From: Cherie Hales
The recent article in the Winona Post about the “threat from special interests” left me shaking my head.
There is real irony in labeling citizens who express concerns about the environment or about development that could impact peoples health as a “special interest,” when we have a Commissioner, Steve Jacob, who has proposed changes to the County Land Use Ordinance and gets to vote on these changes twice; on the Planning Commission and as a County Commissioner.
Now what exactly is the special interest at play here? I was deeply disappointed when the Winona County Planning Commission voted to recommend these land use ordinance changes. The current ordinance was the product of years of discussion and compromise. It seems to be working. No CUPs have been denied for those seeking to build on less than 40 acres. Set-backs are protecting our bluffs from erosion and preserving the beauty of the area for future generations. The protections for Dakota burial grounds are a model, and are in keeping with the covenant recently signed by the city of Winona with the Dakota people. All of this would change if the amendments proposed by Commissioner Jacob are adopted.
There is a Public Hearing on Tuesday October 22. At the risk of being considered a “special interest,” I encourage people to attend the hearing and express your opinion and concerns about the proposed changes to our County Land Use Ordinance.