Thank Rolston for service
Re: Time on county commission
Commissioner Bob Rolston is retiring from a distinguished career, serving the citizens of Sheridan County. His noble sacrifice was marked by the highest standards of integrity and dedication.
He follows the American tradition of statesmanship, as George Washington did, by serving his fellow citizens well, then stepping down at the top of his game.
Commissioner Rolston will be remembered well and we owe him a debt of gratitude.
America was founded on the principle of self-government.
As such we should learn, grow and produce in our earlier years, then, if called to do so, serve others in voluntary service or government. Washington did just that by winning the war, serving as president, and then doing the one thing that sets him apart from all other previous world leaders: he retired.
Knowing when to leave office, may be the highest calling. So next time you see Commissioner Rolston, thank him for his service and wish him well on a much deserved retirement.
Actions against public opinion
Re: Highland Park rezone
On March 26, approximately 30 concerned citizens attended the Sheridan Planning Commission hearing to voice their opinion against the submission for rezoning of the 5 acre Old Highland Park School property from R1 to R3. On this evening, two neighbors submitted a petition signed by 60 neighbors against the rezoning application; they gathered those signatures in one afternoon. Even though the hearing notice stated the public’s comments would be heard and considered, the seven-person appointed volunteer commission voted 5 to 2 in favor of the R1 to R3 rezone. From the vote, it does not appear this volunteer Planning Commission considered the public’s overwhelming opposition, but rather was in favor of the land developer, whom just purchased the school property in August, and whom previously did work for the school district.
JFL Land Co. LLC bought this property as zone R1. Why does this developer want to change the zoning from R1 to R3? One, simple answer, is profit. Multiplex apartments are more profitable than single-family residential lots and homes. JFL is not a neighbor, he is a business owner; he purchased this property for one reason, to make money.
If the zoning change application is approved by Sheridan City Council to R3, there is no recourse. In my opinion, the viability of converting the old Highland Park School to a residential condominium complex seems hard to believe. The school district found it unfeasible to continue occupancy due to its plumbing, heating, roofing problems along with the asbestos insulation and flooring. If the zone change is approved, then the developer determines the school conversion unfeasible, he can change his development plan to anything authorized under R3 zoning, which includes high-density and multi-story apartment complexes. From a developer’s stand-point, more apartments means more profit. The fact a concept was submitted does not mean it is reality. A zoning change means the reality of the area is now open to R3. There is no accountability required by the developer at this point.
Since the city planning commission consists of appointed volunteers, there is no person really held accountable for their vote, decision or recommendation. I urge the Sheridan City Council to take responsibility for this decision and make it in the best interest of the neighbors in the Highland Park School area.
There is a city council meeting on Monday at city hall. I encourage all who are interested to attend.
Voice of the people disregarded
Re: Highland Park rezone
On March 26, the city planning commission held a meeting on the rezoning of the old Highland Park School from R-1 to R-3. This property was originally platted into individual residential lots and currently holds that R-1 designation. If the school is not used for a school, the property reverts back to the residential lots.
Our neighborhood is very strongly against this R-3 zoning. Many addressed the commission stating their objection. State statute has some requirements for zoning regulations. The commission is to consider: prevent overcrowding of land, avoid undue concentration of population, character of the neighborhood and its peculiar suitability for peculiar uses, as well as impact of surrounding properties. This R-3 zoning would clearly impact the surrounding properties by devaluing our homes, which we put our hard-earned living in.
According to these regulations, the commission did not follow the state requirements and city guidelines. The public is encouraged to voice their opinion, which was done, but was totally disregarded. No one on this committee responded to any of our public concerns. It was like the five in favor were predetermined to vote for the developer. It may be Mr. Bede’s property, but it is our zoning.
Mr. Windsor and Mr. Giorgis were the only two votes for our neighborhood. This rezone goes before the Sheridan City Council on April 16 for public hearing. Will our city council, which we helped elect, vote for “the voice of the people” or the developer? Stay tuned to see if the council will truly represents “we the people.”
Opposition to rezone
Re: Highland Park project
I oppose the zone change of blocks one and two of the Highland Park addition from residence R-1 to R-3.
These apartments would add many people, traffic, cars and noise to my neighborhood next to the old Highland Park School. This was originally platted city lots.
Mots of my neighbors and myself have our life savings in our homes, which will decrease in value if this change in zoning is allowed. With an R-3 zone, we cannot be guaranteed what we will have next door.
I ask you to please vote “no” for this change.