Keep showing up—our day will come

The Madison County Planning Board held its monthly meeting at the courthouse on Monday evening, July 23, in Marshall. On the agenda were two major subdivision cases that were holdovers from the June meeting.

The first, a major subdivision request off Beauty Spot Cove and Puncheon Fork Road in Mars Hill, was provisionally approved until Mr. Bulow (the land owner and developer) can get a certified structural engineer to inspect a small, deteriorating right-of-way bridge that accesses the land in question. The current state of the bridge, according to the lawyer for a neighbor, is inadequate for a new subdivision.

The second, a subdivision off Watershed Road, requested by Scott Carswell of Madison Mitchell, LLC, and Madison Oaks, LLC, was denied last month but [was resubmitted after changes and] passed unanimously at this meeting.

These meetings are difficult to attend. A day will come when matters of beauty, tradition, peacefulness, economic equality and public opinion matter. It’s just not today. Until a fundamental shift occurs in the hearts of our society as a whole, this scenario will keep playing itself out. Until then, those of us who see in a different way will have to keep showing up, painful as it is, as witness to the big giveaway. We must keep showing up, and keep showing up, and keep showing up to be a voice for that which cannot defend itself, i.e. a deeply felt understanding that what we do to the land we do to ourselves—not in a Hallmark sense, but in a very real sense. When a tree is cut, our air [loses] a filter for pollutants, and our children get asthma, and the animals that depend on that tree are deprived of a home. When a stream is polluted, we drink the pollution, and fish living in the water die. When a road is cut in the woods and paved, that road suffocates our soil, and the runoff floods our homes. What we do to our environment, we do to ourselves. The effect is immediate.

A day will come when these things matter. Until then, we must resolve to show up.

— Krys Crimi
Laurel Valley Watch
Mars Hill

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