Tuesday, August 5, 2008

At least he's not in Kentucky

Apparently, a farmer in Utah decided to get the attention of his exaburbs neighbors. He dug some holes, and put some junker cars hood down in them, making a "Redneck Stonehenge". Luckily, it's just a little ribbing, not something malicious. Apparently his neighbors liked the idea of horses and cows grazing in the fields behind their houses, but didn't like the other aspects of living next to a farm, such as dust, critters, and smells.

Good for him.

I've always maintained that if you own land, if you're not causing actual harm to the neighbors, then you should be able to do what you want with your land. By harm, I mean that you are destroying or damaging something physical on the neighbors land or are endangering the living things that inhabit the neighbors land.

That's why I will never live in a subdivision that requires a covenant. If I want to paint my house purple with paisley shutters, then I will. If I want to park an old car under my tree so that I can work on it, I will. I don't need some neo-fascist homeowners association telling me what to do on property that I've worked hard to buy and use.

This situation reminds me of a local situation that happened a few years ago. Apparently the owner of a large farm near Louisville wanted to develop his land into a large subdivision, take the money he made, and retire. His neighbors didn't think that was such a great idea, so they fought him on re-zoning the land and won. So, in a fit of pique, he fenced off a few acres of his land near the main road and his nearest neighbor and put goats and pigs inside the fence. As expected, the smell was kind of bad if you didn't grow up on a farm. It was bad enough that the neighbors complained to the authorities and the local news stations, but since it was zoned for farmland, they couldn't do anything.

Over time, the situation has died down, and luckily for the farmer, he didn't try to start a development a couple of years before the market dropped out. He still keeps a few pigs and goats on the land, and allows construction companies to park their equipment next to the hogpen. The neighbors still don't have a development next to their small farms/country homes, but I'm not sure that soccer moms in minivans are worse than sows with piglets in the next yard over.

So, I'll stay living in the few neighborhoods that don't require a contract to live in them, or will be moving out to the country myself. And if my neighbor wants to run an actual farm on his land, so much the better. I'll be the neighbor with a large house in the center of my property and clear fields of fire out to the main road.

Now, get off'n the property!

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