This Is My Property, Darnit!

Editorial written by James Baughn on Monday, October 23, 2000

from the as-if-anyone-reads-the-fine-print-anyways dept.

CAPE COUNTY -- Last week it was revealed that the "Vote No On Planning & Zoning" signs throughout the county violate the state's campaign finance law because they don't disclose who paid for them.

We here at The Cape Rock would like to present a solution to this problem.

Everybody that has a "Vote NO" sign in their front yard should replace it with this one:

Vote NO... If you can read this, you're trespassing.

And then be sure to put the sheriff's office on speed-dial, so that when some busybody enters on to your property to read the fine print, you'll be ready.

It might be illegal under the state's picayune campaign finance laws to display an election sign that doesn't disclose who paid for it. But it's also illegal to trespass. And you have to trespass in order to actually read the fine print, which is always printed in flyspeck-3.

Of course, there's a lesson in this. Missouri's election law sets trivial, picayune regulations that landowners must meet when posting signs on their own property. Meanwhile, Cape County's proposed zoning ordinance sets trivial, picayune regulations that landowners must meet when doing just about anything on their own property.

If the supporters of zoning were hoping to accomplish something by filing a complaint about the illegal signs, they've failed. All they have done is underscore the danger of runaway rules and regulations that trample on property rights.