Last week when the Washington County Commissioners were discussing zoning changes on U.S. 40 on the east side of Clear Spring, Commissioner John Shank objected to the proposal to place more restrictive zoning on developer Vincent Groh's land there.
"To me this is just another classic example of the government telling a private property owner what they can do. I don't want the government to tell me what to do. That's why I live in America."
If that speech sounds familiar to long-time readers and county residents, it's because similar arguments were used more than 20 years ago when zoning was first proposed here. Some opponents even compared zoning to communism. But in the decades since, most people have come to realize that the same process that requires them to get a permit for a small storage shed will also scrutinize the plans of any neighbor who decides he wants to build a machine shop in his back yard.