Mr. Schaefer's October 23 zoning request to the commission noted that he had met with each of the adjacent landowners and had "not had any opposition." Evidently Thomas and Lois Spiering of 503 SE 4th Street have since changed their minds. Page 14 of tonight's agenda packet carries their lone letter of protest:
My wife and I are strongly against proposed ordinance change No. 1470, to amend this property from Residential to Neighborhood Business.
This is located right behind our backyard!
Our complaint is probably an action of futility. The dollar speaks louder then [sic] citizens in this town! [Thomas and Lois Spiering, letter to Madison City Commission, 2008.11.24]
Hmmm... where have I heard that before?
I do wish the Spierings had taken the time to explain their opposition a little further. What is the problem with changing the lot from residential to business? It's not like Schaefer is putting in a hog farm or a strip club or some other public nuisance. Town land that would otherwise sit idle will get some development and raise a little extra cash to pay off the TIF loan sooner.
Maybe we'll hear some more opposition at tonight's meeting. Even if we do, be sure to call Randy tomorrow to reserve your new storage space!