The Tate County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to gain feedback from the community at a special meeting held Friday, May 20 at the Tate County Courthouse.
Around 100 members of the public showed up to listen and to take turns at the microphone to voice their concerns regarding the zoning amendments determining whether manufactured homes would be allowed in certain zones within the county.
Many people continued to say that the zoning was wrong. They still maintain it is their lands and therefore their rights.
Well, they are right. They do own the land. They do pay the taxes.
But they are also wrong- to a certain extent.
I’ve heard one line repeated almost like a mantra since the beginning of the story unfolded.
“It’s my land. The government can’t tell me what I can do on my land.”
Well…technically they can.
See there are a lot of misconceptions out there surrounding this particular train of thought.
Any person with an ounce of rational thought would agree with me that you can’t open a meth lab on your property just because you own the property.
But maybe that’s an extreme example.
Let’s try this one, you can’t disturb a Bald Eagle’s nest if one just so happens to set up home on your property. Now, that one doesn’t come from the Tate County Board of Supervisors. It’s a federal law.
Same goes for vultures and geese. All fall under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918.
See since the founding of our nation, the government has been telling all of us to a degree what we can and cannot do with our land for the simple fact that while you do own the land, the land still falls under the multiple umbrellas of nation, state and county. If you live in the city, then even more rules apply.
Now, I completely, get why people would want to live in the county to avoid the scrutiny which comes with being a “townie”. I grew up on a farm. There were several things my family did which could not be done had we lived in town. We had well water, a septic tank, and roosters were our alarm clocks. We had outside sheds, traditional barns, and pole barns for tractors. When I was a kid, they even decided to put in a lake which was fed by a natural stream.
The Tate County Board of Supervisors were looking at building up revenue to support the development of healthcare, schools, infrastructure and housing in their 20-25 year plan.
The board wasn’t trying to “dup” the people they represent. They were trying to develop a more prosperous future. See all economic developers will look at certain criteria when making a major investment in a community, whether it be for business development or residential development.
The top things reviewed are healthcare, schools, infrastructure and housing.
Now did I agree with all the zoning ordinances? Oh no. Not a bit.
I’m a single mother of two kids. There hasn’t been a lot of available housing in Tate County in my price range. The thought of getting a double-wide and putting it on a piece of land has certainly crossed my mind before.
However, the board listened to the people. They made changes. They made a compromise to satisfy the immediate concerns of the residents while also allowing an increase in revenue for the county.
Tony Sandridge, board President, even said in the meeting that they were looking at developing new avenues to obtain affordable housing in the county. They are working on the issues.
The system of a representative democracy worked. Now while there are certain stipulations on what can and cannot be done on Tate County land, don’t for a second get caught up in the idea that this a novel or threatening concept. It’s been around for a while now- almost 246 years, in fact.