A bully, a target or a victim

Dear Editor,

It has been an interesting year as I watched local politics unfold.  In May of 2021 the County of Paintearth updated its Land Use Bylaws.  

In June of 2021 our Municipal Planning Commission that is made up of four of our county councillors, authorized the county’s development authority and CAO to hand-deliver a Stop Order on a local grain bin (2014) development.  

With this order, the owner was advised if he did not comply the county would demolish the development and bill the owner the cost to demolish.  If the owner did not pay, the cost would be added to his property taxes.  If this was still not paid the county would auction the property for tax arrears.  

A welcoming introduction for a young family wanting to continue a 111-year family history in our county.  A request for grandfathering in the development was made and never responded to.  

Two SDAB filings later, the owner agreed to relocate the bin yard to comply with the current 2021 bylaw.  This work will be done this spring and summer.  

I watched as over 40 residents spoke up in favour of leaving the development as is.  All dismissed as not understanding the county’s concerns.  

Two residents three miles away spoke against the development as they might want to walk or ride a horse down the near deserted road and feared the bins might fall on them.  

To each their own.  I respect that.  

My hope is that from this drama no other residents endure the stress, feelings of helplessness and desire to pack up and move that we are now seeing in our community.  

Should enforcement be equal or targeted?  Should communities have a right to support each other?

My time here is limited.  Our children and grandchildren’s may be as well as we give away our property rights and freedoms.

 

Dwayne Felzien

County of Paintearth resident

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ECA Review