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Neighborhood meetings

 Douglas County  is considering requiring developers to set down with neighbors to discuss some  proposed developments before applications are filed.

Douglas County Neighborhood Meetings

The theoretical idea of neighborhood meetings is an excellent one, whether it works as well in the real world will remain to be seen.

Experience in the past has shown that many codes or regulations that Douglas County has put into effect to protect non-developer property owners has either been blatantly ignored by developers or created with such loopholes that they are rendered valueless.

For instance in the Neighborhood Meetings plan, developers can always do nine instead of ten homes clusters to avoid contacting and dealing with surrounding property owners. The notification limit of 500' for new developments could be of little use with developments such as equestrian complexes which generate dust, noise, odors and flies or industrial developments like asphalt plants. These types of high-impact developments would cause immense and adverse effects to property owners much farther than 500' and there for developers should be required to notify a larger area in such instances.

The building industry has been notorious for using  "Private Property Rights" and  
"A man should be able to do what ever he wants with his property" clichés. Usually these "Rights" pertain only to the building industry and they are very reluctant to give the same "Rights" to others. They are also Machiavellian in their development plans preferring to avoid any contact with or sharing of information with other property owners and concerned citizens. Apparently for fear that they may have to forfeit some of their precious private property rights while allowing others to assert theirs.

To now expect the building industry to not only communicate with surrounding property owners but also to even ponder the private property rights of others seem like a big jump. Quite possibly if this "Neighborhood Meeting" plan is put into action developers might find that being candid with surrounding property owners and respecting their private property rights will make things a lot easier on everybody.

Of course the only way this will work is if ALL the citizenry work together. Developers must be truthful about what their plans are and how it will affect   urban neighborhoods, rural farms, etc. Property owners must be willing to attend meetings and get involved. Everyone's "Private Property Rights" must be considered and respected and everyone must give and take.

Douglas County take your best shot...maybe this "Neighborhood Meeting" idea will actually work!!

Published  in the Douglas County Empire Press 08-16-07

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Great diary Dixie, I love how we can find these little ways to bring people together, and find solutions. I also liked how you turned the "property rights" argument on its head.



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by emmettoconnell on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 09:44:16 PM PST

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