Did Lax Zoning Lead to Texas Plant Explosion Carnage?

When the West Fertilizer Co plant exploded last week in Texas, it severely damaged homes and schools located in close proximity to the property, and killed dozens of people. Markos Moulitsas blames lax zoning standards for putting lives at risk.

"It's tragic enough that maybe three dozen were killed because of the gross negligence of the owners of West Fertilizer Co in West, Texas," writes Moulitsas. "But compounding the carnage, it seems as if half the town was leveled including several schools and houses five blocks from the plant. But wait, there were houses five blocks from a fertilizer plant?"

"There is a reason zoning laws exist. But Texas being Texas, apparently the 'freedom' to set up shop next to a bomb trumps everything else—including the lives and properties of far too many in West."

Full Story: The wonder of libertarian zoning laws, West, Texas edition

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95