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Responding to Mr. Gonzalez - Livin' the Good Life

Apr. 4th, 2008

07:48 am - Responding to Mr. Gonzalez

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In Wednesday's paper there was a letter to the editor that I felt I had to respond to. It was about the "lynch-mob" that confronted the developer at the town meeting who wants to build 2700 houses on Section 33. The writer basically said that the developer bought this square mile of desert property, and that he should be able to do whatever he wanted with it. The writer thought we should all just settle down and accept the fact that it was this landowner's legal right to do what he was doing. It was a good letter and deserved a response. I'm sure lots of people will respond. Here's my two cents:

Mr. Gonzalez is right. We should “live and let live” and be able to do what we want with our own private property. However, if 200 people came to a public meeting and complained that what I was doing with my property was hurting them or their quality of life, you can bet I would listen and make changes. If they said that my plan would ruin their view of the night sky or mountain vistas, I would seriously take that into consideration. If they showed how my plan would cause a huge increase in traffic and intolerable congestion, I would alter my plan immediately. If they pointed out that my land preparation would kill a vast amount of native plants and wildlife, I would feel compelled to change my ways to cause only minimal harm. I would do all this so that I could live comfortably with my conscience and harmoniously with my neighbors. Heck, if just one person came to my door and said that my light was shining in their window at night or my dog’s barking was bothering them, I would immediately rectify the situation. We don’t live in a vacuum. There are people all around us, and we need to take them into consideration. It’s called common courtesy. And just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right. The way laws are changed is that people show up and squawk. The so-called angry mob in Joshua Tree was just people exercising their right to protest, and I still think they did an outstanding job of it. Maybe these public outcries are just the beginning steps toward changing our local laws regarding clear-cutting and allowable density. That is how I choose to view this uprising, and I am proud to be a part of it.