Environment Maine
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Bangor Daily News
By
Thomas Varney

I’ve been following the misguided effort to abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission. It occurs to me that the people pushing a commission designed to abolish LURC are basing their beliefs on inaccurate, anecdotal information.

I’ve applied three times for a LURC permit. In 1987, I got permission to build my house in Argyle in less than a month. Five years ago, I applied to do landscaping at Ragged Lake. The LURC agent made a site visit and advised me to alter my landscape plans a bit, and I did not need to reapply.

Last month I applied to build a garage, and delivered the permit application to LURC’s Bangor field office. The agent there was very helpful, even though I didn’t have an appointment and she’d only seen four of the newly updated application forms. I had my permit in hand in less than seven days. That won’t happen if the counties take over doing what LURC has done so well for 40 years.

The counties don’t have the resources or expertise that LURC agents have. Turn-around times will slow to a crawl, hindering development in the Unorganized Territory. The ensuing political furor will put the counties under political and financial pressure to speed up permit decisions. To alleviate a problem that should have been easily foreseen, permits will be rubber-stamped to speed up development of poorly planned trailer parks, badly engineered roads and strip malls.

LD 1534 is terrible legislation. I’m counting on legislators to make that law disappear.

Thomas Varney

Argyle Township