Letter: Commission vote requested


To the Editor,

This letter is intended as a public request for action from our elected County Commissioners.

Please take positive action starting nowto protect land values and quality of life here in our county. Direct the Planning Commission to immediately begin developing enforceable land use rights and restrictions and report their progress publicly. What is the hurry? you ask. We have spent two years not addressing the issues regarding ‘land use’ in our county and the issues are growing. Our current county government by ignoring this growing situation gives most land owners cause for concern.

This is why, Tuesday, July 22nd I attended the Planning Committee meeting along with over 30 other county residents. Their primary concerns quickly became clear. It was the sudden appearance of a firing range in their rural neighborhood. They rightfully I think, contended that suddenly the quality of their rural life style and the dollar value of their property have been significantly reduced through no fault on their part. They wanted to learn why their county government had not acted to protect them. What they heard from the Planning Committee was a series of excuses that can be summarized with the phrase: We have no power.

For example: There are no existing land use nor zoning restrictions to prevent opening a business [firing range, quarry, halfway house]; creating zoning guidelines or restrictions is too complicated, expensive and time consuming; the Committee has no authority to develop zoning guidelines nor land use restrictions without direct authorization from the County Commissioners. And therefore, as the Planning Committee we could take no action to remedy the current situation. Over two years ago I went to another well attended Planning Committee meeting. That night the issue was the sudden appearance of two quarries just off the John Bragg Scenic Highway and their impact on the Arts Center and nearby property values. Commissioners, that was more than two years ago; the excuses offered then and those offered the other night were identical. That’s why as a property owner I am very concerned. We need to begin now to find our solutions. I’m confident a reasonable balance between land use restrictions and property ownership rights can be found. We all love this county!!

John Hackett
Locke Creek Road