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Refusal of zoning makes Terry a free town

2014-06-15T00:00:00Z 2014-06-16T08:22:05Z Refusal of zoning makes Terry a free town The Billings Gazette
June 15, 2014 12:00 am

If tiny Terry in Eastern Montana is a harbinger of attitude, the "nanny state" is dead. The current Town Council attempted to zone the little town and met ferocious opposition. Established in 1881, the tidy little town rejected zoning.

Even though the public responded to meetings and indicated they did not want zoning, the Town Council would not listen. The Town Council stated they knew better what was good for the residents. A ballot initiative group formed and gathered enough signatures in three days to force a public vote. A record 75 percent of the residents voted and turned down zoning 191 to 125.

Even though Terry is fairly close to the Bakken, it loses population every year and is well under 600 people. Members of the ballot initiative group were named "freedom fighters" by the elderly ladies of the tiny town. Motivation for the zoning was suspect as self-dealing by those who developed the concept. As in so many towns, those who run for these offices often do so to further their personal interests.

Whatever motivated the proponents, the residents said no, no, no. Message was sent: "Not here, not now, not in my town." Freedom of property use is alive and well in Terry. Come visit a free town.

Dennis Haughian


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