Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ALEC Corps to MN – Get the Hell Off MY Land.

Whether it’s theirs or not!

Bill would limit citizens' ability to delay controversial projects. Legislation would limit the power of local activists to stall big projects.

Weeks of classic grass-roots organizing paid off this month in tiny Ortonville Township, when the board of supervisors voted to delay a proposed gravel pit that would destroy some of the stunning granite formations and rare ball cactuses near the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

On Feb. 8, after opponents scrambled to find an attorney and organize area residents, the three-member township board adopted a moratorium. Now, regardless of what the county decides to do, the quarry company will also have to work with the township.

But if the new bill becomes law, their hands would be tied the next time because the county will control the decision.

"It's about a community saying we want to take control," said Paul Blackburn, the attorney who advised Ortonville Township. "That's why zoning came into being in the first place."

But the next time a massive project like that comes to the western Minnesota township -- or any other local government -- the community might not get the same chance. A bill moving through the Legislature would weaken the power of local citizens to delay controversial projects -- cellphone towers, frac sand mines, shopping centers, feedlots, garbage burners, even a cougar farm that was once proposed by a creative entrepreneur.

Under the proposal, which will be heard in committee Wednesday, after a local government accepts a permit application, it would have just 30 days to decide on a delay. And, contrary to current law, a moratorium would require a two-thirds majority vote.

At the root of the debate is an age-old tension between the rights of business and the rights of neighbors within the unwieldy democratic process. Proponents of the new law, primarily Twin Cities builders, say developers who have spent tens of thousands of dollars planning a project deserve to have those investments protected from politically arbitrary decisions by government officials.

Opponents say a month is not nearly enough time for local governments and, more important, for citizens to understand or react to the implications of a complicated new project that might profoundly alter the destiny of a community.

"This law would make it impossible, or very difficult, to enact an effective moratorium," said Bobby King of the Land Stewardship Project, an advocacy group that works with local communities on land use.

The right wing rag with it’s shoddy reporting didn’t give the bill number – so I can’t find the damn thing, includign the sponsors and cosponsors.

I don’t’ have the time to connect this to ALEC – but I don’t have to.

Why in the hell -  in Minnesota -  would they even think of mentioning - "frac sand mines" in an interview?
Silica sand, formed by pieces of crystalline silica, is idealized by fracking companies for the drilling of natural gas because of its hardiness and shape. A well is drilled and millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals is pumped into it. The sand can withstand intense amounts of pressure as natural gas escapes from the fissures that the sand holds open. There are a whole host of controversial issues surrounding fracking for natural gas as well as silica sand mining.
Requires a Supermajority vote
Eliminates / reduces current regulations
Screws Citizens.

It’s ALEC!

The State of Minnesota may as well
put the following classification on
their Legislative Committee Search Webpage

Pro-Business ALEC Bullshit

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