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We don’t have to throw rocks; extend an olive branch

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By John Baker

Apparently, it is the feeling of a minority of people in the Indian Land community that it is perfectly appropriate to issue a threat of a $4-5 million dollar lawsuit, which if carried through, would have a significant impact on every property taxpayer in Lancaster County.

However, it is not appropriate for any potentially impacted taxpayer to question the poor choices of those persons making that threat.

A permit was issued several years ago for a concrete plant in the Indian Land community. There were residential units in the area at the time.

Apparently, no one chose to challenge the issuance of the permit.

Also, apparently consciously omitted from the open letter to me from Scott Bruntmyer in the Dec. 21 edition was the fact that neither the County Council nor the Planning Commission had nor has any authority to override the issuance of such a permit. A challenge must proceed through judicial channels, first to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and then to Circuit Court.

Subsequent to the issuance of the permit and the construction of the concrete plant, additional residential units were constructed in the area immediately adjacent thereto. Should the County Council have denied the rezoning request for the subdivision? Perhaps. Should the residents who bought into the subdivision have done a bit more due diligence? Obviously.

Are there problems caused by the concrete plant that need to be addressed? So it would seem. However, the investigation is ongoing. I do find it interesting that apparently there were no complaints until about six months ago.

I am sympathetic to those people who are apparently affected by the presence of the concrete plant, and have donated my time and expertise by drafting a revised nuisance ordinance, which was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission and is now awaiting action by the County Council. However, my sympathy has been somewhat diminished by the issuance of threats.

It is clear that the author of the open letter would like to silence anyone voicing an opposing viewpoint, or as previously stated, questioning the poor choices made in years past.

Needless to say, I don’t intimidate.

It is also clear that the author of the open letter does not believe that members of the public should be making suggestions for legislative enactments, at least in so far as those suggestions are contrary to what he wants. Well guess what? This is Lancaster County, in the state of South Carolina, in the United States of America. Every citizen has the right to participate in government, by voting, by appealing to government for legislative changes, and by seeking election to public office.

If the author finds this structure inconvenient, we do not limit anyone’s right to depart for other lands. Please, feel free if you are so inclined.

However, I feel that a better approach would be to stop issuing threats, and to work with government and community leaders in a constructive fashion.

We don’t have to throw rocks at each other. Extending an olive branch is a more civilized approach.

John P. Baker

Lancaster