It is disappointing to see Fuzzy Udder Creamery, a promising and relatively new business, leave Lincoln County after a dispute with neighbors and the town. But let’s be clear: this was not a case of government overreach.
In our front-page article, owner Jessica Dowling sends different messages about the pending move. She either needed more space or she didn’t want to keep “fighting” the town and her neighbors.
From our standpoint, the town of Whitefield was going out of its way to find a path forward and allow this farmer to keep the manure pit she had built, perhaps with good intentions, but in clear violation of town rules and even over her property line!
Her neighbor was none too happy about the town’s conciliatory approach, saying as much in a letter to the editor last week.
In the article, Dowling dismisses her neighbor’s concerns about manure running onto their property during rainfall, saying the claim lacks evidence.
Really? Is it so unrealistic that a manure pit initially built over the property line, then moved just to one side, might have some undesirable effects?
Regardless of whether the manure was flowing onto the neighbor’s property, the decision to stockpile feces on the property line in the first place strikes us as something short of neighborly.
Whitefield’s loss of a growing business is a gain for the tiny town of Perry in struggling Washington County. We wish Fuzzy Udder Creamery the best of luck in this new location.
But let’s not think back on this episode as a case of government or NIMBY syndrome (that’s not-in-my-back-yard) driving out business.
Laws and rules exist to protect the rights of all – in this case, the right of a property owner not to have their neighbor store manure in their yard.
The town of Whitefield was right to work toward a remedy, but it is no fault of the town’s that the farmer would rather leave.