In anticipation of the June 21 joint meeting of the Delta County Planning Commission and the North Fork Area Planning Advisory Committee, the Libertarian Party of Delta County would like to express its support of Mark Levin's application of land use change for the parcels in question. LPDCO also encourages all advocates of private property rights to attend this meeting, which takes place on June 21 at the Paonia Town Hall, and speak on Levin's behalf.
Levin's application should actually be a very easy decision to make for the governing body.
First, did the applicant legally obtain the property parcels in question? More specifically, did he enter into a contractual agreement with the seller that is free of coercion or malfeasance? If yes, proceed to the second question.
Second, does the applicant intend to do harm to any of the neighboring parcels? Unless the applicant has a prior history of dumping nuclear waste into local water supplies, governing bodies should assume that the applicant intends to be a lawful proprietor of his own property and respectful of those who surround him.
This change of use application is a great example of the double, triple, and quadruple jeopardy that government puts businesses through. Already under the scrutiny of federal and state regulations, this applicant must also jump through the hoops of local government. Even if approved by the county, there is no guarantee that the state will release the bond that Bowie originally submitted to the state for reclamation purposes.
The ultimate arbiter in this entire decision is financial investment. Those who expose themselves to financial risk -- such as fronting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a project with so many bureaucratic layers to peel back and no guarantee of return on investment -- are the primary parties who should be involved in this decision.
This is not a decision to be made by community busybodies who have invested nothing nor risked anything in the matter, but still would like to project their "vision" for their ideal community with complete disregard to property rights. If a property owner causes harm to his neighbors -- real, demonstrable harm that can be objectively quantified -- then that's a whole other matter.
For those who wish to see the property utilized differently, then may I recommend making a counteroffer?
Chair, Libertarian Party of Delta County