Elkhart County residents wrangle with government

Saturday Aug. 29, 2015

 

Madison Blue, right, and her dad Dave Blue with the 1961 Case 830 tractor at the center of a zoning controversy. By Tim Vandenack

Madison Blue, right, and her dad Dave Blue with the 1961 Case 830 tractor at the center of a zoning controversy. By Tim Vandenack

I delved into a pair of stories this week about local people’s wrangles with the government.

An Elkhart woman placed a 1961 farm tractor in front of her home, as a yard decoration of sorts and homage to her family’s farm roots. City officials cried foul, calling it a commercial vehicle, saying its presence in an area zoned residential violated the city’s zoning rules. They said it had to go and the woman, Madison Blue, was left shaking her head, trying to understand what the fuss was about.

“I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong by displaying something that means something to me and my family,” she said. “This is my property. I own the property. What is it doing to Elkhart County that negatively affects it?”

It’s generated a strong response from readers, who by and large seem to sympathize with Blue.

Look here for the complete story.

David Fore, the owner of this home, added a concrete barrier in front to protect it from errant cars that sometimes stray from the road. He had sought help from state roads officials. By Tim Vandenack

David Fore, the owner of this home, added a concrete barrier in front to protect it from errant cars that sometimes stray from the road. He had sought help from state roads officials. By Tim Vandenack

In another story, I wrote about placement of heavy concrete blocks in front of a home on a curve along a busy roadway.

Numerous cars have run off the roadway in the spot over the years, striking cooking grills, a riding mower and other property outside the home. Once a car rammed another parked vehicle, shoving into the house and causing heavy damage.

The homeowner had contacted state roads officials for help, asking whether a guardrail could be placed there, but they said no go. Hence, the heavy blocks, which give the place the look of a fortified structure in a global hotspot, protected against car bombs.

Look here for the complete story.

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