Owning land doesn’t give right to negatively impact neighbors

Posted 27 October 2021 at 10:22 am


“It’s their land, let them do what they want,” is frequently quoted by some bloggers who believe 700’ tall wind turbines and acres upon acres of solar panels should be allowed anywhere and everywhere.

However, fortunately, we live in a society where one is not always allowed to do exactly as they choose…we do, after all, live in a society which abounds with rules and laws meant to protect the health and welfare of the public as well as the environment around us.

Indulge me for the moment as I play upon your imagination. Suppose that I decide to erect a 700’ tall skyscraper on my own land. If there were no rules or laws to follow, I could put up said skyscraper in any fashion I choose, in any spot on my land I choose, and build it in my own way – even with my limited knowledge of building.

Without laws or rules, I could put any number of renters within my structure, any type of roadway, or any type of sewage system (or not) within my building. Let us go further and imagine that I could simply draw my skyscraper and even build it myself – out of nothing more than all the trees that surround me and even side it with scraps from a local dump. After all, it is my land, my dream, my money, and my belief that I will become a millionaire. Regardless of how silly this seems, it is, after-all, “my land” and “my right.”

In reality, I have often thought about different ways that I could make money from being a landowner, but not without first thinking about what the zoning laws, ordinances, and the public would think about my insane ideas. Obviously, my neighbors would be a tad bit upset if I built a 700’ tall skyscraper right next to their home – especially, if there was that chance of it falling over and killing them in their bed. The town would be unwavering to sue me if my skyscraper caught fire and burned the entire town down.

What if I blasted through bedrock as I put my mammoth foundation in and shrugged my shoulders at the destroyed wells, fractured basement walls, or broke a gas well which spews toxic gas into the air? How angry would my neighbors be? What if my heavy equipment ruined roads and the townspeople had to pay for it? What if my building meant that the surrounding towns would be on the hook to pay for the reconstruction and movement of roadways and infrastructure? What if my town was on the hook to pay for my mess should I up and walk away from it all, because I decided to move on?

There are laws and rules in place to protect the health and welfare of our society and our surrounding environment. How much worse would it be if there were laws in place, but I manipulated my town into letting me do what I want by waving a few dollars in the various boards’ faces?

It is vital to protect the health of the public, to preserve the happiness of our neighbors, to protect our natural habitats, and remember that our wildlife needs a voice – who will speak for the trees and for the fowl of the air?

In conclusion, just because it is my land, your land, their land, does not give license to do as one pleases. It is not a right to disrupt the happiness of neighbors, take away their ability to use their own land, cause construction or environmental issues, destroy hundreds of acres of wild habitat, disrupt and kill hundreds of disappearing birds and bats, give rise to the possibility of causing adverse health and welfare effects to those within a town, or cause an entire area to end up financially responsible for my mess. It is not a right to do these things so that one could “possibly” make a quick buck.

Kindly stop using the line, “It’s their land, let them do what they want,” because what “they” want could cost you and your neighbors very dearly – in health, happiness, environmentally, and financially.


Cindy Burnside – Solid Rock Farms