The Union Recorder


June 28, 2014

MOORE: Proposed county ordinance isn't about safety

MILLEDGEVILLE — The proposed piece of legislation called the "Safe Property Ordinance" manages to sneak in things like fallen trees, old cars and even dandelions as safety issues. This overly-broad and over-reaching ordinance seeks to make criminals out of nearly everyone as it establishes unprecedented controls over personal property.

Let's start with the scope. This is to apply to every piece of property whether zoned residential, commercial or industrial. These properties have vastly different uses and expectations yet this ordinance seeks to treat them all the same. There are no exceptions for car repair shops. Many of them have quite a collection of cars that will have to be removed. The ordinance then tries to establish that an inoperable vehicle is a health hazard if it is visible from the road or a neighboring property. If something is truly a hazard, isn't it such no matter who can see it?  That is direct proof that this is not about safety at all.

All properties are treated the same, whether 1/2 acre or 100. The way this ordinance is written, a fallen tree must be removed within 14 days. What about wooded tracts? Who decides where my yard stops and the woods start? The same man who is going to determine whether a vehicle is being worked on often enough to be considered an "active" repair as stipulated in the ordinance?

It's time to tell the truth: one man doesn’t like the sight of old cars in a yard and he is trying to use his position of authority to force others to follow his wishes. He's already told the paper how one upstart demanded a jury trial, thwarting his chance to force cars to the crusher. There will be no antique cars left to restore and no parts to restore them with if laws like this pass across the country.

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