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Are countywide building permits necessary?

| July 27, 2007 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

I appreciated your article regarding some apprehension over the current County Planning process, particularly in the Yaak Valley. The concerns of Yaak residents are very real and well-founded.

We all must realize that planning has been mandated by the State, so it must be done regardless of what we believe here in Lincoln County. Since we now have to deal with growth issues that we haven't seen for many years, it is true that we should address future planning in and around the urban areas of Libby, Troy and Eureka. We already have zoning in these towns. Growth will be concentrated in these areas, and that is where some planning may well be in order as to what do we want these towns, and suburbs, to be like in 20 years.

But in more rural areas, like the Yaak, what is planning for? What will be planned? Why is it needed? I don't get it. What is scary is when talk is raised that we need countywide building permits to assist in "fire protection." Sounds like a smokescreen to me. Just what would "planning" do for Yaak residents, except lead to property restrictions in the future.

So, we should be extremely leery of talk of the need for planning in our lesser populated areas. Look at Idaho, and you will see where it all leads. Zoned counties, and building permits required for everything. Do we want to be like Idaho?

Let your county commissioners know your thoughts on this. They are the ones who will decide, and all three of them are very receptive to reasoned input from their constituents.

Wayne Hirst

Libby