I have farmed on the Spokane Bench outside of Helena since 1999.
I am opposed to Senate Bill 147 by Sen. Ed Buttrey. SB 147 would not allow county commissioners to consider the impacts on surrounding agriculture enterprises when approving a subdivision.
Under current law, when a developer proposes a subdivision, local governments must look at how it will impact taxation, the natural environment, public safety and the impact that a subdivision would have on agriculture must be considered.
SB 147 limits the agricultural impact requirement to only the adjacent agriculture operation.
I know some landowners are relying financially on their ability to develop their land to supplement their retirement. Current subdivision law does not take that right away from them.
Not to consider the importance of agricultural land in every development proposal is short sighted. As a state and nation, we must hold farmland in the very highest regard as an asset for generations to come-as a place to grow the crops and livestock necessary to sustain human life.
Please join me in urging the legislature to vote no on SB 147.