Taos County's land use regulations retroactively punish rural residents and families who have lived here a long time, sometimes generations, by imposing rules not in effect when they arrived and built their dwellings. Many live off the grid or in some form of housing more primitive in some respects than their counterparts in towns. Now the new proposed regulations essentially turn them into outlaws, merely for living as they always have, harming nobody, and often creating more sustainable modes of living. Current and proposed land use regulations increase living and housing costs, stifle innovation, and harming the environment by forcing people away from these more earth-friendly lifestyles. Our neighbors have been evicted from their homes, gone into debt attempting to become compliant, or live in fear of potentially losing their homes or businesses. We the people of Taos County implore the County Commissioners to do the following:
-Do not pass the Taos County Livable Environment Ordinance
-Implement a short-term moratorium on evictions
-Roll out a waiver modeled after what is seen in practice in Cochise County and Socoro County: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EUXMNWabo1qdh8zeBzlkH58AKjdECxEzRy3f_7ll_kc/edit?usp=drivesdk
Why is this important?
The County Commissioners can facilitate a rebirth and revitalization of Taos County. They can act now and be part of building a new Taos County, which is entirely based on the old Taos County before all of these rules and regulations stifled innovation and ingenuity. This will enable reduce water and fossil fuel consumption, foster innovation and empower aspiring farmers, and most importantly, it will increase the quality of life for people in the community.
If Taos County goes back to its roots and empowers owner builders to develop innovative solutions to the problems that plague our society, they will re-foster the innovation, courage and self-sufficiency for which the residents of Taos County are known. The county is full of innovative individuals who have embraced taking personal responsibility for the world. They have taken it upon themselves to live more in harmony with the earth and reduce their global footprint. Yet, instead of celebrating these innovations, the county is, at present, attempting to regulate them out of existence.
Think about individuals making minimum wage who cannot afford a home. Think about the most disadvantaged members of this community. Keeping people off the streets helps everyone in the community.
For a full problem and solution statement with citations and references, go to: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a1Htw7P8ulf9uKChr83bRMudsMR6vI5UBD3GLDcW_Z0/edit?usp=drivesdk
How it will be delivered