Democracy Worked For Me!

I swear I intended for my next post to be all about at least one of the knitwear designs I’ve been working on….but while I’ve been waiting for a finished project (or at least a good swatch), daylight, and my camera battery to charge, I recieved a notice of an application to rezone the land next to mine from agricultural, to light industrial.

Nine years ago, I designed our home, and we built it on five acres of land that was formerly pasture.  This is our dream home, we have peace and space as we are surrounded by agricultural land – the nearest neighbour is also on five acres.  There’s a five acre-wide strip of vacant land zoned agricultural between us and several light industrial lots that are lined up on the next main road.  This strip of land is higher than ours, so it acts as an excellent buffer for noise and hides the ugly stuff completely:

Sunset10262009

OK, its not the best picture, but this is the sunset I look forward to seeing out of my kitchen window most evenings. You see those bushes and trees? That’s our property line, and this is the line that someone wanted to extend their ugly metal workshops to. I should add, that recently, their neighbouring property was bought by a trucking company that extended their parking up to my neighbour’s fence line – we soon learned how far noise and light pollution travel out here.

I went online to see what I could do in response to this zone application notice, and was dismayed to find a report written by city planning, recommending approval of the application – no one asked me! Then I noticed that the trucking company never got their land rezoned….they’re not compliant!

Today, I nervously waited for several hours for my turn to speak. I was concerned about that report – it really stung that someone would recommend rezoning without checking with any of the local residents. Eventually, I stood before our City Planning Commission, and pleaded my case. I described the impact of the trucking company on my enjoyment of my yard, and my fear of being flooded if they paved the land that is higher than mine. When the board picked up on the fact that they were out of compliance with their zoning, I explained that I’d just used their website to research my own notice, figured that half of the trucking company’s operations were being conducted on agricultural land, and used their online tool to file a zone violation complaint. (I do believe a couple of committee members chuckled at that).

The application was DENIED and to top it off, the chairman of the commission ordered that someone “go out and check on those trucks because they are out of compliance!”

Tonight, I celebrate with a decent glass of wine and, what I hope will be one of my few remaining chances to drink in the sun setting over a bunch of parked trucks.

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2 Responses to “Democracy Worked For Me!”

  1. Marush Says:

    Woo hoo!!! Way to go Chris!!!

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