Interview with the City Manager
I understand council members hear a lot from citizens about permitting issues regarding the building and zoning code. Can you explain more about that?
We have heard from a few council members that one of the biggest complaints they receive from citizens is regarding the building department or zoning code. It is the job of the village administration to enforce the zoning code that has been approved by council.
To recap, the current zoning code is an update to the previous zoning code that was last updated in 1980. The most recent update was approved by council a couple years ago. Two committees and several volunteers assisted in the revision of the zoning code. It was submitted from the planning commission to council and voted on and approved by council. It is our job to enforce this code.
When there are issues that citizens have with the zoning, then it is recommended they talk to their council members as council is the governing body able to vote to make changes to the zoning code. While this is the proper procedure for zoning changes to be made, if someone has an issue with the zoning, they can start by calling the village offices. We can help with understanding of the zoning code. But if they have an issue that needs resolved, they can still call us and we could relay this to council members. At the end of the day, it is a council vote that is required to revise the zoning code.
The issues that we have run into the most since the passage of the revised code a couple years ago is the size of the buildings permitted in a residential district. In order to build larger than what is permitted within the zoning code, a variance would have to be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
In short, the zoning code is not something dictated by one individual. It is the product of the efforts of many, and it is the law that we enforce.
We have actually sought the guidance of OHM Advisors, who were the professionals that assisted the committees of volunteers with the revision of the code, with some complicated zoning review matters. That’s how we are handling permits right now, deferring to OHM for their interpretation of the written code and ensuring that no personal opinion factors into the interpretation on our end.
We are a month into GPD covering all of Madison Township. How is that going?
We have had great success in removing a lot of drugs from the community and surrounding area. One such example is the recent seizure of a copious amount of fentanyl-related compound, the amount of which equates to thousands of potentially lethal doses. This is just one example, but the removal of these drugs protects our citizens. We want to thank our police for their hard work and their efforts in removing this drug from our community.
There’s other work that we cannot comment on at this time, but just know that we have put a great deal of man hours and energy into removing drugs from not only Greenfield proper, but also all of Madison Township.
At the end of the day, the voters will have the ability to decide in November whether or not this police coverage will continue. We do know that since GPD took over police protection across Madison Township in July, we are seeing more sheriff presence in the township. This is fine, this is good. We know that the more law enforcement presence there is, the more uncomfortable those involved in drug activity become.
You may contact City Manager Todd Wilkin at firstname.lastname@example.org