[LFC Comments: The residents of Kirtland have to make a very important decision on the November ballot. We have provided our readers with a link to the current City of Kirtland Charter, and the ballot language of Issue 3 changing the City Charter:
PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT
A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage.
Shall the Charter of the City of Kirtland,
Article VII – Initiative, Referendum and Recall, Section 5 – Mandatory Zoning
Referendum be repealed to eliminate a mandatory zoning referendum and shall
Article I – The Council, Section 8 – Powers and Duties, be amended to prohibit City Council from enacting any zoning amendment or change in the zoning map as an emergency measure?
[LFC Comments: If the Kirtland residents pass Issue 3, they will be giving unfettered power to the current and future Mayors and City Councilmembers.]
Kirtland, Who Will Decide Your Property Rights?
Written by a “Concerned Kirtland Resident”
Edited and formatted by LFC
For over 200 years, the Kirtland City Charter and its changes have been decided by the voters. In the November election, voters are being asked to SURRENDER their vote and entrust nine (9) members of the present City Council….OR ANY FUTURE COUNCIL…to amend, change, or alter the Kirtland Charter as they see fit. Said simpler, voters are being asked to entrust Councils, yet to be known or elected, with their precious property rights.
WHAT’s at STAKE?: A LOT! A City’s Charter is, in effect, it’s Constitution. It clearly defines the rules, regulations, ordinances, rights, and privileges of the city’s property owners. Most importantly, it defines the Zoning Map. The Zoning Map defines how exactly each property is classified whether it be residential, single family, multi-family, light industrial, commercial, and/or other. Once a property is classified or -re-classified it must follow a strict and unwavering list of regulations, limitations, and rights.
This referendum is a very dangerous thing. If passed, Council could, at-will, dramatically limit, change, or eliminate property owners’ rights without any voice/vote of its people. Such changes could include proposed building types, size, color, roof, siding, shingles, doors, windows, landscaping, or any other building aspects. Council could also amend the charter to limit/eliminate other property rights such as garage sales, boat/trailer storage, dog runs, sheds, pools, signs, and any other current property rights they so desire without a majority vote of the people.
WHY CHANGE NOW? Kirtland’s current leadership has stated, “This is an essential change to make development easier and attract much needed development”. Authors of the referendum have cited Eastlake as a role model city for development which has recently adopted such a change resulting in unsightly, albeit tax generating commercial development. So, is Eastlake what Kirtland is to become?
One estimate suggests that 46% of Kirtland’s Current Commercial properties are either unused or under developed. So why does Kirtland need to re-zone non-commercial properties to attract more development such as Eastlake has (Fast Food Chains, Drug Stores, Pawn Shops, Used Car Lots, Walmart, etc.) when so much current commercial property is available for such use? And what happens to the surrounding neighborhoods and property values when Council decides to re-zone a historically quiet residential area into a noisy, high trafficked, and unsightly commercial zone attracting businesses of all types such as Eastlake has?
Why do so many Kirtland Developers oppose this referendum if it would make development easier?
“This referendum has little to do with making development easier in Kirtland”, reports one long time resident and Kirtland property owner who has been exposed to the true intentions of the plan. “The current Mayor and some Councilmembers strongly seek additional powers in controlling property usage through an Architectural Review Board, Historic Review Board, and to unilaterally decide how development occurs in Kirtland. They know the voters will never approve these so they are attempting to pass a political “trojan horse” to be able to change the City Charter at their complete discretion without a vote of the people”.
You cannot Fight City Hall! Once passed, this referendum will make it nearly impossible for current property owners to have a say in what happens with their property. Citizen’s objecting to Council’s unilateral decisions to re-zone or strip property rights will have few options. Expensive and time consuming litigation will likely be the only option with a very small chance of success. Unfortunately, few have pockets deep enough to take on City Hall.
“I have lived in Kirtland for many, many years. I love this small town and its people”, reports one long time Kirtland resident. “I have no desire to grant unlimited power to a few current or future folks on Council, who I do not know who can dramatically change our property rights or turn this into another Mentor or Eastlake. No thank you!”.
RESIDENTS OF KIRTLAND, PLEASE VOTE NO TO THE NOVEMBER REFERENDUM TO GRANT COUNCIL THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE CITY CHARTER AT-WILL! KEEP THE POWER OF THE VOTE WITH THE PEOPLE. YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS AND KIRTLAND’s HOMETOWN FEEL DEPEND ON IT!