It's not all that often you see the New York Times standing up for property rights and dynamism against government regulation. So it's nice to see the Times's architecture critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, take the New York City Planning Commission to task for requiring that the developers of a site in Midtown Manhattan lop 200 feet off of a planned skyscraper. Mr. Ouroussoff warns of "a mentality that, once it takes hold, risks transforming a living city into an urban mausoleum." New York's historic districts are some of its loveliest neighborhoods, not mausoleums. And the city's planning commissioner, Amanda Burden, is one of the most likeable persons around, certainly not hostile to development. But Mr. Ouroussoff is on to something with his unease with the decision by government to prevent the owner of the property from building a tall tower. The owner bought the property knowing there were zoning restrictions on it. There are cases to be made that good zoning laws create value over time, though reasonable people may disagree about the issue. Whatever your view on zoning laws overall, though, there is something unusually tangible about seeing how those zoning restrictions can destroy value when an individual skyscraper is cut short by 200 feet.