There was recently a story in the McCook Gazette about someone that was trying to get a zoning change to accomodate his dog kennel business. It seems that the guy jumped in both feet before he found out that he was in violation of the law, and even though he lived outside the city limit, he lived within a town administered area. Someone summed up their feelings about the guy commenting that he should have researched the laws before he started his business, and I agree.
Trying to learn about all the laws that effect us here on the farm is beginning to seem like Mission Impossible. For example, I just read about a law that restricts the trapping of animals along the county road right of way, and that made me wonder what other laws are on the books that could get us in trouble...ignorance of the law is no excuse I know, but trapping along the road would never have crossed my mind as a newcomer to the area if I did want to trap something.
The problem for us is where do we look up the laws that effect us. State, county, and even town laws may control some of our activities. I want to be a law abiding citizen so we'll do everything we can to make sure we keep it legal whatever we do. Part of the problem is that even the people we need to rely on for information don't always have it right. The other day we wanted information on getting an open burn permit. We first called the county that referred us to the city that referred us back to the county.
Do I need a permit to remove a building? How about putting up a building such as a pole barn, garage, or shed? Can I add a water bib someplace near where we want a garden, or do I need a permit for that? Can I add an electrical outlet in the house without a permit, and for that matter, who issues the permit if needed...town or county? OH MY!
So for the time being, our search for the rules and regulations to keep us out of trouble will continue. I hope I don't need to put a lawyer on retainer for advice every time I want to modify or do something around the place. Heck, I just learned on TV the other night that one town outlawed the Bunny Hop. I'd sure hate to end up in trouble for doing the wrong jig.