This gets to me on a fundamental level. I certainly have no problem with requiring that a property owner not create hazardous pollution on his/her property, because the property might one day be sold. And I have even more of a problem with a property owner creating a condition (be it pollution or other conditions) that negatively impact other people that don’t live on or even come on the property. And if a person owned a piece of property that also happened to have a substantial, running stream through it, and that water was used by multiple people for multiple purposes along its path, then I’d have a problem with the person doing major, deep construction of a lake bed and damming up the stream or small river to create a sizable lake. Firing a shotgun on one’s property and having the pellets fall on someone else’s property (or head, as was the case one new year’s eve in our area several years back), is a similar type of problem. It’s called welfare of others, and is a case-by-case issue (or should be). Going in and shooting up a community college as was done today is also an individual issue, just that the consequences are far worse than many other things a person can do.
The real problem, at least for me, is creating laws that blanket any and everything even remotely related to the specific problem, and pre-punishing everyone! If I want to live out there, use a composting toilet as 74 brought up, collect the rain that falls on my property on those rare occasions, and collect the sunlight to be converted to electricity, don’t tell me I can’t if I bought and paid for that property – and particularly if there aren’t any zoning standards for what types of structures can be built in a designated residential area (which this is not).
If individuals are polluting, handle it on an individual basis. If there aren’t laws to handle it, then create them with the outcome that those laws would ONLY be triggered on a case-by-case basis IF an actual problem arose and the land owner was unwilling to rectify the problem.
I happen to live in an area with houses that are reasonably close to each other, and there are zoning standards that are reasonable for such a neighborhood. I neither want to look at a neighbor’s lawn that’s two feet high, nor (particularly) do I want to have to deal with the weed seeds that are blown over into my yard, where I endeavor to keep weeds to a minimum and a nicely trimmed lawn. That’s called community standards for a specified area of land with homeowners that would reasonably be expected to share roughly similar ideas of how they want their neighborhood to look. But if I move out to the middle of what’s effectively a desert such as this story, I have no right whatsoever to expect my neighbor to maintain a well manicured front lawn so his weeds don’t migrate on the wind over to my property. It ain’t that kind of “neighborhood!”
This same type of thing has been going on in the very north part of Los Angeles (CA) County for years, where people that don’t have a neighbor within a mile or more are held to absurd standards or thrown off their owned property because an L.A. official was on a power trip. There are many stories and videos, but perhaps this one sums it up best in less than 5 minutes.
Regardless of the individual circumstances in any one given case in San Luis, Colorado, my overall position stands.