The LaGrange County Plan Commission has reset the public hearing on the proposed zoning changes regarding height and plumbing fixtures to December 16, 2019 at 4PM in the County Annex building directly across from the north side of the court house.
From the negative comments of several Plan Commission members at their regular meeting last night to the objections received so far, we have an uphill battle and our work cut out, if you are of the persuasion to oppose these changes.
It is my view that this is unnecessary and needless government regulation. It amounts to taking away our property rights without a rational or reasonable basis. I am all in favor of responsible zoning laws. Many lake homes already have these types of back structures, and for those they will be grandfathered in as a legal nonconforming use. Yet if there is a fire or other casualty, they might not be able to rebuild with the same facilities. For those that have these back lot structures, this change if adopted may make their property more valuable, and for those without them, less valuable.
So far the rationale we hear is that this is about lake congestion and complaints about the renting and/or occupancy of back lot buildings. Yet I have not heard from any lake property owners on Oliver Lake or Big Long Lake that can point to back lot buildings being rented as a home in a substandard housing condition or that back lot structures contribute to lake congestion attributable. If you know of any of these problems, please let me know.
From my observations and that of others, our day and overnight lake guests (whether sleeping in our homes or in back lot buildings, pop ups, motor homes or tents) never trailer in boats etc, they use our docks and our boats. In my view, if there really even is a problem, it is very minor, and the changes proposed are like using a shotgun to swat a fly. If the county has substandard housing problem, the building and other codes should be enforced. We should not have our property rights take away to attempt to solve a code enforcement problem.
I would urge the lake associations to get this new hearing date out to their members so they are aware of this, particularly for those association members that may wish to attend and speak in opposition to protect their property rights. Also let your friends and neighbors know. For those that cannot attend but want to be heard, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would urge as large as turnout as possible. The County Commissioner have to approve this to become law, and since they are elected, they would typically be more sensitive to property tax payers and voters. Hence a large turnout will most likely get noticed by our elected officials.
If you know any of the elected county commissioners, feel free to make your comments known directly to them also.
If you are interesting in volunteering to help us work on this project and focus our opposition, reply separately to me.
I would also like to hear any of your positive or negative comments on the proposed changes. Thanks Vince Heiny