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Wide White: City ordinances

Friday, January 09, 2009

City ordinances

Much debate exists around these, particularly regarding private property rights.

Two local stories are perfect examples.

Chickens, dogs on Burnsville's agenda

Stefan Remund, 11, has given away three of his chickens as he waits to learn whether the Burnsville City Council will let him keep the rest.
Last fall, City Council members began scrutinizing the city's animal ordinance after a neighborhood complaint about the chickens. Council members realized that not only are chickens a problem, but so are dogs. Residents are allowed only two dogs with individual dog licenses. For three or more, they need a kennel license, too, at a cost of $50.

Council member Dan Gustafson knows firsthand the dilemma many Burnsville residents face: He's violating the current law.
Burnsville homeowner feels the heat over outdoor wood boiler

On a clear day, driving down Williams Drive near Judicial Road in northern Burnsville, you can't miss the smoke.

It billows from the chimney of a little building that contains an outdoor wood furnace Chris Giles uses to heat his home. His family has heated the home this way for decades, but that may soon change.

A neighbor has complained, and the Burnsville City Council likely will pass a ban Jan. 20 on outdoor wood boilers, which is what the heater Giles uses is commonly called.

Giles, 41, said he is amazed the city would pass an ordinance aimed at just one property.

"Where does it stop?" Giles asked. "Are they going to ban fireplaces or fire pits?"
My thoughts:

First, it's too bad these neighbors complained to city council rather than to their neighbor. Is there anything wrong with knocking on a door and talking? More often than not, people will do what they can to keep the peace without needing authorities.

Second, if you live in a government-run place - which most people in the world do - you will have rules to abide by. Noise ordinances exist for a reason and most people don't have a problem with them. These two ordinances exist for the same purpose - courtesy for neighbors who may not appreciate what you do.

You don't have to like all of the rules put in place, but rules by definition are not anti-private property.

And as always, if you want to change them, run for office.


Blogger Keithslady declared,

Or move.

Someone's on to why we don't live in such a high level of civility.

1/13/2009 4:49 PM  

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