Ron Joseph, in his Maine Compass on Jan. 26, said, “For four decades, landowner complaints about LURC have been listened to and dismissed by six governors.” Is there any wonder there needs to be a change?

I have been involved in this issue for about three years, and my wife and I also traveled to every meeting of the LURC Reform Commission.

I’ll try to address some of Joseph’s concerns.

* County opt-out clause. Maine has more than 400 towns with individual planning boards.

* Reserving six seats for county commissioners on proposed new LURC board. These six commissioners or their designees would be from the six counties with major portions of unorganized territories (UTs). We likely would be able to pick a resident of, or at least someone closer to the UTs, giving more local control.

* Power to override the interests of a vast majority of citizens who live outside LURC jurisdiction. I am amazed at the lack of consideration for the landowner. The landowner is the one, paying the taxes, providing the wildlife habitat, the deer yards, the opportunity for snowmobilers, ATV riders, hunters, fisherman, horseback riders, hikers and etc. to traverse their property, free of charge.

* Millions of dollars worth of undeveloped shorefront properties on magnificent lakes and rivers. Lakes, rivers, streams etc. already are controlled by state regulations.

As a landowner, I am a firm believer in allowing a landowner to do with his property as he or she sees fit, as long as they are within the law and do not damage another’s property.

I refer again to Joseph’s comment, “Four decades, landowner complaints about LURC have been listened to and dismissed by six governors.” I rest my case!

Fred W. Hardy, District 2

Franklin County Commissioner

New Sharon


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