Dear Editor,

It would be a tragic loss if our County Commissioners rezone the beautiful stretch downriver from Clay County Park to allow building 18 homes. First, that stretch is one of the last remaining natural stretches of the Missouri River. It is part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The previous owner of the property knew it was zoned Natural Resources Conservation District and seems to have appreciated that classification.

He actually attempted to preserve the natural beauty! He did not ask to have it rezoned. Now, however, his heirs see an opportunity to make money. And, unfortunately, late last month our County Zoning Commission was willing to sacrifice that natural river for the potential increased tax dollars. But, the value of that stretch goes beyond the tax revenue. Many county residents enjoy the Missouri River and our beautiful Clay County Park. That area should be kept as natural and uninhabited as possible. If we lose that pristine area, we will not get it back.

There are those who argue people should be able to do what they want with their property. But, I would counter that is exactly WHY we have zoning in place: To control, and in some cases prohibit, specific uses. People are NOT free to do whatever they want with their property. In this case, the benefit to the few privileged homeowners should NOT outweigh the needs of the community.

True, there are already homes on the river, but not immediately beside our county's only park. And 18 houses with yard lights and docks would completely and irreversibly change the public's enjoyment of Clay County Park.

Finally, the county should NOT allow building homes in a flood plain! That is asking for trouble. From a financial point of view, I don't want to see my taxes (through federal flood insurance) or my insurance rates increase because of flood claims.

Sincerely,

Sharon Gray

Vermillion

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