News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 7, 2012

READERS' FORUM: Oct. 7, 2012


Homeowners let down by commissioners over Cobblestone

The Vigo County Commissioners (VCCs) have not only let down the residents of Woodgate, but all the voters of Vigo County when they prematurely lifted the stop-work order against Cobblestone Crossings.

When the Norm Froderman “conflict of interest” admission was revealed, the VCCs moved swiftly to issue a stop-work order. It was readily apparent that the entire Cobblestone Planned Unit Development zoning was now illegal. So why did the VCCs lift the stop-work order before the development and master plan went back before the Area Planning Commission (APC)?

The Vigo County Ordinance is clear, if buildings are being built incorrectly and not in conformance with the current approved zoning, they shall be ordered to be torn down by the authority of the APC. Why didn’t the APC and the VCCs follow their own laws here? If a homeowner decided to tear down their single-family residence and construct multi-family apartment buildings, the APC would move swiftly to issue a stop-work order and enforce the ordinance to have them torn down — what is the difference here? Why is the county turning a blind eye?

Once again it appears that the laws of Vigo County only apply to some people. What other conclusion can be drawn? It appears that some sort of back-door deal was made in this situation. Were the VCCs worried that Cobblestone was going to sue them? Remember that the VCCs and the APC have unlimited “free” attorney representation (funded by taxpayers), so why were they so worried about the developer suing them? Many months ago the Woodgate homeowners were told by the VCCs that if they didn’t agree with the situation to hire their own attorney and take it to court.

With the elections coming up in about a month, everyone should think about this and how the taxpayers and voters of this county were treated by the people we elected to stand up for us. If you vote for Paul Mason, Judy Anderson, or Mike Ciolli, I hope you don’t have an empty lot or field next to your house. Because you never know, a member of the APC may have a financial stake in the property and get the zoning breezed through illegally and you too may have apartment buildings constructed some 25 feet from your property line. And the VCCs will once again turn a blind eye and allow it to happen.

— Karl S. Eilbracht

Terre Haute

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