Clark County politicos are now rushing headlong to implement Senate Bill 5517. This bill, unbelievably, allows for development of heavy industry along the entirety of Chelatchie Prairie Railroad. This 33-mile rail line cuts through some of the best residential and prime agricultural land in the county.
The county has received inquiries from glass, paper, chemical and battery manufacturers. Which one would you like for a neighbor?
What makes this matter even worse is that the county is formulating policies that allow for industrial development on lands not just abutting or touching the railroad but “adjacent” to the railroad. How far does that reach?
How objective will the county be in deciding between industrial interests and residential landowners?
Won’t the county’s objectivity be affected by the fact that they own the railroad and are looking for a way to make it profitable? And just how do you balance residential and agricultural uses with industrial development anyway? Because these uses are not compatible, the county should develop policies that limit the types of industrial development along the rail line.
Let’s not let the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad become a 33-mile-long scar that disfigures the face of Clark County.