OPINION: Neighbor against neighbor

I was so disappointed when I heard that Susan Raymond had lost her civil suit against the Hostellers. But, I was even more disappointed to watch people turn against each other where this issue is concerned.

I wonder what many residents would have done if the shoe had been on the other foot…if, for whatever reason, they felt as though their livelihoods, their health and their home were being threatened.

This case wasn’t about the right to farm…that was just a marketing diversion to pull on our heartstrings. Many people believe we should be able to do whatever we want on our own land. I believe that we should do so while being mindful of our neighbors and under sensible, fair government policies and procedures. That’s what makes a community.

The saddest thing is that this entire battle could have been entirely avoided had the county commissioners, at the time, listened to their staff, their Area Planning Committee and their Planning Commission. Instead, they choose to ignore their own specific development process and push this development through at significant financial cost to the taxpayers.

Olen Lund, president of the Delta County Farm Bureau and then county commission chair, is quoted in last week’s DCI as saying, “…Edwin Hosteller’s egg-laying facility on Powell Mesa is a good, well-run operation.” Again, this is a misleading statement on the part of a former county official. In this case, how the facility is run is less important than where it is run.

Clearly, a commercial egg-laying operation doesn’t belong within 1,000 feet of a residence and many in county staff, the affected neighborhood, the APC and PC agreed.

Our county commissioners did nothing more than pit neighbor against neighbor and add even more suspicion about how our county government is run.

JoAnn Kalenak
Hotchkiss, CO