the fact through a vote of the trustees would amount to a confiscation of property rights, rights in which the value of a property to its owner resides.

Properties so stripped of rights are more likely to see their resale value diminished than enhanced. Meanwhile their owners, faced with compulsion, are stripped of pride.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates