Compromise could solve school battle

Published 9:59 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

The ongoing battle over the future of the former South Point Elementary school escalated significantly earlier this week as both sides have begun to make it more about personalities and personal issues.

The controversy centers on business owner Joe Freeman’s plans to renovate the former school for a somewhat constantly evolving series of uses. Property owners in the residential neighborhood where the school sits have vehemently opposed virtually all of Freeman’s plans.

Both sides have legitimate arguments but the problem is neither seems willing to sit down at the table to find a middle ground.

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It is reasonable for Freeman to want to utilize this building that he has invested significant money into and to be upset that the village council is attempting to change the rules during the middle of the game, so to speak, by modifying the zoning ordinances.

It is also reasonable for the property owners to want to preserve the integrity of their neighborhood, see a clear plan for what is going to be added to the community and have some safeguards for any future development.

A compromise can be found through calm, rational discussion. So far both sides have never set down to really discuss the issue.

Right now, it appears the only way this will be resolved is through legal battles in the court system. And that is unfortunate.

It is not too late to allow rationalism and compromise to win the day.