It reqlly doesn't work that way

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Written by Tom Linzey

We assume that, with regard to environmental and land-use laws, we're working within a framework in majorities actually make governing decisions.  After all, that's what we've been taught to believe.  High-sounding phrases roll of the tongues of judges and legislators, like "consent of the governed" and "majority rule.  Yet, as we know, it doesn't quite work that way.  Community majorities are overridden on a daily basis.  Regulatory agencies legalize projects and actions that communities don't want.  Zoning and land-use ordinances are routinely overridden by judicial doctrines like "fair share doctrine" in which courts can throw out zoning and land-use ordinances if those laws don't allow for the community's fair share of development as compared to communities next door.  Local laws are routinely nullified that conflict with state and federal law.  When communities really try to practice democracy an refuse to swallow what they've  been given, corporate managers write new preemptive laws and use the state legislatures to nullify community lawmaking.

Tom Lizey, quoted in Dreaming the Future, p.124.

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