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Developers are not above the law

I have been wondering why it has been so hard to protect our community from being damaged by development and why County Executive Ken Ulman let this happen ("Howard referendum advocates form LLC focused on government transparency," Oct. 8).

I don't oppose reasonable development. There are builders and developers who follow the law and do the right thing. I don't care if they are Democrats or Republicans, or to whom they donate. I'm an independent.

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I only become concerned when a project contains three factors: 1) It poses potential damage to the community, 2) it violates the law and 3) it still wins approval.

If a land-use attorney represents a lot of these sorts of projects, receives waivers and manipulates the law to get approval, my concerns become more valid because there is then a pattern of special interests acting above the law and the people.

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New big money is generated through the rezoning process. Hard-working, law-abiding taxpayers have to suffer negative consequences of egregious "developments."

The way this influential lobbyist donates exclusively to Democratic incumbents is totally different from ordinary donors. I see a real threat to the fundamental values of democracy in the link between money, power and benefits to the influential lobbyists.

Along with irresponsible overdevelopment and environmental vandalism, do these "strong Democrats" want to strengthen democracy or destroy it when the voice of "We the people" is suppressed in the zoning processes?

Shun Lu, Clarksville

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