Against the Bill
The Ozarks Property Rights Congress and all of its branches are devoted to protecting private property and private property owners from infringements of enjoyment and usage as well as constraints on use from any source.
HB 209 represents a dangerous constraint on use and enjoyment for many while securing the use of property for a few. As such, we are against this bill, and all other bills that are similar to HB 209.
In particular, we find the constraint of the cap on the fair market value of a property to be repugnant to common sense. The market values and availability of property fluctuate, particularly in this economy. There is no provision of compensation for relocation costs incurred by someone who is unable to any longer enjoy their property due to their neighbor’s property usage.
Let’s not pretend. If the operation of a large CAFO has rendered a private property unusable by an adjacent or nearby property owner, the fair market value of the property in question is going to be reduced. Also, the only entity interested in procuring the property will likely be the entity that made the property uninhabitable to begin with. This is decidedly unjust, and certainly does not insure a level playing field to all affected parties.
Currently, in the State of Missouri, we can seek remedy for violations of our use and enjoyment of our private property in court, and the establishment of CAFO’s can be handled locally by those affected by that type of property usage. This bill would remove that capacity for remedy.
If there were a clause in this bill constraining the limitations established herein to new property owners who, with knowledge and therefore implied consent, moved in next to these types of operations and then decided to file suits against an occupant who had well established prior usage and a sound operational history, we might be able to consider being neutral or possibly even supportive of the bill. Such is not the case.
This bill is effectively providing eminent domain for agribusiness enterprises, which continue to consolidate markets and have negative affects on local communities and adjoining property owners. It implements state wide zoning that favors consolidated corporate interests above independent private property owners and does not protect prior possession and usage. As such, we stand against this bill.
It is never the right of a property owner to destroy the use and value of another property owner. This bill would enshrine in statute the ability of one type of property use to prevail over all other types of property use and enjoyment. It is not fair, it is not just, and it far from reasonable.
The system we have in place is sufficient and affords private property owners the ability to both protect and use their land. It is not broken, so don’t fix it.
We urge the Committee to vote NO on HB 209 and all similar bills.
Thank you for your time today.
Ozarks Property Rights Congress
(417) 962 0030