Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zoning in Normal, Mn. made simple---FICTION

Well recently I have been reading stories about zoning battles in Elkhorn regarding the new ethanol plant there, and the bewilderment of city officials in finding out that their long tedious deliberations about a conditional use permit were fruitless since in fact, the zoning of the plant in question had been changed so that any owner of the land had an absolute right to do what they wanted re ethanol regardless of citizen, or government regulation.

I thought that was a totally renegade idea...and a novel one. Just to check, I gave my old friend Herman from Normal, Mn. a call. After all, he was a lawyer, he was a full time fisherman, part time city official and also served on the Normal Minn School Board...He should know.

Herman listened intently as I described the situation in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Then he erupted in a huge bellylaugh.

'Shucks Wolfman (that's what he always called me). Up here in Normal,Mn we changed the zoning to "E" back in 1899. That stands for "Everything." Up here we want our beer, our bait and our ammo in the same convenient store, and we don't want any unamerican folks putting limits on us. Shucks. This is the land of the free."

Then he paused.

"What's the fishing like in Elkhorn?"

I tried to explain to him that though the air stinked, the fishing was not an issue cause there were not so many lakes like in Minnesota.

"If there's no fishing...it really does stink."

I'm not sure that Herman really does understanding zoning after all.
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