Davisson: Protecting rural property owners

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Sydney Livingston  | Monday, April 8, 2019 9:00 am

In Indiana, local government entities often impose regulations and restrictions on property owners who reside outside of their jurisdiction. This imposition would be similar to letting Kentucky have some regulatory control over nearby Indiana property owners. There is growing concern among rural property owners that city or town governments could continue to expand their control outside of their limits. Legislation I am sponsoring would curb local government overreach by putting these regulatory decisions into the hands of county officials who are elected by all county residents.

Recently, wind farm regulations set by towns and cities have stirred up some concern. Various municipal governments are beginning to regulate or prohibit wind turbine construction up to four miles outside of their jurisdiction. Property and business owners with land located in these rural, unincorporated areas are not being allowed to make decisions about their own property. And the regulations are being made by officials who are not elected by these citizens.

Senate Bill 535 would not remove any power a city or town has to fund facilities like hospitals and animal shelters located outside municipal lines, but it would give these rural property and business owners the ability to regain their rights.

Rural properties outside of city or town borders make up a significant portion of our state, and it is important they are not unfairly regulated. This bill protects the rights and desires of property owners that live outside the boundaries of municipal jurisdiction and gives them back the power to put decisions in the hands of the officials they elected into office.  This could be an important step toward ensuring rural communities do not have regulations imposed on them without their ability to democratically check their elected official’s powers.

To learn more about Senate Bill 535, visit iga.in.gov. If you have any questions or input on this bill or other legislation, contact me at 312-232-9769 or h73@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73, 

Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.