Letter to the Editor

County zoning is leading to empty lots ... and weeds

Monday, May 5, 2008

Editor's note: This letter was originally printed in the Friday, May 2 edition of the BannerGraphic, however, Steve Stamper's name was inadvertently placed on the letter by newsroom staff. John Stamper is the one who wrote the letter.

To the Editor:

Some years ago countywide zoning became an issue and three of four informational meetings were held at the Putnam County Fairgrounds to educate the public.

My wife and I attended at least three of those meetings wanting to understand what and why zoning was needed.

The meetings were well-attended with standing-room-only crowds at each of the t here.

The basic theme of the meetings was to stop the loss of productive farmland to urban sprawl.

It was explained to me that there was a need to stop people from taking an acre or two of land along a county road to build a home.

The loss of good farmland was to be stopped.

It was obvious to most of us that the decision had already been made the county commissioners were going to control the land owners' use of the land in Putnam County.

The vast majority of the attending crowd were dead set against government control of their land.

Taxpayers felt if they had the title of the land it was theirs to control.

Well we, the landowners, were wrong, and one of the commissioners even read his newspaper while we tried to maintain our rights as landowners.

We got voted down.

To build your country home now, you had to buy 10 acres of land, have a survey, present a plat plan, etc. for approval by the commissioners.

The final meeting took place and the zoning ordinance was voted in over the protest of the attending crowd.

What has happened is that good farms have been divided up into 10-acre plots and sold off for 1- or 2-acre homesteads and 7 or 8 acres are growing weeds. South of North Putnam School and the Shortcut Road are good examples of what happened as a result of the commissioners' decision. The morals of this are simple.

John Stamper,