Friday, July 13, 2007

Neighbors Have Rights

Submitted by Hays resident, Tammy Deterding

(I am writing in response to a Hays Daily article of July 3, "Commissioners Deal with Zoning Permits." A local businessman proposed to place an automotive repair shop on his land north of Hays.)

The commissioners, in an attempt to enlighten this gentleman about the possible pitfalls of establishing a business of this nature in Ellis County, had questions concerning the amount of "junk vehicles" that may accumulate on his property. It appears that the commissioners were expressing concern for the landowners surrounding the gentleman's property, specifically their view of the property from their homes.

One commissioner stated, "My concern ... if we get a bunch of vehicles out there, we are going to have people complaining." Thank you commissioners for acknowledging that aesthetic problems are good grounds for rejecting a zoning change.

The commissioners made nine vehicles the limit. That means placed end to end, the total length of the chain would be about 135 feet, based on the average of three of the vehicles I measured.

If the commissioners are saying that the junk vehicles would be too big of a visual obstruction for the people in northern Ellis County, would it not follow that the commissioners would extend the same respect to the one hundred families to the southwest of Hays facing the possibility of having 140 wind turbines 400 feet tall placed very near their homes?

The commissioners asked another land owner to clarify his intended use of his land for recreational purposes. I guess it would make a difference if the recreational use involved a few sand volleyball pits or a race track.

Again, it all comes down to respect for your neighbors, those who have to look at, listen to and live by proposed land development.

I am reassured in knowing that not only do the landowners have rights, but also those that live by them. Their rights deserve to be protected, too.

Tammy Deterding
1145 Pine Ridge Drive
Hays, Kansas

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