Letter to the Editor: Must be a resident

After months of the planning commission trying to prevent a public hearing, the text amendment to restore the ordinance to its original intent will be at the township board level for a vote soon
State law allows one nonresident on the planning commission as it is a recommending body to the township board. This allows a nonresident with a large investment to the community to participate. The zoning ordinance does not have that provision for the zoning board of appeals as its decisions are final with no township oversight. The township has never appointed a nonresident to the planning or zoning board to date.
In 2012, Cheryl Karrick was the chairwoman of both the planning commission and ZBA and when she moved one street out of the township, she received a letter requesting her immediate resignation from the zoning board of appeals.
When planning commissioner Brian Galley, who sat on both boards also as the liaison to the ZBA from the planning commission, moved out of the township, (former) Supervisor (Pat) Kittle used the “it doesn’t say we can’t” rule and let him stay on. After mentioning it several times, Supervisor Kittle requested an opinion from the attorneys if he could stay. Their response was there’s no case law saying he can’t, which makes sense since there’s no provision to allow it. Clearly precedence has been set prior to this – the township board is divided on this issue.
As a township trustee, I want to say that I have not talked to a single resident that supports nonresidents on our governing boards. Not even if it is allowed. What I hear is representation by residents is what’s wanted. 
Ordinance changes can affect everyone, so please give your input.
Email our supervisor (Jaliaga@indtwp.com) or clerk cneubeck@indtwp.com or myself (smoraco@indtwp.com).
Sam Moraco
Independence Township

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