Letter: Additional county regulation not needed in shipping container debate

To the editor,

After watching this morning’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting, I wanted to give you a few comments. The first question that doesn’t seem to be asked why haven’t the cities taken action to regulate storage containers. Hyper-regulatory Bardstown to my knowledge hasn’t banned them. The incorporated areas of Nelson County clearly have the right to regulate storage containers. In my opinion most people in unincorporated Nelson County do not want additional regulation, in fact they want less regulation.

When the government steps in on an issue of subjective appearance we start going down the slippery slope of the Bardstown Historic Review Board on what color is approved. The argument seems to be either that storage containers lower property value or are not visibly pleasing. I contend that the Nelson County Property Valuation Office does not lower the value of ones property if a storage container is on it. Which then leaves us with simply some people don’t like the looks of it.

District 1 Magistrate Keith Metcalfe brought up today about a walnut tree and walnuts falling on the ground of the neighbor. That physically causes damage to the neighbor, either because he has to take time to pick it up or it lands on something that can be damaged. So if governments job is to protect any and every loss to its citizens Keith’s walnut tree analogy is vastly more germane. Judge Watts brought up a great thought, there is nothing to stop a person from building an outbuilding of similar material. Jokingly last week I told someone if they are banned I would get a permit and build one to look like a storage container. But this illustrates that the government interest in regulating storage containers would merely be because of appearance which is subjective to everyone’s own taste. If everyone in a neighborhood painted their houses pink and you received complaints would it then be appropriate to ban anyone in Nelson County from painting their house pink?

I don’t live in a subdivision but if I did and my neighbor put one in, if the covenants and deeds didn’t allow it and it bothered the neighbors so much they could certainly in most instances act. But if those subdivisions don’t have restrictions and someone puts one in can’t the neighbors that don’t like it go to them and ask to help put siding or something more pleasing on it? Or should we have a county ordinance that would cause either the county attorney or planning and zoning to take that fellow Nelson Countian to court to gain compliance? Should it be done under the threat of jail or sale of their house? Because that is what we are talking about here, if someone doesn’t comply they are going to be threatened with jail or the sale of the property if they don’t comply and pay fines. All because some people don’t like the look of what someone else put on their own property? This isn’t a case of a rat infested building with trash being a nuisance, this is about subjective appearance of what someone else chose to do on their on property. For which they pay property taxes to this county and I am sure an increased tax at that for having an additional outbuilding on it.

Please don’t go down this slippery slope of subjective appearance based regulation, because the more the government regulates the less liberty and freedom We The People have.

Kind Regards,
Don Thrasher

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