Good Sounding Agriculture Bills, Not Good For Private Property Owners
All of the bills cited below deserve the attention of private property owners. Currently, in the State of Missouri, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have conditions placed upon them. They are subject o inspections and specific constraints. Those constraints, currently, are generally effective, and landowners surrounding such properties are able to seek redress within the system for infringements and either perceived or real property debasements in value, use or enjoyment reductions. If these bills go through, adjacent landowners will lose a large degree of their ability to receive just compensation for lowered land values, usage abilities, and habitability.
Here in the Ozarks, we have not yet been overrun by CAFO’s. While we do have our fair share of derelict equipment and auto reservoirs, we have the ability to address such issues within our own communities, and to reason with each other in the local area to any degree deemed necessary.
The position of the OPRC is that the way things are currently is just fine with us. If we do have a problem, we can address the problem. There is already a process in place to take care of these things within the individual counties. And if we are simply offended by someone else’s idea of yard art, we can simply suck it up and be thankful we don’t need a permit to bury a parakeet, or speak with them if it is so terrifically troublesome. If there is actual danger or destruction involved, we can seek remedy at law. We do not need, want, nor support ANY efforts at State wide zoning, no matter how well intentioned or even misdirected, those efforts may be. If you want accountability, keep the authority local.
HB 209 http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills111/biltxt/perf/HB0209P.htm
House Bill 209 is a bill seemingly designed to halt frivolous nuisance suits in agricultural venues against property being used in a fashion that affects neighbors or adjacent property owners in a negative fashion. There are a few problems with this bill. First of all, it limits property owners’ ability to seek redress in court beyond an undefined percentage of reduction in fair rental value. It also varies the levels of compensation potentially available to a property owner impacted by the undefined terms “permanent” and “temporary” nuisance.
The position of the OPRC is that, while it is imperative that individual property rights to use and benefit from one’s land is paramount, it is never beneficial to reduce another’s right to enjoy, use, and have the full benefit of their property. This bill curtails the ability of one party’s ability for redress in favor of the purported offending party. In effect, this is State wide zoning, and we cannot support such a bill.
Senate Bill 187, is completely unacceptable. It implements county constraints and mandates for “nuisance” properties that house such things as derelict farms, derelict farm equipment and the like. In effect, the State presumes to confer the right to control counties to the counties themselves! The counties already have this within their purview and we do not need the state to claim jurisdiction over county authority in any guise.
This bill would require any owner of a “salvage or junkyard” to get a license, and the definition of what would constitute a “salvage or junk yard” is undefined. It requires the owners of such places to put up a 10 foot high fence to stop the view of passers-by from being impacted by the presence of such operations.
This bill does very much the same thing as the above bills. It effectively attempts to reduce the ability of adjacent/adjoining landholders to be able to seek compensation or redress only in the case of nuclear wastes. This bill is wrong headed; and again, perverts the ability of land owners to protect their own property rights.