North Judson Town Council members addressed a property classification concern when they met last Monday.
Don Ward and Gus Curran came before council members last week to ask whether they knew if a particular piece of property was zoned within the town limits or if it fell in the county’s jurisdiction.
He added that they were looking to get some kind of definitive statement from the council as soon as possible since Curran is attempting to sell the property and already had one client turn away due to the zoning complications.
Ward noted that there was some question about whether the property was annexed into the town back in the late 1990s when the school was annexed. However, he said after checking with the County Recorder, everything they found stated that it was zoned within the county. The Recorder reportedly told them that there was no official documentation about it being annexed into the town.
Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe said he and Billing Clerk Jennifer Vanek looked over town records from the last several decades and the area in question was considered county property in everything they found as well.
He reminded council members of the matter they recently resolved regarding an alley that wasn’t technically vacated for decades because it wasn’t officially recorded. He said something like that could have taken place with this property as well.
After hearing the public input and considering what Clerk-Treasurer Rowe had to say on the matter, members asked Town Attorney Justin Schramm what their next course of action should be.
Schramm noted that it wouldn’t really make sense to draw up an ordinance or resolution on the matter to state that the piece of property doesn’t belong within the town limits. Instead, he suggested issuing a declaration that would reflect what had been found.
Schramm provided an example of what the declaration could entail. He said they could potentially say: “The piece of property at issue, based upon our findings of the question presented, is not within the corporate boundaries of the incorporated town of North Judson, therefore it was never annexed and lies within the County’s zoning.”
The council members made and passed a motion to that effect. They also unanimously approved a motion that allows Council President Wendy Hoppe to sign the declaration once it’s completed by Town Attorney Schramm.