Letter: A suggestion about zoning

To The Editor:

The intent of this letter is to ask my fellow Cannon Countians a question and offer a suggestion.

Last July I attended our Planning Commission meeting, there must have also been 100 or more concerned taxpayers asking questions and demanding answers about land use limits.

It seemed there had been a few legal land use decisions that resulted in significant negative impacts on the neighbors' land values. Those citizens expressed strong opinions. However there was some admission of a general lack of knowledge about zoning and the limits surrounding no zoning or zoned land use. Some of those taxpayers asked / demanded the Planning Commission publicly review the issues around no zoning / zoning.

Then last month, just 6-months later the Planning Commission held their February meeting; zoning was on their agenda. Yet, not one taxpayer was in the audience. Why? What happened? At that most recent meeting the Planning Commission opened a discussion about zoning issues, regulations and assurances related to land use in the county. Unfortunately no taxpayers were present to ask questions and learn what zoning is about, how it works, what are the issues and benefits.

However, at the end of the day we still must face some difficult decisions. We all need to participate in the decision-making process to preserve the rural quality of our lives and the health of our business community. I believe that to arrive at the best solutions for our county as a whole will require us to make compromises together to insure our future. These infrastructure decisions can provide the frame work for our county's positive growth for years to come.

When my wife and I bought our farm the road in front of our house was gravel. Today, almost 30-years later, that same road is paved and has a double yellow line down the middle. Like it or not our county has entered the 21st century. The divided highway and recent new land use opportunities have made that point very clear. If we wish to ensure, maintain and protect the quality of our life here in Cannon County then on this issue we must talk together and learn to compromise to find the best solutions.

My suggestion is this: We engage in discussions about zoning related issues with each other and with our local office holders and possibly in the Cannon Courier. Then for the good of the county we make the best decision possible. That, in my opinion, is the only way we can protect the quality of our rural life.

John Hackett
Locke Creek Road