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Don’t use private roads for business

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Warning to homeowners who share and maintain private roads: If a proposed county zoning amendment is adopted, private roads will be opened to public traffic as landowners hold commercial, money-making events on their property but are exempt from the usual protective permit processes. Called a “temporary agricultural event,” it lasts forever — anything but “temporary.” With no fees, no safety inspections for two-way traffic on single-lane roads, no enforcement, and no recourse to stop public traffic on substandard private roads, the impacts from “commercial” events will be devastating and dangerous. This free permit proposal allows for six two-day events per year. On a road used by 10 neighbors, three may choose to have 12 days of free events, or three landowners may have one festival all on the same day, year after year. The rationale for this dreadful proposal, “relief for ag landowners,” defies logic. Ag operations don’t need a business license and can have roadside stands. To legalize “commercial” events where they don’t belong is unconscionable. Contact planning commissioners and supervisors to stop this train wreck before it gains any momentum. Randall Cleveland, Newcastle