From: Mary A. Cichanowski
Rural property owners, I encourage you to attend the public hearing on October 22 regarding the proposed Winona County zoning ordinance changes. These changes protect your interests. When the updated zoning ordinance was adopted, many of our rural properties were labeled non-conforming. The county feels no obligation to inform property owners if they are or are not a conforming property by the updated ordinance standards. Nor is there compensation for the taking of property rights. These proposed amendments restore property rights; without the rights of the individual, the common good suffers.
Currently, if your property is labeled non-conforming, it will affect your ability to rebuild if your house is more than 50 percent damaged. You will have to purchase your rights to rebuild with a conditional use permit. What hasn’t been mentioned is that being labeled non-conforming could make it much easier to label our properties as blight, paving the way for condemnation and eminent domain takings. After all, a recent writer commented that “Visit Winona wants to keep the county attractive for tourists.” These amendments are a compromise that the non-rural citizens of the county should agree to.