I have become increasingly concerned about the proposed rezoning or micromanagement of zoning with regard to ownership of horses in Columbia County.
Planning Commission Chairman Steve Browns initial assessment of this situation is fundamentally flawed. It may be well-intended, but it is clearly subjective with no factual basis.
This community has historically been largely pastoral. Animal husbandry was never questioned until now. The fact that any particular taxpayers property may not be affected by any new ordinance is not the core issue. The core issue is simply that our property is already subject to eminent domain law and that is enough government. We already have clearly defined laws regarding nuisance and animal abuse, and we have local and state agencies readily available for reporting and correcting those infringements.
In recent years, Columbia County has grown. Weve all worked hard and been a pretty cohesive community to support that growth. With that growth has come the explosive development of subdivisions and related influx of commercialization.
It is not the fault of existing property owners that developers have played the quiet country living card in selling their properties. Bravo! Great marketing. Neither is it the existing property owners fault that those buyers did not do their homework by taking a closer look at what living in the country really means.
If a handful of people have moved into our county and now decide they dont like the rules, they should go play somewhere else. This county is wonderful and is full of great people who actually do care for their neighbors. If we begin now to allow a little whining to set us off on unnecessary and unfounded witch hunts, we are moving backward.
Neighbors should be able to settle their differences without the interference of local or state government. Our tax money would be better spent cleaning up existing zoning problems, not creating new ones.
Mary Paige Marschalk, Harlem
(Editor's note: The County Commission will discuss the livestock ordinance Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m., at the Evans Government Complex Auditorium.)
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