Dear Editor: A recent Madison County Journal story tells of an application for rezoning that seeks to expand a “grandfathered” use.

Grandfather status offers shelter for continued use of parcels that don’t conform under zoning, but it doesn’t include the right to expand a nonconforming use. The current use is itself not a continuation of a prior, pre-zoning era business activity. It is a new use on the ruins of one that expired long ago.

The general arc of development, according to comprehensive planning, is the gradual elimination of non-conforming use.

The news story says that P&Z, with the application dumped back in its lap, will search for a use description the application might “qualify” for. If such description is found, then an amendment can be written that will allow the application to go forward.

That sounds a lot like the kind of thick and weedy jungle path that has been noted before.

How often should the county whittle square pegs to jam through the smooth round holes of the larger use pegboard?

Granddad does not live forever, not everything he did should be continued, nor must his ghost haunt us always.


Jim Baird


(2) comments

Jim Baird

...some of our greater level granddad's owned slaves. Should that use, too, be grandfathered?

Virginia Moss

I agree with Mr. Baird. There's good reason for grandfathering when a rule goes into effect and good reason to deny such to new endeavors after the rule goes into effect. Everyone else deals with the change. Why try to accommodate anyone who doesn't want to deal with the change?

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