From: Todd Paddock
In 1970, lead was in paint, plumbing, and gasoline, and the air in grocery stores, schools, and doctors’ offices was often blue with tobacco smoke. Most rivers had high levels of raw sewage and industrial waste, and bald eagles and peregrine falcons were headed for extinction because of DDT.
Believe it or not, Winona County is headed back to that era unless we take action to stop it.
The County Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for a proposal that any future new building or use is exempt from our current county land-use ordinance as long as it is within 300 feet of a building that existed in March 2011. Existing buildings and uses can be likewise be enlarged under the same exemption.
They need only meet the rules of the county’s 1970 ordinance. And because just about every current building and use in our county subject to our current ordinance already existed in March 2011, this is in effect a blanket exemption.
What this means is that these new or enlarged buildings and uses can be, for example, on any bluff top no matter how close to the edge, any slope no matter how steep, and next to any feedlot of any size. The only current rules will be federal and state. All others will date from 1970.
The Planning Commission has scheduled a meeting where you can learn about this proposal, to take place this Thursday, August 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of the Government Center Building at the corner of 4th and Main streets in Winona. You may also call or write members of the Planning Commission.