Survey: Do Property Rights trump Environmental Policy?
It was just a silly story about a farmer hiding his faux chateau behind hay bales to flout the zoning laws, but it was in fact a much bigger issue. Zoning and planning rules are usually not random, but the result of policies designed to preserve greenbelts, watersheds and agricultural land for the good of all. Yet they are always challenged by those who say "it's my land and I can do what I want on it." These different views came out in the comments.
UPDATE: commenters remind us that zoning bylaws often serve other, less honorable purposes.