Saturday, August 16, 2008

Twilight Zoned

I come across some amazing, head-shaking stories when I'm doing the daily search for items to post on the news aggregators at Local Liberty Online. org. But some, like this one, merit special mention.

The story involves a New Castle, Pennsylvania, farm family who may have their cows evicted from their barn because the structure is less than 200 feet from a neighbor's property line, which violates county zoning laws. 200 ft. is an arbitrary number to begin with, pulled ex nihilo out of some professional planner's head. But here's the real absurdity.

The barn is 100 years old.

The zoning law it violates was passed in 1986, and revised in 1999 -- meaning the barn had been there for nearly 80 years before the silly rules were made.

And the neighbor's property line is only closer-than-permitted because the family that owns the barn sold that parcel in 1994 -- to the people who are now complaining about the barn!

Injustice. Ingratitude. And the inflexibility of local despots who enforce frivolous zoning laws as if they came down from the mountain with Moses. It must be hard for these farmers to believe that they're still living in "the land of the free." I headlined this post "Twilight Zoned," but an even better title might have been "Orwell's Animal Farm, 2008."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole issue with the Rose farm is weird. It is NOT County zoning laws that determine this idiotic ruling. It is the township that makes that decision. The barn was okay where it is for alot of years, but when the previous owner subdivided the land the property line next to the barn was created. At the time the barn was used for a garage to store antique cars. The garage was an allowed use being that close to the new lot line. But, the new owners put animals back into the barn and that is what has caused the uproar. My opinion is that people who live in the city and move to the country should get over the "smells" that they don't like. OR stay in the city.