Readers Write

Safety ordinance can’t offer same protections as zoning

I have respect for someone who has a dissenting view toward zoning but I have no respect for those who distort and spread non-truths about the process that brought zoning to our county or those who argue that there was no public input.

Perhaps if you engaged at the 11th hour you may feel this way, but that is no reflection on the reality of the entire process. I have been engaged in the zoning process and never had any difficulty offering input or having questions answered.

One only has to do a search of this newspaper’s history to see the coverage of the amount of public input taken into consideration. In addition to prior attempts to enact zoning, beginning in January of this year with the reformation of the Area Plan Commission and ending with zoning being adopted by the county commissioners in August, the APC held countless working meetings where speakers from different sides were able to offer viewpoints.

This year the APC held two forums and the County Commissioners held one, where to speak, one simply had to sign up. This is in addition to the ability to speak to members before and after meetings.

Furthermore, the members of both committees provided their contact information where comments and questions could be discussed. To say this was done without public input is a disservice to the sacrifice in time the APC members have made. This might be the most studied and debated zoning document in Indiana given that this process began several years ago.

It appears that an attempt to convince the public that they weren’t allowed to voice their concerns, along with banning dissenting viewpoints from anti-zoning websites and suing the county for technical violations of the Indiana Open Door Law, is just another distraction from arguing the merits of zoning because the facts are in clear favor of zoning.

A safety ordinance would not be successful in offering the protections and benefits that only zoning provides. Keep this in mind when you vote.

Les Kiesel, Haubstadt


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