Not confused over Section 9
We should sympathize with Mr. Tom McKenney, who states in his letter that he is confused as to why ranchers oppose the proposed Visual Impact regulation changes. The "virtues" he cites come straight from the misleading puffery about the changes, and he has been led to believe that ranchers are exempt from Section 9. Many others seem similarly misinformed.
As planning commission chairman (Ken) Lipton clarified at the March public hearing, exemptions for ranchers are intended for existing structures, not for any new structures. Further, the "ranch exemption" as well as the "mining exemption" apply only to accessory structures (not to primary structures) and roads used exclusively for agriculture or mining, thus they do not apply to primary residence or to an "accessory" house if that house is rented out or used by an outfitter, or to a private road that is also used for hunting access.
For common sense reasons, many ranch structures, including houses, are located adjacent to a road rather than in the middle of a pasture. Even structures that are not on a bench, ridge, escarpment or hilltop but are close to a road would have draconian limitations placed on any future modifications provided a Section 9 exemption is even granted by the count; e.g., a small 1,000 square foot bunkhouse might be able to obtain an exemption limited to a one-time permit (over the life of the building) for reconstruction after a fire or expansion of up to 20 percent; i.e., 200 square feet.
Aside from such direct impacts of ranchers, ranchers are more likely to understand the desire of others from freedom from unnecessary intrusion of government, and resist the "divide and conquer" approach historically used by autocrats to impose their views on the population.
It is not surprising that Mr. McKenney is confused. As he urges, our citizens should carefully review the proposals and understand them, rather than accepting the proponents' propaganda.