Letter To The Editor

Setbacks in Addison Township draws support

Dear Addison Township Citizens,

I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your support in my opposition and Suburban Estates Property owners in preventing the Planning Committee and Addison Township Board from doing a backdoor rezoning wherein the side setbacks code would change from 50 feet to 30 feet to benefit one resident at the detriment of all others. You all understood that if they robbed me of my setback yardage will result in a precedent to shorten yours at will with no rationale and without complaints for decades.
All property owners can avail themselves to the Zoning Board if they have special circumstance that restricts them from conforming to front, back and side setbacks — no aggrieved party applied for a variance. Our Codes of Ordinance also specifically states when there is a conflict, or confusion about the codes, the Township is to proceed with the most restrictive yardage. From the onset, it was obvious that the Township was trying to fulfill a politically motivated request leaving the avenue to change the code easier than putting the issue on a ballot where the community decides.
I lost my passionate quest to keep the codes of my property from change after enduring several meetings and two Public Hearings over the past year and a half at the Board meeting on Dec. 16, 2019. No discussion by the Board, and no one being able to ask questions prior to the advance done deal vote. Comments from the public only after it no longer mattered to be heard. My financial damages exceeded $4,000 in legal fees and property survey expenses. My personal loss is one of privacy and natural beauty views.
On a positive note, I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with over 200 people in the community who graciously supported my quest to have the codes remain unchanged. It was especially rewarding to reunite with longtime friends and neighbors.
The citizens let the township know in over 80 letters, signatures exceeding 160 on a petition and personal appearances at Committee meetings that you opposed changed codes that were effectively serving Suburban Estate properties. The rare decline to support in any form was overwhelmingly a result of fear that if their name was recognized it would trigger a negative reaction in their ongoing issues with the Township.
I learned of so many interesting encounters the community has experienced with Addison Township which include allegations of lack of customers service approach to citizen’s issues, noncompliance enforcement of laws, rules and codes. Profound grievances were proclaimed with the Building Department where they have not been giving accurate information, and treated in a rude and arrogant manner.
The Clerk is efficient but she should not have to also function as the Customers Service and the Public Relations Department. There are many tools that can be used to get the communities input on issues that are important to them and evaluation of their satisfaction when interacting with its personal and committee members. Accountability is absent in policies and procedures.

Your support has been truly appreciated,

Rosanne Johnson, Leonard.

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