Letter to the editor: Is this ordinance constitutional?
Welcome to the socialist republic of Emery County. Recently, on July 14 your Emery County Commissioners passed 135 pages of new restrictions, restraints, coercion, force, invasion of your privacy and removal of your property rights, giving county government complete control over your private property. A careful reading of this new ordinance clearly reveals a determination to make the people of Emery County slaves (you do what they want with your property, this is a clear definition of slavery) to the Government forcing you to comply with government restraints even though it is against your will, in a fashion consistent with socialist communism wherein personal freedoms are suppressed in favor of doing what is best for the commune.
From this new ordinance I quote Article "1-6 Severability: This Ordinance and the various parts, sections, and clauses, are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, section, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, it is hereby declared that the remainder of this Ordinance shall not be affected thereby. The County Commission hereby declare that it would have passed this Ordinance and each part, section paragraph, sentence, clause and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more portions thereof be declared invalid"
Incredible, in other words they don't care if the new ordinance is constitutional, they have passed the ordinance anyway. They shot for the moon in grabbing all the power they could get and hope to hold onto it unless someone stands up to them. These are the kind of leaders we have over our county.
Without firing a shot they signed on to take away more than 200 years of your well established American personal property rights, ignoring your long standing rights, the Constitution and hundreds of quotes from the founding Fathers and gave you in return a 135 page tyrants wish list. Briefly, because this is a newspaper article and not a 135 page book like the new ordinance, I will highlight some of the ordinances articles which completely betray American individual freedom and the oaths of office our commissioners took.
"Article 3-2-1 The planning commission shall exist of nine members ... 3-5 The Planning Commission shall have all the powers and duties, explicit or implied, given planning commissions by Utah State law , including but not limited to, the powers and duties set forth in this section.. to administer the provisions of this ordinance." Think of it nine enforcers right here in our county, with explicit or implied (make it up as they go) and not limited to, powers. This is the kind of vague language giving powers only a tyrant could wish for. And what will they have power to do?
"3-7 Entry onto private land (b.) Preparation and enforcement of its land use ordinances. "No search warrants, no probable cause, no rights to private property or privacy on that property. Enforcers can walk right in on their own say so and dictate to you what you can and cannot do with your property having "1-3-3 quasi-judicial powers granted herein" (hard to believe I know but the ordinance actually says this.)
Thus making the Enforcers judge, jury and executioner so to speak giving them sole power to decide thus basically removing the checks and balances and due process guaranteed by the Constitution. And what will be their sole power to decide? Among the many things mentioned: "5-4-0 Uses prohibited unless expressly permitted. Any use of land which is not expressly permitted within a zone is hereby declared to be expressly prohibited therein." Are virtually an unlimited number of things 'not expressly permitted' in this ordinance. "2-5 Nuisances- Any activity or condition which annoys" ? (vague, vague, vague, can be interpreted anyway an enforcer likes) or "a. being unsightly, obnoxious or offensive to the senses." (unsightly to who? One man's trash is another man's treasure. Obnoxious to who? Golfing is obnoxious to me should it therefore be an illegal activity if I can get three people to agree with me as the ordinance states. Offensive to who? Shall each enforcer have their own likes and dislikes enforced? What are the penalties? "7-11-2 Misdemeanor: Any person violating, causing or permitting a violation of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor. Such person shall be deemed to be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day, after a citation is issued, during which any portion of any violation of this Ordinance is committed, continues, or permitted by such person."
Like much of this ordinance the language is so vague that power hungry enforcers could easily find some way to attack whomever they wish while leaving alone those whom they favor. This ordinance easily lends itself to the kind of selective enforcement always found in dictatorships where people are forced to rely on the good graces of their tyrant rather than the clear protections of God given property rights, where each property owner is guaranteed to be the sole director of their own property.
What action will you take? Will you rely on boot licking or your standing in the community or favor with the commissioners hoping they will let you slide? Or will you stand up for your constitutionally guaranteed right to be the sole director over your own property. If you believe in the Constitution and don't want to sleepily give up the property rights millions of patriot-heroes have died preserving, then we ask you to sign our petition asking the County Commissioners who voted for this socialistic control, to step down from their positions and if they are unwilling to do so, the petition asks for your pledge to vote against them in any future elections they are involved in.