Reformed Seminary, College, Free Sermons, Scholarly Resources, and Overseas Missions Opportunities

Sola Scriptura | Reformation Christian Ministries



Back to Table of Contents, A Declaration of Universal Rights

Article 3 — Family Government

Section 6: Regulation Of Property

The right to exercise jurisdiction over one's own property shall not be impaired.

No law, including any zoning ordinance, shall regulate or restrict the private ownership, posses­sion, use or control of property, whether real, personal or intangible. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit judicial resolution of disputes between individuals involving nuisance, trespass or other common law civil remedies.

Building on the prior section regarding ownership, this section focuses on the possession, use or control of private property. While not a taxing section, this article's primary emphasis is to prohibit zoning or other land use regulation. These legal devices are presently used to regulate or control otherwise lawful uses of private property. This section does not concern itself with criminal uses of property, but with lawful uses only. Whereas God gave the property, He alone defines its use and the civil government cannot bar one application and require another as it has no right, title or interest in the property.

This section also notes that common law civil remedies for the lawful use of property which also creates a nuisance, etc., is remediable by the courts, the remedy being confined to an actual nuisance involving actual par­ties to a dispute. This differs from zoning, for instance, which bars certain uses irrespective of whether they are or could be a nuisance, and furthermore regulates the use of all property and not simply that of certain offenders.

In determining what constitutes a nuisance, the question is whether the nuisance has produced such a con­dition of things as in the judgment of reasonable men, is naturally productive of actual physical discomfort or damage to persons of ordinary sensibility, taste and habit.

If an owner is convicted of a crime involving his property, the usual criminal penalties attach. Forfeiture may be appropriate in such a case. See Article 2, Sections 2 and 3; Article 5, Section 15.

Reformation Christian Ministries - Reformed International College - Reformed Theological Seminary.