Hey, you can still ride the bus – you just have to sit in the back.
That’s exactly the approach the IPMC, er, “Baldwin County Property Maintenance Code” takes with your property rights. You can do whatever you want as long as it can’t be seen from the road. That isn’t how things work in America.
Mr. Tobar pretends that all the changes have been his idea when it has actually been the community outrage that has forced the repeated concessions. He dropped the IPMC onto Grady County residents when he himself said that it “is scary” at how intrusive it actually is. Our citizens wouldn’t fall for it that easily so they went back to the drawing board. Then they lumped the majority of the requirements onto rental properties only to discover that didn’t squelch the opposition either. He then changed the name of it, as if that would throw anybody off the trail.
Most of the socialist nonsense is gone but there’s still enough left that they want to vote it in and claim victory over the unwashed masses. In a newspaper interview this weekend, Mr. Tobar says “I’ve seen some really awful yards. I’ve seen a lot of tires out in front of the public view, all kinds of appliances and grass growing through the windows of old junked cars and trucks…” And guess what? Those aren’t YOUR yards!
He paints a vivid picture of rusting, unidentifiable metal carcasses and appliance graveyards when the ordinance specifies something as common as an un-registered vehicle in the driveway. That’s right – just the lack of a current tag (which requires insurance) means you’re in violation, even if it’s a hobby car you like to tinker with or a father-son project that will be ready by his 16th birthday. It can even be licensed and insured but if it can’t drive under its own power, it isn’t legal. No sir, that doesn’t sit well with the Baldwin County Homeowner’s Association, er, code enforcement. It’s your box Chevy or collection of Mopars that is keeping companies from moving here!
It’s a complete fantasy to think that any potential industry would care if you’ve got an old Nova in the front yard or a parts car on the side of the house. Who does care? The snobs who don’t have such a hobby and therefore think no one else should be allowed to either. You moved way out into the county to enjoy your hobbies in peace? Too bad! You don’t deserve to live in today’s modern, progressive Baldwin County. You keep your hick activities out of public view! Mr. Tobar said he learned that potential employers don’t go look at the country club houses. Well, he’s right there — our country club went out of business! We don’t HAVE one! If you want success in Baldwin County, you focus on housing college students or getting them drunk.
If you like to work on cars, all you have to do is hide behind a fence or in an enclosed garage. Well, those choices only cost a few thousand dollars to implement and then require upkeep as well. Some people may throw around thousands of dollars but most are on a budget. It makes as much sense as requiring a lifeguard on duty at a bird bath.
“Hide it from public view” is the same approach meth labs use!
What if it said “All flowers must not be visible from the road, or be kept in an approved, fully-enclosed greenhouse structure.” Why should you not be able to work on a car anywhere in your yard you wish to? It’s YOUR property!
So the county has cut the grass at all its properties before the vote on this matter. Great. Mr. Tobar is literally saying that simply because the county cut their grass, now we should all abide by their Great Code of Progress and ignore our rights as property owners. County land is public property and should be maintained however the public deems fit. Private property is for the quiet enjoyment of the owner of that property. Whether others agree with that use – barring public health and safety risks – is irrelevant.
What was posted here a few weeks back still applies:
Should people have to give up a right in exchange for making another group of people happy? … The problem with giving up freedom is that it never stops there. It keeps getting eaten away until one day you find you have none left. A car in my neighbor’s yard is none of my business. Tall grass in a neighbor’s yard is none of my business. Whether his plant is considered a flower or a weed is none of my business. Why? Because it’s not my yard!
Show up at the June 5th commission meeting as they try to limp this one across the finish line. YOU are the only reason it isn’t the full-strength IPMC it started out as, and YOU are the ones who can keep it confined to legitimate health and safety concerns.