Especially when the local government wants to zone your property for seventeen more houses…

Tide Of Development

And we thought we had problems with eminent domain, and local authorities high-handedly confiscating property of local homeowners. Apparently it’s not a patch on what is happening along Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast… and no doubt complicated no end by the fact that it looks like many of the owners so discommoded are expatriates.

It is enormously popular to holiday along that coast; I did it myself once, part of a long road trip into Southern Spain; from Madrid to Cordova and Seville, and following the coastal road all the way from Gibraltar nearly as far as Barcelona. It was a magnificent drive; at least parts of it were, although I gave a wide berth to Torremolinos, which looked to be nothing more than the sort of high-rise hotels that look like banks of wire rat cages. There were small towns and villages all along the coast; white-plastered thick walls and rose-orange tile roofs, splashed with bougainvillea and palm trees, or pretty 19th century villas, painted pastel colors and trimmed with wrought-iron work, facing the sea. It would be a good place to come, if one was tired of Northern Europe’s dreary grey skies, but even a decade and a half ago, developments, or what the Spanish called “urbanizations” were creeping up and down the hillsides between the old towns. How dispiriting to know also that the right to be secure in possession of your own land is as easily set aside in Spain as it is in Zimbabwe… only that in Spain the confiscation is done with slightly better manners.

“Sgt Mom” is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO, who blogs at, and lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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