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More than 100 rally against Washington Twp. ballot issue on rezoning

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 11:54 PM

Residents rally against Washington Twp. ballot issue

More than 100 people showed up to rally against Issue 15, a rezoning referendum on the May 8 ballot that would determine what kind of development occurs on land off Hithergreen Drive in Washington Twp. 

They showed up to get signs, leaflets and learn more about Issue 15, which asks township voters to amend the zoning of property located at 5900 Hithergreen Drive, which includes approximately 14.8 acres, organizers said.

The zoning board last year voted down a zoning change. Township trustees overturned that decision last September to allow for more homes to be built. 

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"If the trustees can do this in the Hithergreen area that means they're willing to do it anywhere throughout the township," Township resident Matt Lynch told News Center 7's James Buechele on Thursday night. 

Lynch was one of the organizers of the rally at the Washington Twp. Recreation Center - Rec West. 

According to the ballot language, the existing zoning is R-4, single-family residential. The proposed amendment would zone the property PD-R, planned development residential for single-family development. 

Residents who petitioned for the ballot referendum have said zoning rules are being ignored to favor the developer. 

Township officials and the developer, Peebles Homes, want the rezoning to ensure the natural green space that includes mature trees and a creek.

Tom Peebles has said he needs the zoning change to make what he wants to do profitable. He has said he would need to build 30 homes on the acres in question to turn a profit. 

Jim Teske, another township resident, said, "We don't want a high-density neighborhood shoved down our throat and that's the way it seems to be going."

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