Friday, September 12, 2008

The Threat of A "God Awful Solar Heater" to $300,000 Landscaping

People in the Hamptons are not like you and me. This week Southhampton voted into law a series of green regulations mandating environmental requirements for homeowners. One of the criticisms of the regulations was the following:

“For the existing homeowner this is nothing more than a tax,” Bergenthal said. “I spent $300,000 for landscaping. Why should I have to look at a God-awful solar heating system.”

Granted, given the current state of the economy and the threat of global warming, you may not be feeling much sympathy for Mr. Bergenthal and his $300,000 landscaping, but his criticism of the Southhampton law does bring into high relief the ingrained animosity Americans have towards having their private property regulated--especially their homes. I believe that regulation of government and commercial green buildings will be accepted much more easily (although suits in NM and FL are already challenging some laws) than will regulations targeted at homeowners.

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