Findlay City Council weighed in tonight on a neighborhood feud over two planned city streets that were never developed.
Council voted 6-5 to vacate the right-of-way for Carrol Street and Benton Street. The right of way for these streets connects to Hawthorne Road, north of East Sandusky Street.
Chris Neely, of 841 Hawthorne Road, filed a petition to have the streets vacated, but the petition was denied by the Findlay City Planning & Zoning Committee. The committee recommended that council not vacate the streets because of opposition from at least one other property owner.
In June, five City Council members then requested that the streets be vacated by legislation. The legislation was tabled July 3 on its second reading to allow for a brief hearing, held before Tuesdays council meeting.
The same five council members then voted in favor of vacating the streets, with council President Ron Monday casting the tie-breaking vote. Voting in favor of the legislation were John Harrington, R-5; Dennis Hellmann, R-2; and Dina Ostrander, R-3, along with at-large Councilmen Grant Russel and Tom Shindledecker.
Neely argued that neighborhood children and pets play in the grassy areas. He wanted the streets vacated to stop his neighbor, Matthias Leguire, of 830 E. Sandusky St., from driving on the right of way.
Leguire has repeatedly argued against vacating the streets. Leguire said he uses the right of way to access the rear of his five-acre property. He said its often safer and more convenient to use the right of way.
There was no explanation given Tuesday as to why council members were backing the vacation of the streets, even though zoning officials had rejected the idea.
Councilman Tim Watson, R-7, said he would vote against the legislation because council was clearly being asked to decide a neighborhood dispute, and he said the citys zoning code shouldnt be weaponized.
Councilwoman Holly Frische, R-1, questioned what good it would do the city.
Although he voted against vacating the streets, Councilman Jeff Wobser lectured Leguire on being a good neighbor and not driving on undeveloped streets.