Former school could be asset once again

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2011

This is in response to recent letters and news articles about my plans for the former South Point Elementary building.

First, I will say that all my letters to the community have offered to make myself immediately and personally available to the community members.

I have coupled that with personal invitations on three occasions to have a community meeting and no one showed up. I have yet to have my time requested by any of the community members a recent letter writer mentioned and I am resigned to deal with the matter in newspaper articles or with yard signs.

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The few community members who have met with me personally, have all supported me. Also, my representatives have met personally with Mr. Dornan in his home concerning my exact plans for the property.

Spreading fear and rumors works better than facts in these situations and no one can exercise any power by saying yes to something.

My first letter requested a “variance” to the existing ordinance which would have required 60 percent of the entire community’s support. I soon found out I would not have that support.

In respect to the community, I sent a second letter saying I would just use the building under the terms of the existing ordinance. This is what you seem to want and this is what I am doing but you are still opposed so it is not just you who are “confused.”

Although the reporter said I had nine signatures for the variance, I actually have nine signatures for the waiver to use the property under “Permitted use number 6” of the current ordinance 09-2. I don’t control what wordings reporters use and shouldn’t be held to that standard.

If you look at that ordinance, it already allows drug clinics, psychiatric hospitals, boarding houses and rehab facilities plus various other things without any signatures whatsoever. Some of the allowances have conditions but none require signatures.

The only permitted use of the ordinance that requires neighbor signatures is number 6. I do not plan to use the building in many “already permitted” ways because I feel that would decrease property values and, regardless of what you have heard, I want to increase property values.

Out on the farm where I was raised, the man who had the most to gain by increasing the property values was the man who owned the most property and I own eight acres in that neighborhood. Anyone who would purchase the facility would also be in that same boat as far as property values.

As far as the plans submitted to the village, those plans have changed solely due to community opposition to them. If you throw a man off a cliff then why be confused when he is wearing a cast next week?

Second, those plans were returned to me by the village and all of that has been put on hold as we rethink what we will be most desired by the community. Once again, I am considering your interest even as you fight against me.

Third, I requested a state permit for “just condos” because that is as residential a use as I can think of for the property and that seems to be what you want done with it, correct?

Now I have a few questions for some of the village councilmembers and the community members against me.

First, why was the building considered an asset to the community when many of these community members were working in the building but now it is considered a detriment to the community when some other deserving community members might be employed there?

Second, what is it, exactly, in any or all of my plans that you feel would decrease the property values?

Third, there are four businesses, eight apartment complexes, an industrial park and two schools within four square blocks of that property. Have you campaigned against any of them or are you just discriminating against me?

Fourth, are there any another businesses located in residential areas? Are you campaigning against them or are you just discriminating against me? What is your group doing to protect the other neighborhoods from the businessman simply trying to bring in highly educated professionals to our area with high-paying jobs?

Fifth, what one exact thing have I already done to the property that you feel has decreased your property values in any way?

Finally, the development plans I have had, do have or will have, will create an asset to your community as my track record in business shows since opening my doors in 1992.

The road from The Point was explored to help ease any additional traffic congestion I might cause in the neighborhood. Once again, this was in respect of the community and not in opposition. This road was just in the discussion stage of planning but it has also been dropped as it was not wanted by the community. (Not trying to confuse anyone.)

I have submitted no plans or had no thoughts to build structures outside the existing structure. I simply want to use, upgrade, beautify, modernize and maintain my property to its utmost beauty and value to the community, the same as you do for you property.

I have a long record of doing things right and in respect of the community. My plans would never have changed if not in respect of community concerns and none of us would be “confused” about anything.

I have noticed that when you conduct yourself in a way that is right and respectful, things seem to work out for the best for you in everything you do. I will still be glad to make myself immediately available for any community member who would like to discuss this matter personally.

Joe Freeman

Crown City