As residents of Finney County we are all subjected to zoning regulations, ordinances and building codes. Let's refer to these as a Code for Living. These codes are supposed to protect property values, human and animal life, water supplies and the environment. Since codes were adopted in 1995, there has been little or no enforcement.
Most residents in violation of said codes want to blame someone else, the Realtor, the notifications system, the county. The truth is very simple, "buyer beware" — do your own research. When you buy a property and have researched the restrictions, are you not entitled to live the lifestyle that you paid for by expecting your neighbors to abide by the law?
The current complaint-based system does not work. In regard to semi parking, here is the time line:
April 2009 — Complaint filed
September 2009 — Cases referred to County Counsel
January to February 2010 — Cases were filed in District Court
March 2010 — Violators protested and requested a change in code
March to August 2010 — Meetings to consider compromise
Currently there is an amendment before the Planning Board for recommendations to the county commissioners in regard to enforcing what is in place or changing it to allow semi trucks and trailers in all residential areas countywide.
If past actions continue, there will be no enforcement in regard to the amendment. This will just make it easier for every code to be changed when enforcement is attempted.
Those not affected believe this problem only exists in Golf Acres and T-Bone Estates. That is not true, many areas are affected in the same manner we are. We have small, one-acre lots where you will find a home, a water well, a septic system, a shop or outbuildings then add a junk mobile home for storage, a mobile home that is occupied and up to nine trucks parked daily.
Then you have the salvage operations, trucks, farm equipment, trailers full of metal, wrecked semis and trailers. Then throw in the animals.
There is a place for trucks but it is not in a residential area where homes are close to one another, where everyone is subjected to noise, traffic, oil on the ground, manure being dumped, etc.
This community is dying for lack of community involvement. Let's get proactive and clean this county up, who knows, it may spur some economic development.
Please contact the Planning Board through the Garden City Planning Department by phone or by mail and voice your concerns. Then contact all of the Finney County Commissioners and tell them about the current impact and how you would like for them to vote.
Let's reclaim our community and stop creating slum areas. Some of my neighbors who are pro-truck have worked diligently to get other truckers to clean up with no success. It's sad that there are only two of them. Not all truckers poorly maintain their property, but the majority need improvement.