Property owners in SP just want answers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 23, 2011

On behalf of myself, my wife Kathy Dornon, Kay Skeens, Brenda McKee and more than 60 other South Point residents who have signed a petition, I would like to say thank you to The Tribune for bringing attention to a problem the neighbors of the former South Point Elementary have been trying to resolve for several months.

However, we believe The Tribune’s portrayal of the neighbors as simply concerned with their property values and opposed to jobs was completely off base. If this same situation arose in your neighborhood, you might also have the “not in my backyard” mentality.

We don’t believe the new owner was surprised by the zoning ordinance.

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In fact, the South Point Village Council informed him that the building was in a residential area at the Dec. 7, 2010, meeting.

The Board of Education accepted his bid for the property at their Dec. 13, 2010, meeting where the closing date was extended from 90 to 120 days.

Yet, the property did not close until July 26, 2011. On July 7, 2011, he notified property owners he was seeking a variance to the zoning ordinance. Then, a letter dated July 25, informed neighbors he would not seek any variance. Yet, the newspaper article states he has 9 of the 10 needed signatures to get the variance.

The article said he wants to move his home health offices and lease other offices — the same plans he told neighbors in the July 7 letter.

However, in his plans provided to the village administrator on Aug. 12, 2011, he outlined: 13 rooms (elder lodging and boarding rooms or condominiums); four rooms (single family dwelling); nine rooms (church).; six rooms (his home health agencies currently in SP), seven rooms (intervention school); 12 rooms entrance, lobbies, kitchen, storage, etc.), leaving six rooms for other offices.

This was followed by a new village application on Sept. 7, 2011, listing plans to simply maintain, repair and renovate rooms into one apartment.

This plan was followed by an application for a state permit (September 23, 2011) for just condos. Then the article appeared and neighbors discovered the plan is maybe for offices and condos. Are you confused yet? The neighbors certainly are.

Then we have a potential road from The Point. Tax dollars for a road to a building that, according to the article would house 50 employees, or would it be to develop the other available four or five acres?

Though we appreciate Mr. Bill Dingus’ drive for more jobs, there are 500-plus acres at The Point, many that are undeveloped.

Why the interest in this property in the middle of a residential area? If that road comes to fruition, could we have another Biomass situation in our front yards?

If there appears to be discrepancies about what the new owner plans to do with the property now, what guarantees do we have for the use of the property in the future?

How do we know the current owner will even own the property tomorrow, leaving the neighborhood stuck with who knows what.

If the owner does get 60 percent for the variance, it still would not permit engineering and attorney offices.

It would, however, open the door to any so-called professional health care including drug clinics and rehab facilities. The new owner may not have these plans, but what about the future?

We understand the value of jobs. However, we also know that good residential areas attract local businesses. We purchased homes in good faith with deed restrictions that say private residence only — deed restrictions that extend to the elementary property since it is on 15 plus lots of our subdivision.

When faced with a similar situation at Central , the Ironton Board of Education listened. We are asking our village administration to listen and enforce restrictions. If this can happen in our neighborhood, yours may be next.

Duane Dornon

South Point