Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor
Reader sees example in city action

January 04, 2012

Dear Editor,

In the story "90 N. Main lake access approved," Dec. 21, one of our honorable elected officials is quoted as saying it was "a good example of how government works." Well perhaps, but certainly not an example of our government working well.

While the original ordinance amendment was supposed to address non-conforming uses of historical commercial property, it was really to address one particular property, the old township hall at 90 N. Main Street. The original ordinance amendment was paid for by the owners of the property, drafted by the city planner, and adopted by the City Council. It was then immediately amended by the city attorney and planner, recommended by the Planning Commission and rejected without discussion by the City Council in favor of yet another version. As soon as everyone found out there was a potential buyer, it wrongly turned into addressing the issues of that one person.

The building in question has now been sitting empty for about three years and the potential purchaser has decided not to purchase because of the restrictions placed on the property, or so it was stated at a public meeting. An ordinance has been created that will probably be challenged or amended as soon as there is another possible tenant and it will probably never be enforced regardless of what it says as few ordinances are ever enforced. The building continues to sit empty with an unknown future and use.

Most of us only know what happened from this Clarkston News story. As of Friday, Dec. 23, there were no City Council meeting minutes for this reported action. I asked for them and have not yet received a response.

This particular ordinance resolution was printed in the Dec. 22 Clarkston News and we have 20 days before it takes effect. In that time, we might all consider if this ordinance really works as it has only one actual restriction there can be only two watercraft anywhere on the entire property. It does, however, allow unlimited parking, paving, and people, including the property owner, all employees, and all friends and families, to use the property and water from sunup to sundown.

How does this in any way fulfill the opening purpose statement of the ordinance which starts with, "the water bodies situated in the city are small, with relatively low environmental and recreational carrying capacities, and may be adversely affected by the introduction of new and significant use."

But this is the Village of Clarkston where we pay 64 percent more in local taxes than our neighbors so that laws can be regularly ignored, even those laws and resolutions created by our own elected officials. I'm sure this one will receive similar treatment.

We do indeed have yet another good example of how the government of the Village of Clarkston works.

Cory Johnston