Texas Land Use Policy: Unique Features And Political Culture

629 Words3 Pages
Nhan Dao
GOVT 2306-49670
Professor Andrew Teas
January 28, 2015

HOUSTON LAND USE POLICY Each state of the United States of America has its own unique features and political culture. Political culture refers to the attitudes, values, and beliefs that people hold regarding to what government should do. Texas places these features and culture at a midpoint between the traditionalistic and individualistic political culture. Due to Texas’ unique political culture, Houston is well-known as the largest city in the US with no zoning ordinance, which leads to the claim “Houston is the freest major city in America.” The context of Texas’ blend of cultures is a significant aspect which impacts Houston the way it is today, a zone-free city.
In the traditionalistic political culture, Texans historically had been influenced by the old South; the state’s experience as a slave-holding member of the Confederacy tends to embed it firmly in tradition. Texas maintains an elitist patron system and has only
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Houston’s relative freedom in land use, lets property owners have a right to decide what works best for their property. The most common type of zoning is Euclidian zoning which dictates that certain areas of land may only have single uses. For instance, the properties in a given area may be used for a single family but not for a multifamily, or retail stores but not for manufacturing. Form-based zoning is another type of zoning, which is used to control the physical features, form, or measurements of a property. Basically, regardless of different types of zoning, the main purpose of zoning laws is to control the use of private property. Zoning laws also help reduce negative impacts to the city, such as noise, toxins, odor, traffic, or any form of dangerous condition. Freedom in the city of Houston is formed by a lack of zoning and how government intrusion into how property owners use their land is kept at a moderate
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