MCV is excited to introduce some new writers to our blog site. First, is Roger Ek, who is one of the foremost experts on landowners rights and the war against human rights by environmentalist groups. We look forward to his contributions. Here is his testimony in Augusta on LD1798, the bill concerning LURC.
Last Chance in Augusta
Last year, Representative Jeff Gifford of Lincoln introduced a bill to abolish LURC. The legislature did what it normally does with controversial issues. They sent it to an appointed “study commission”. Their assignment was to formulate an efficient transition from LURC to the counties in the Unorganized Territories.
Rather than advancing the bill to abolish LURC, this committee has accepted and sent to be engrossed a bill which would make LURC bigger, stronger and meaner. The bill is LD 1798. How appropriate. In 1798 the totalitarian Federalists were trying to seize all power into the hands of government. Back then it didn’t work. However, in 1971 Maine’s legislature decided that the people up in the other Maine did not deserve to govern themselves. LURC celebrated their 40th anniversary last September.
People in the Northern Maine were dismayed at the result of the commission’s report. All twelve commission members were appointed. Nine had close ties to the environmental industry and the other three were easily controlled. Some commission members may be remorseful that they signed off on this today, but the fact is that all twelve signed their names to recommend a LURC that would be bigger, stronger and meaner. Oh, they mention “principles of sound land use planning and development”, but those principles are not the principles of our Constitution and our Founding Fathers. They are the principles of controlling people through a central planning regime as they did behind the Iron Curtain. Under the commission’s recommendation the hated CLUP would survive and grow in power.
Sound land use planning and development are buzz words for sustainable development and Agenda 21. It is total control by government. There is no language in the document to protect freedom, liberty and self determination. They decide what is “appropriate”, not the landowner. LURC would decide about “areas appropriate for designation as development districts when measured against the purpose, intent and provisions of this chapter”, not the owner. Even towns that choose to organize will be ruled by LURC unless the town chooses to be even more restrictive than LURC. In the future, towns can only organize if LURC likes their proposed zoning map. Many towns in Maine have no zoning at all except for the shore-land zoning imposed by the DEP.
I am old enough to remember watching men build a boathouse in a Maine lake. It was a very nice boathouse. It was legal and it was built for an old time lapstrake guide boat with a Model A engine. That boathouse did not harm the lake. In fact, bait fish congregated in the boathouse and larger fish were there for the opportunity to feed. Over time, LURC has forced Maine citizens further and further back from the shores they own.
LD 1798 would not only make LURC more powerful, it would freeze that power in place for more than three years until September 1, 2015. This gives them a long time to consolidate their growing power and resist any new attempt to change LURC. After 2015, if a County chooses to be even more restrictive than LURC is they might be allowed to manage their own development. However, if LURC doesn’t like even one permit approved by the county, LURC could seize authority back from the county. Unbelievable? it’s in there. Everywhere in this law it is OK to be more restrictive and take away more property rights, but not ever be less restrictive.
From the bill:
“All existing rules, regulations and procedures in effect, in operation or adopted in or by the former Maine Land Use Regulation Commission or any of its administrative units or officers and all permits, approvals and decisions of the former Maine Land Use Regulation Commission are hereby declared in effect and continue in effect until rescinded, revised or amended by the proper authority.”
There it is. Total control is preserved, set in stone forever.
The arrogance of this legislature and the bureaucracies is astounding. In the past year people all over the world have risen up and overturned tyrannical powers. How can you imagine you are immune from man’s natural desire for freedom? The people in the other 52% of Maine deserve to have their freedom back. No other state has anything like LURC.
Fate has not put you here at this time. WE have put you here. This is your time. Act now. Bring freedom back to Northern Maine. Reject this bill and return to the original bill to abolish LURC. Pass it forthwith and free Northern Maine from this egregious oppression.
The Ag, Conservation and Forestry Committee is going to write a bill that could free generations of Mainers or continue the persecution of the two generations who have been economically depressed or driven away from the Unorganized Territories. This markup session needs to be witnessed. As I said to the committee at the session last Thursday, “Fate has not put you here at this time. WE have put you here.” The final bill will be written by these citizens who were called to serve. We need to know who supported freedom behind the scenes and who worked to make LURC bigger, stronger and meaner. Some bills are written by progressive think tanks far from Maine and they are passed. Some are ginned up right here at home. The original LURC passed by one vote and look what happened to Maine. Who ever goes to Augusta this Thursday will be able to bear witness for the rest of his life and shine the bright light of truth on those who did this to or for Maine.