Several rural residents presented protests over a planned public nuisance ordinance during discussion at a Cherokee County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
The matter was presented as a discussion item, with a vote on approval to take place at a later date.
There has been ongoing debate over whether there should be a public nuisance ordinance and if there is, the extent to which it should restrict property owners from having materials on their property that are considered unsightly or potentially harmful.
In response to previous comments, the supervisors have scaled back the proposed ordinance considerably. Dean Schmidt and Terry Graybill, supervisors, said Tuesday that there have been people contact them privately, saying such an ordinance is needed but the rural property owners who spoke at the Tuesday meeting were opposed to any nuisance ordinance at all.
Chuck Carlson, a war veteran, said, "I had to fight to protect the United States and now I have to fight the county supervisors."
Bill Smith, a rural business owner, said he was concerned that all the conditions of the ordinance might be required to be met to sell property. He said attaching the details of the ordinance to the sale of property could be quite a burden.
Jack Clark, rural property owner, noted that only county in this area that has a county-wide nuisance ordinance is Dickinson County and that its use is primarily for the area of residential and commercial development near the lake.
Clark questioned the reason for duplication of what is already contained in state code. When told that the county would get more local control, Clark said, "I've worked with the DNR and haven't had a problem. I've worked with the county board of supervisors and have a lot of problems."
Ron Wetherell, chairman, said that going through the state on a public nuisance is a considerably slower process and when the DNR receives a complaint, it will handle the matter by the book with no allowance made for particular circumstances.
With a local nuisance ordinance, the matter will be deferred to the county. The supervisors made a point at the previous meeting to make an adjustment the ordinance that would require someone to sign a complaint form before the county would take action on a public nuisance ordinance.
Bud Clow, supervisor, said that if the county was looking to pick on people, it could already do so with all of the non-compliant septic systems in the county.
Wetherell said he wanted the county to attract more business and he challenged audience members to explain how that could be done.