New shoreline regs are on the wayLike Buddha says, the only thing that changes is how each person handles the slings and arrows of everyday life. Well, maybe that was Eddie Buddha who said that.
By: Forrest Johnson, Lake County News Chronicle
Like Buddha says, the only thing that changes is how each person handles the slings and arrows of everyday life.
Well, maybe that was Eddie Buddha who said that.
Anyway, the moral of the phrase seems to be that life goes on and each of us must try to deal with the journey of it, rather than the destination. We never reach the destination. We are in constant motion toward that final destination, a point that won’t be reached until...
The same holds true in planning for the landscape in which we live. It is a moving target, one that is in constant motion, a motion of resolution and conflict. No two people will ever see the same destination.
Condos or green space? Gravel pits or residences? The billiard table of life is constantly shifting.
Now I see that the Department of Natural Resources has proposed new regulations to protect shorelines, which we have quite a few of in Lake County.
An effort to gain protection through voluntary means wasn’t taken to heart by local governments back in 2005. In 2007, the Minnesota Legislature ordered the DNR to get busy on new regs that would protect our water plain and simple.
Several years ago I sat in on a county planning commission meeting and heard a proposal from a fellow hoping to create country living lots of 20 acres near the banks of a North Shore stream. That sounded nice. Lots of green space and elbow room. An environmentally friendly development. But then the fellow explained that he wanted to write covenents into the properties allowing future landowners to subdivide.
Quick work by the county attorney revealed that such a notion, subdividing, wasn’t allowed in that area.
“But I’ve already included that in the contracts,” was the canned sheepish response, elicited to gain sympathy and perhaps an allowable use from planning commissions and county boards. “Gee, that might hurt the project.”
Luckily, nobody bit on the feigned mental anguish.
I immediately thought that if the guy was sincere in his sheepishnish I’d like to meet the sucker who was willing to finance such a naive developer in the first place.
Of course it was all a show. Said developer knew the rules and put on a little dramatic one-act play in the hopes of softening the zoning to fit his needs.
No matter what, people generally don’t think of the environment first when planning their activities.
Even though the development economy has slowed, it will return. Protecting shorelines and watersheds in Lake County has got to be a priority if we’re going to have a Lake County in the future.
Thus the need to be in a constant state of planning and visioning. What do we want in this county? Are most of the residents in favor of selling out the shore, of developers gobbling up chunks of land across the landscape and sending their new roads past existing homes that were purchased with the thought that they’d never have neighbors nearby?
What about roads and parking lots and condos and wastewater and freshwater and crowding and escalating property values totally inconsistent to present use?
The journey of discussion has to be the roadmap. We can never dust our hands and think, we’ve done it, we’ve created the map.
A new billiard ball will always get thrown on the table to challenge our notions.