Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Don’t weaken local control

Proposals would make it harder to fight unwanted development projects.

Proposals before both houses of the Minnesota Legislature would gut the state laws that give town and county governments the power to exercise “local control” over controversial development projects. Currently local governments can temporarily freeze projects when the proposals come as a surprise to area citizens or when the developments might have significant economic impact on the local community. The proposed changes to the law would perilously weaken local control and infringe on the right of rural communities to voice their concern over large-scale development projects.

Of course, not all development projects are detrimental to local communities. However many âÄî especially box stores and factory farms âÄî have the potential to permanently alter the environment and the economy of a particular community.

Given the unwelcome reception that most development projects receive, it is advantageous for corporations to fast-track their proposals and begin construction before local citizens can organize and protest. To prevent this, a local government can issue an interim order that halts construction until the local community has had the chance to weigh in on a new development.

Under the proposed changes to the local control laws, local governments would be restricted as to when they could issue an interim ordinance and any interim ordinance would require a two-thirds supermajority vote to be approved.

It is essential that citizens of rural communities have their voices heard on new development projects. Local control laws are an integral part of this process and should not be weakened.

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