The UDO in Polk County has been stripped of its mountain and ridgeline ordinance and hung out to dry. Discussions were tabled until they slid off. The county spent more than $74,000 and “two years of volunteer time” preparing the document. That tidbit is presented as if the reader does not understand cutting one’s losses. That is, people could start suing for their property rights. Commissioner Tom Pack thought something besides government was entitled to reap the fruits o its investment:
“People who own property have invested their hard-earned money and should have the right to build on or do with their property what they want, as long as it does not affect the health or safety of their neighbors. . . . Just because a small vocal group does not like the way something looks, it does not give them the right to trample on someone else’s dreams or rights.”
Chair Ted Owens took the election-induced turnover on the board as a mandate to kill the UDO. Before that, 300 people showed up to the public hearing on the ordinance in 2012, and 54 of 64 who spoke opposed it.
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