Monday, February 8, 2016

Flow Diagrams that Depict Statutory Passage of an Amendment Versus Actual Passage of the Water Extraction Amendment

As has been shown, a landowner-sponsored amendment to the zoning ordinance was passed, which resulted in a land use change that added water extraction as a use to the Commercial zoning district in Eldred Township.  However, there was no discussion whatsoever before any body prior to passage that this amendment would cause a land use change.  This is primarily due to the failure of the paid Planning Consultant, who is also the author of Eldred Township's Zoning Ordinance, to bring the land use change to anyone's attention.  The CJER Solicitor responsible for reviewing amendments also did not determine this, and neither did the Monroe County Planning Commission.

As also has been shown, the proposed amendment did not travel through the process dictated by the Municipalities Planning Code and the CJER Intergovernmental Agreement.  The Planning Consultant essentially performed the duty of the Board of Supervisors in multiple respects.  He received the amendment from the landowner, and instead of telling the landowner that he needed to submit it directly to the BOS, he forwarded the amendment to individual members of the Monroe County Planning Commission.  He also copied Sharon Solt, but not the entire Eldred Township Board of Supervisors.  He did not send the amendment to the Eldred Township Planning Commission or CJER, and there is no evidence these bodies received it.  The evidence is that within only a few days he went ahead and drafted a two word change to a definition that he believed would implement the proposed amendment, without the authorization of the Supervisors.  The Supervisors also never authorized the advertisement of this two word change, though it was in fact advertised.  What those who did receive the Wimmer Letter, with its obviously fallacious content, did with it is unknown.

The following are diagrams that compare the path that a landowner-sponsored amendment shall take in the course of consideration and passage by statute, and the actual path that the water extraction amendment took.  The actual flow depicts what is known from documents obtained thus far, and conversations with staff members at the Monroe County Planning Commission and CJER.  Note that the landowner's amendment didn't go very far, and the text was apparently not submitted to several bodies - instead they were led to believe this was a simple two word definition change.  Two planning bodies appear to have been totally left out of the process and were not even given notice that an amendment was being considered.

At the bottom of this post is the landowner's amendment, otherwise known as the Wimmer Letter.

The Wimmer Letter (landowner-sponsored amendment):