At the top of the list of hot-button issues in the Village of Archbold is zoning.
Perhaps the reason zoning can rile people faster than a bad call at a championship ballgame is that zoning is government telling individuals how they can and cannot use their property.
Recently, there were harsh words in Archbold Village Council over a question about whether an individual was being singled out over a zoning violation.
Village officials said no, but pointed out they don’t catch every zoning violation in the village. Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, made an analogy saying drivers aren’t caught every time they exceed the speed limit.
Enforcement of the village zoning laws must be consistent and fair. Even if it is not intentional, erratic and uneven, enforcement causes problems.
Something that might help: when village officials notify property owners of zoning violations, they should make the information public.
Perhaps not specific names or street address, but at least a notice of how many violations were noted for what offenses. Someone tagged for a violation might not feel bad if he knows other property owners were caught for a similar offense.
Zoning is a good thing. It protects an individual’s investment in his property. It shouldn’t create problems.