To the editor,

How are we to remedy the disparaging constrictions that many in Isanti County have faced, and may face in the near future? I am referring to the zoning constrictions in an area on the cusp of the metro that has been deemed “agricultural.”

Many of us have been, and will be faced with opportunities to provide safe places for those who live in the nearby urban area, if not in our own neighborhoods. Many of these persons, some of them our own family members, have lost homes, after getting caught in the net of job loss, or due to other circumstances in these challenging times. We could sooner harbor cows than unfortunate persons, under this constriction.

One man in the county, a few years back, wanting to provide shelter for his aged father rather than put him in a nursing home, and still allow him a degree of independence, had installed a septic system and electricity in a building on his property. Once the county was petitioned for a permit, he was told to stop building the apartment, and do away with the progress he’d already begun. Our “agricultural” zoning would not allow him to provide for his father. Or, depending on the size of a person’s acreage, the limits crop up again.

Homelessness faces more and more people in this county, as the folks at Family Pathways can attest to, having provided a place for some of our county’s “working poor” folks to stay. How can we help “the least of these” when our hands are tied by long-ago established zoning laws?

What can we do, the politicians, board members, voters and citizens, to bring about change, to help our fellow man facing these circumstances?  

Kathleen Anderson


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