Findlay City Council was told tonight it has no choice but to allow the vacation of two undeveloped streets to become law, even though debate over the decision is still raging.
At tonight’s regular meeting of council, Councilwoman Holly Frische, R-1, said she has learned of new hardships caused by the city relinquishing the right of way for Carrol and Benton streets, including landlocking at least two property owners.
At least one of those owners, Frische said, was not notified of hearings on the vacation.
However, a motion by Frische to rescind council’s legislation was deemed “out of order” by City Law Director Don Rasmussen, who said that according to council’s own rules, the legislation could only have been reconsidered at the Aug. 21 meeting of council, the meeting immediately following the Aug. 7 meeting when the legislation was approved.
Rasmussen said it’s also too late for a veto by Mayor Lydia Mihalik, who has already signed the legislation.
There was debate Tuesday as to whether the street vacation is truly landlocking any property owners.
At least one of the properties impacted by the vacation, at 730 E. Sandusky St., does not abut the vacated streets, which means the owner would not have been notified about the hearing, according to the current rules.
In an email exchange between council members and city administrators prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Mihalik said, “If proper notification was not given to adjoining and/or impacted property owners then that is, in my opinion, not right. I would be happy to look into how we notify property owners in the future. I’ve already suggested changing this for rezones and conditional uses. You’ve seen this in recent legislation.
“To remedy the functional access issue for 730 E. Sandusky St., I would like to investigate getting an easement for access off of Hawthorne via the county-owned flood mitigation parcel to the north.
“The biggest issue we have here is where people want to use unimproved rights of way to drive on what are functionally people’s backyards. This is why I agreed with the vacation and this is why I believe others supported it as well,” Mihalik said.
Mihalik was silent on the issue at Tuesday’s council meeting.