I know this critique of libertarianism is not new, but I’m not personally familiar with what is supposed to replace zoning law, given that most people do have preferences about development in their local area. Is the idea that a complete absence of zoning will lead to the most efficient solution, even if it’s a solution that some people (or possibly even a majority of people) don’t actually want?

Property rights.

If I have a property – let’s say a house – and you build a loud factory next to my house, you don’t actually have the right to run that factory if that interferes with me on my property. You will have to buy, from me, the right to create noise that interferes with my ability to live peacefully on my property.

Who is most likely to sell that right to you? Neighbors who are, themselves, running factories on their property and don’t have to live next to it. This gives a natural clustering of manufacturing far from homes.

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