Letter by John Walker
Zoning – December 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine
Those who complain loudest about all the regulations are often those who make the regulations necessary
That every American has a birthright to express an opinion regardless of the facts was again evidenced in Jan Evans’s October lament over Frémont County zoning.
This system of zoning was arrived at following lengthy public review and input — an inexact process loosely termed democracy that does not number simplicity among its virtues. “Nonconforming” uses, which Ms. Evans presents as proof of poor zoning typically represent pre-existing uses “grandfathered” in at the time zoning was adopted. I think most would agree that this is a reasonable outcome and better than forcing a business to relocate.
She also makes light of Frémont County’s detailed lists of permitted uses within each zone. Would her unspecified solution equate a rabbit with a cow, a decidedly urban viewpoint, or create even greater complexity by accommodating every conceivable exotic animal?
In reality, vaguely worded statutes and regulations are a disservice to the public and invite definitional disputes that result only in attorney’s fees, clogged courts and laws written by judges.
As the West becomes increasingly crowded, it is inevitable that conflicts will multiply over land use and its potential for infringing upon the neighbors’ ability to protect, use and enjoy their own property. It is disingenuous that those who promote and profit from this population growth issue the loudest and most persistent complaints about the very regulations that they make necessary.
John Walker Coaldale