They’re insulting you
A letter last week quoted two paragraphs from the proposed zoning ordinance as evidence that it is incomprehensible. The quoted passages were boilerplate legalese required by state law to be in the ordinance.
The Planning Commission originally was hoping to draft a ten-page ordinance. Once the process began, it became clear that state law required so much language of that nature that the ordinance ended up being 75 pages. This is substantially less than the several hundred page documents voted on in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in the last two years.
The important parts of the ordinance are not in the technical language required by state law. The best way to understand the ordinance is to read the easy-to-understand summary prepared by the county commissioners. It is available on their website.
The anti-zoning folks would like voters to believe they are not intelligent enough to understand this ordinance. Their position is if you cannot understand it, vote against it. Do not let them insult your intelligence. There is probably not a zoning ordinance anywhere in the country that is more understandable than the one drafted by our planning commission. Take the time to read the summary and I’m sure you’ll agree.
The main objective of the ordinance is to protect the county. Protect us from having large-scale commercial activities in residential areas. Protect the water in Cold Run Valley and elsewhere from being polluted. Protect us from having large billboards anywhere but a section of the U.S. 522 corridor where they already exist.
If you want to promote your right to build a race track in a residential neighborhood, then by all means vote against this ordinance. If you want to promote the right to pollute rivers and aquifers by building large-scale developments in areas where they do not belong, then vote no. If you want to promote your right to earn money by having a double-decker billboard in your front yard anywhere in the county, then vote no.
Do not let the anti-zoners intimidate you. Learn what the ordinance does and does not do. I’m confident that the voters of Morgan County are smart enough to see through the scare tactics. On November 2, vote with me to pass the zoning ordinance. It will make a wonderful place to live even better.