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An open letter to Jon Whitman.

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BEDFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD APPROVES REZONING LAND ON SOUTHWEST CORNER OF LEWIS AND SMITH TO C-3.
Bedford Watch Board members attended the meeting and no map was provided at this meeting to even allow the residents of Bedford Township to view the land that was being rezoned from R-3 residential zoning to C-3 commercial.  A bordering neighbor to this property that was rezoned to C-3, asked the Bedford Township Board what does C-3 mean and what would be allowed to go there, his questions went unanswered.

To view a map of the general area that was rezoned, click here.

To read the article from Bedford Now, click here.    


STEVE LENNEX AND LENNEX REALTY CLAIM TO OFFER ANOTHER REDUCTION  IN PRICE OF THE WHITMAN FORD PARCELS.
However, it is the same exact price as the last sale offer, the parcels are now available to be purchased separately. To read the latest offer and description from Jon Whitman, Steve Lennex and Whitman Ford submitted on April 26, 2013, click here.

To read the previous offer from April 4, 2011, click here.

To read the original description and offer of the Whitman property from April 7, 2010, click here. 

BEDFORD VOTERS KILL ZONING OF BIG BOX STORE:
To read the previous article from the Toledo Blade,
click here.

BEDFORD SCHOOLS TO LAY OFF 14-17 TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS:
To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here. 

GREG STEWART IS ELECTED AS THE NEW BEDFORD TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR:
To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.  To view the complete election results for Bedford Township Temperance Michigan for 2012, click here.

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP TELEPHONE DIRECTORY GUIDE:
For a new guide to Bedford Township (Temperance, Michigan) Departments, Committees, County Offices, and State Agencies, click here.

JON WHITMAN AND WHITMAN FORD TOLEDO BLADE ARCHIVES:
To view any of the archive articles from the Toledo Blade concerning Jon Whitman, the Whitman Ford lawsuits, BICA, bedfordwatch.com, a possible Wal-Mart in Temperance Michigan and  Whitman Ford since June 18, 2003, click here.


ANTI-ZONING GROUP HELPS IN NIXING OF WHITMAN REZONING BID:
Bedford Township Board's rejection of the latest Whitman rezoning request follows residents' comments.  For the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.

WHITMAN REZONING IS DENIED:
 
On June 7, 2011, the Bedford Township Board turned down the latest rezoning request for the Whitman property by a vote of 6-1.  Township Board member Paul Francis (who is related to Jon Whitman) is the only board member who voted for the rezoning.  To read the article from the Toledo Blade, 
click here. 

LATEST WHITMAN REZONING REQUEST:

In a letter dated April 7, 2011,  Wade Trim Associates recommended to the Bedford Township Planning Commission, the Monroe County Planning Commission and to the Bedford Township Board to not allow this new rezoning request to occur since it is inconsistent with the master plan and it is their opinion that "this would result in an incompatible zoning and land use pattern."  To read the full report from Wade Trim, click here.

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION:

The Bedford Township Planning Commission turned down the latest rezoning request for the Whitman property On April 27, 2011.  Planning Commissioner Korleen M. Bialecki voted against the denial, while Commissioner Jeff Biggs was absent for the meeting.  For the latest article from the Toledo Blade, click here.   

MONROE COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION:
The Monroe County Planning Commission  did not follow their own staff  recommendation to deny the Whitman rezoning.  On May 11, 2011, the Monroe County Planning Commission voted for the latest Whitman rezoning.  For the latest article from the Toledo Blade, click here. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MEETING:

The Monroe County Planning Commission did not have the correct information on the April 27, 2011 vote from the Bedford Township Planning Commission.  They thought that the Bedford Township Planning Commission recommended to allow the rezoning of the Whitman property as it was printed on their agenda.  They were wrong.  To view the exact agenda document that they passed out to everyone before the meeting, click here.  

Jason Sheppard, a member of the Monroe County Planning Commission, did the majority of the talking for the board at the meeting along with Steve Lennex, the realtor selling the Whitman property.

Bedford Watch members, who were in attendance at this meeting, were under the impression that Jason Sheppard owned property near the corner of Lewis and Sterns, since he told everyone at the meeting that his home is near the Whitman property.   However, after checking the Bedford Township real estate website, he does not own any property in Bedford Township.  To view all of the properties in Bedford Township with the last name of Sheppard, click here.

Jason Sheppard is not only a member of the Monroe County Planning Commission; he is also a local realtor who works for Signature Associates.  Click here to read his bio.   He is the current listing agent for the Northtowne Chevrolet property that is up for sale right across the street from the Whitman property.  Click here to read the property listing.  Click here to view Jason Sheppard's name on the for sale sign in front of Northtowne Chevrolet and across the street from Whitman Ford.

This means that Jason Sheppard would stand to make tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commission if the Whitman property was sold and then someone purchased the Northtowne Chevrolet property across the street that he has listed.  

Perhaps Jason Sheppard made his Monroe County Planning Commission Board vote to allow the latest Whitman rezoning on May 11, 2011 based upon his commercial real estate interests in Bedford Township.  

JON WHITMAN'S LATEST REZONING REQUEST:
Judge Costello's decision on January 28, 2011 reversed the Bedford Township referendum and changed the majority of the Whitman property back to C-2 and C-3 commercial.  

Jon Whitman is seeking a new rezoning for the central 19.57 acres (behind Whitman Ford) of his 41.71 acres to be changed to C-3. 

To read the public hearing notice and view a site map of the proposed changes, click here

To view a zoning map describing how the Whitman property is zoned, click here.

To read an editorial from a Bedford watch member, click here.  To read a recent editorial from Monroe Evening News, click here.

AUTO DEALERS PLAN WOULD ALLOW FOR A BIG BOX STORE.  
For the latest article from the Toledo Blade, click here.

ENTIRE WHITMAN FORD PROPERTY IS REDUCED TO A SALE PRICE OF $2,950,000 FROM $5,975,000. 
Click here to view the new "reduced for sale sign" posted on the property on April 21, 2011 by the Lennex Realty Company.

On April 4, 2011, the entire Whitman parcel including Whitman Ford has been reduced in price.  Click here
 to view the latest Whitman parcel information available from realtor Steven R. Lennex, in which he states, "the property is perfect for a big box anchored development."  

WHITMAN FORD ON LEWIS AVENUE CLOSING UP SHOP:
According to 13 News WTVG in Toledo, “Jon Whitman says his family has owned this Ford dealership for 60 years. He's had the property for sale since 1998. But because of an ongoing dispute over zoning, Whitman says he's giving up the business and not relocating.

According to 13 News WTVG in Toledo, “Jon Whitman says his family has owned this Ford dealership for 60 years. He's had the property for sale since 1998. But because of an ongoing dispute over zoning, Whitman says he's giving up the business and not relocating.

The property is still for sale. Whitman insists this has nothing to do with rumors of a so-called big box retailer moving in. He claims to be fed up over a lengthy legal battle with Bedford Township.”

Jon Whitman says this after Judge Costello reversed the referendum in Bedford Township on January 28, 2011 and gave him the zoning he asked for.  For the latest story from 13 News WTVG, click here.

Meanwhile, Ford’s 2010 sales in America were up 19 percent – the largest increase of any full-line automaker in the United States.  For the latest article from Ford, click here. 

For the latest story from WUPW Toledo Fox 36, click here. 

For the latest story from WTOL Toledo 11 news, click here.

WHITMAN FORD CLOSING ON APRIL 29, 2011:
To read the latest article from The Toledo Blade, click here.  

JUDGE JOSEPH A. COSTELLO JR. IGNORES VOTER’S DECISION:
Click here for the article from the Toledo Blade.

Judge Joseph A. Costello Jr. from Monroe Michigan sets the stage for Wal-Mart project.  For the latest from Sprawlbusters.com, click here.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPRAWLBUSTERS:
“It’s time to stop scaring Bedford voters with all this talk about scare tactics. The voters of Bedford stated that they did not want a big box store placed next to a residential development.  Your master plan does not call for huge commercial development for that parcel.  A Wal-Mart superstore is clearly not 'local commercial.'

After letting the Wal-Mart controversy pull apart your community for a decade, its time to pass a size cap that will place some realistic limits on the scale of big box developments.

Especially in light of the recent court ruling, it’s important that township officials try to limit the scale of buildings so that they appropriately can be called local commercial, and not regional commercial.  You still have your Master Plan to guide you on this point.  Regardless of what the court ruled, this is about size, and this is about Wal-Mart.

Bedford voters have told you what they want. Their intent was clearly for local commercial projects, not for the big box superstores. You have betrayed the voters of Bedford Township who spoke to you as plainly as they could at the ballot box.”

Bedford Watch has spent over 10 years of our lives and hundreds of hours of our time along with many other members of this community researching what a big box store would do to Bedford Township.  Bedford Watch feels that sound zoning and planning should also include infrastructure, traffic studies, impact studies, feasibility studies and input from nearby area residents. 

Township Supervisor Walt Wilburn, what you called “scare tactics” in the latest trial, we call facts. Facts, as a township board, that you have never considered, requested or presented to anyone in this township.  Click here to read the story from the Toledo Blade.

Despite the claims that Bedford Watch was using scare tactics, opponents were free to counter it, but no one did because they were undisputable facts.

NEWS:

Bedford Township Board will not appeal rezoning of Whitman property to mostly C-2 and C-3 zoning.  To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.

NEW DOCUMENTS ADDED ON FEBRUARY 18, 2011:

If you remove all of the Jon Whitman lawsuits and rezoning requests from the past 10 years,  Bedford Township still had caps on all commercial zoning that were put into place on August 29, 2002 under former Bedford Township Supervisor Lamar Frederick.   These zoning limitations correctly limited the size of commercially zoned properties.  Click here  to read the article from the Toledo Blade.  Click here to read the zoning changes and Lamar Frederick's signature for zoning ordinance # 44A-214. 

On September 20, 2005, the Bedford Township Board under new Supervisor Walt Wilburn changed the C-1, C-2 and C-3 zoning to allow a big box store in Bedford Township with zoning ordinance amendment #44A-244.  Click here to read the exact changes to the commercial zoning and Walt Wilburn's signature. 

In the 2011 trial, Walt Wilburn said, “Size limitations were taken off the books” shortly after be began serving as supervisor, and he began working on this prior to him even becoming township supervisor.  Click here to read Walt Wilburn's exact words from the 2011 trial documents.

With Walt Wilburn's current building size limits based on acreage, (one acre is equal to 43,560 square feet), a 204,000 square foot big box store would theoretically only take up 4.68 acres of land mass and would only require an 18.72 acre C-2 or C-3 parcel, not including road right of way. 

Now, let's flash back to the beginning.

On December 6, 2001,  the Whitman's announce a plan to sell their land to Wal-Mart.    Click here to read the article "Big box battle brewing in Bedford," from the Toledo Blade. 

Weeks later, Jon Whitman said, “Wal-Mart was coming to this area one way or another.  We thought it was better to have it at Lewis and Sterns than farther north.”  Click here to read Jon Whitman’s exact words from The Toledo Blade.

2011 LAWSUIT:
On January 29, 2011, Judge Costello decided to reverse the referendum of May 5, 2009 and make the majority of the Whitman parcel at Lewis and Sterns in Bedford Township C-2 and C-3 thus allowing the potential of a big box store on the property.  For the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.  To read Judge Costello’s complete decision, click here.

Action on Whitman property pending.  To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here. 

Judge Costello has until February 18, 2011 to issue his final decision.  To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.
 
QUOTES FROM THE 2007 TRIAL:
Judge Costello wrote, "The Indian Acres subdivision was well established before the construction of the Whitman automobile dealership.   Since the very beginning the western-most portion of the property was zoned residential. The township has remained consistent in maintaining this classification."

David Landry, the lawyer representing Bedford Township said, "You are talking about the development of large-scale retail right next door, literally, to a longstanding subdivision."

Julie Johnston, a planning consultant for Wade-Trim and Associates testified that a big-box store would have a “major impact on the neighborhood.”  She further indicated that it would be difficult to screen or buffer the store from the surrounding properties.

In a previous engineering and survey study from the 2007 trial that was requested and paid for by the Bedford Township Board, Wade Trim and Associates Inc. reported, “The area surrounding the Whitman property is predominately residential, not commercial. The rezoning is incompatible with adjacent residential uses.” 

Steve Lennex, the real estate agent selling the commercial property, acknowledged that he would have earned a sale commission of $225,000 for the sale of the Whitman property to Wal-Mart.

Steve Lennex stated in the trial that Jon Whitman sought “big-box clients” for the Lewis- Sterns property and Jon Whitman “wanted it.”  

QUOTES FROM THE 2011 TRIAL:
The township residents exercised their constitutional right to put the issue to voters. "Thank God we live in a country that allows that. They did what they felt was appropriate under the circumstances. They were simply attempting, as Mr. Whitman is attempting, to protect their property,"  Phil Goldsmith- Bedford Township attorney.

Paul LeBlanc, a witness for Bedford Township,  said he agreed that the township board made the right decision in denying the zoning. "In my opinion, it was in accord with reasonable and sound planning practice," Mr. LeBlanc said.


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clicking here.  Anything highlighted in blue has a document attached that you may view. 

IS THIS AND WAS THIS EVER ABOUT A WAL-MART?
 
 
View the previous newspaper articles including the very first one from 2001, in which Jon Whitman said, and we quote, “Wal-Mart was coming to this area one way or another.  We thought it was better to have it at Lewis and Sterns than farther north.” 
Click here to read Jon Whitman’s exact words from The Toledo Blade. 

The Whitman's announce contract with Wal-Mart.  
Click here to read the article from Bedford Now. 

Click here to read the original headline from the Bedford Press- "Wal-Mart, like it or not, is coming to Bedford." 

Click here to read the original headline from Bedford Now- "Watch for Wal-Mart." 
 
Click here to read a copy of the Monroe Evening News article, “Wal-Mart deal hits snag.”  

Click here to read the Toledo Blade article, “Consultant report casts doubt on store’s plans.” 
 
In 2006, the Bedford Township Board voted on a 204,000 square foot Wal-Mart.  
Click here to read the original article from the Toledo Blade. 

Bedford Township Board rejects Wal-Mart plan.  "The people spoke, it's that simple," said Walt Wilburn.  Paul Francis abstains from voting and admits that there is a "conflict of interest" since he is a cousin of Jon Whitman.  To read the complete original article from the Toledo Blade,
click here

SEND A FREE CARD TO OUR TROOPS OVERSEAS:
To visit the site created by Xerox and send a free card, click here. 

THE WHITMAN FORD TRIAL:
On June 15, 2010, Jon Whitman gave a deposition for the current trial. 

Jon Whitman:

Background:  Jon Whitman no longer lives in Bedford Township.  Jon Whitman assumed control of the Whitman Ford dealership and the surrounding land from his father- Paul Whitman.  Paul Francis (a current Bedford Township Board member) is related to Jon Whitman.  Paul Francis’s wife (Garnet Francis) works full time at the Bedford Township Hall.

In this new deposition, Thomas Hanson, (Jon Whitman’s lawyer) admits that Wal-Mart is the only corporation that has put in at least 2 offers to purchase the property at Lewis and Sterns in Temperance, Michigan since it has been up for sale.  The property has been listed with the same realtor- Steven R. Lennex from the Lennex Realty Company for the past 10-12 years. 

Overview:  The deposition is 122 pages.  Click here to read the complete deposition.  All of the pages listed below are highlighted in yellow in the deposition.   Present:  Jon Whitman, Tom Hanson and Phil Goldsmith.

Highlights:

PAGE 104 line 2:
Thomas Hanson, (Jon Whitman’s lawyer) admits that there might have been more than one contract with Wal-Mart.

PAGE 92 line 4:
Jon Whitman admits that his father, Paul Whitman, privately talked to Walt Wilburn.  Paul Whitman wanted to make sure the new board voted on the rezoning, without Dennis Steinman around.  It appears that Jon Whitman got to select the time and date and which board would actually vote on the Whitman rezoning.  Days after the new township board was sworn in, the new township board (with new board members James Goebel and Gail Hauser-Hurley) voted to allow the majority of the Whitman parcels to be zoned C-2 and C-3, the highest commercial zoning permitted in Bedford Township.  

PAGE 74 line 12:
Jon Whitman admits that his last rezoning proposal could have ended up being a large retail store.

PAGE 97 line 17 to PAGE 98 line 2:
Jon Whitman claims that the referendum was being promoted by inaccurate information, (this was noted in the previous depositions by Walt Wilburn and Dennis Jenkins), but when asked point blank what these inaccuracies were, he could not identify even one inaccuracy.

PAGE 90 line 9:
Jon Whitman admits that he has had discussions with Paul Francis, a current Bedford Township Board member and a family member.

PAGE 100 line 13 to PAGE 101 line 4:
Jon Whitman talks about Paul Francis- his family member- and how he wasn’t sure if the Bedford Now opinion article that was written by Paul Francis (and appeared a few days before the important referendum vote) was accurately stating what was transpiring.

PAGE 33 line 17:
Jon Whitman admits that there was never a market demand study performed for any portion of the Whitman Ford property.

PAGE 38 line 17:
Jon Whitman admits that there was never any 
feasibility study or economic analysis for his last rezoning proposal.

PAGE 47 line 15:
Jon Whitman admits that he never really planned to build anything on the proposed RME, RM-2 or PBO parcels (
click here to view parcels 1, 2 and 3 that border the west side of his property).  He just picked those parcel designations based upon the outcome of the previous trial that he lost.

PAGE 9 line 17:
Jon Whitman admits that he didn’t obtain transcripts from anyone that testified at the 2008 trial.

PAGE 37 line 17:
Jon Whitman is asked about the middle parcel that he wanted changed from R2A to C-2.

PAGE 41 line 12:
Jon Whitman is asked about the impact that the proposed rezoning would have on the adjacent parcels in the area that surround the Whitman Ford property.

PAGE 42 line 7:
Jon Whitman is asked if he consulted with a professional planner.

PAGE 103 line 5:
Jon Whitman admits under oath that he did have a contract with Wal-Mart.

_____

Walt Wilburn and Dennis Jenkins gave 
depositions on December 23, 2009 for the current trial. 

Walt Wilburn:

Background:  Walt has been the Bedford Township Supervisor for the past 6 years.  Many positive things have taken place since he became the supervisor including a New Bedford Township Hall, parks improvements, a new fire station and an increase in the size of the police department.  

Overview:  The deposition is 138 pages.  
Click here  to read the complete deposition.  Present:  Jon Whitman, Tom Hanson- Jon Whitman’s lawyer and Larry O’Dell- Bedford Township Board member. 

Highlights: 

PAGE 103:  Walt Wilburn states that "This is not about a Wal-Mart."  
 
Size limits for commercial C-1, C-2 and C-3 zoning:

On August 20, 2002, the previous Bedford Township Board under Supervisor R. 
LaMar Frederick changed the size limits for C-1, C-2 and C-3 zoning with  ordinance #44A-214.  Click here to view an edited version of the ordinance.  The size limits for commercial zoning that LaMar Frederick and the old Bedford Township Board put into place were changed to: C-1: maximum 15,000 square feet, C-2: maximum 70,000 square feet and C-3: maximum 25,000 square feet.  These size limits were in effect until a new township board under supervisor Walt Wilburn changed them.

Click here  to read the Toledo Blade article under Supervisor LaMar Fredrick that limited the development of big box stores.
 

Page 108/109:  Walt Wilburn admits under oath that he was a part of the Bedford Industrial & Commercial Association (BICA).  

Click here to see the initial BICA application with Walt Wilburn's name listed as one of the four officers and an anonymous letter, both of which were sent to Bedford Watch recently.
  
  
Just as Walt Wilburn, the Bedford Township Board and the Bedford Township Planning Commission changed the C-1, C-2 and C-3 size limits in 2005, we strongly feel the size limits can be changed back to what they were originally in 2002.  

Bedford Watch does agree that some of the ordinances pertaining to landscaping, architecture and lighting were too restrictive for existing businesses from 2003 to 2005, but we do not feel that the size limits of commercial zoning also needed to be increased in Bedford Township with 32,000 residents.

Can a township board in Michigan change size limits?

Yes.

The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act from 2006 clearly states, "A local unit of government may adopt land development regulations under the zoning ordinance designating or limiting the location, height, bulk, number of stories, uses, and size of dwellings, buildings, and structures that may be erected or altered, including tents and recreational vehicles."   
Click here
to view the document.


At the Bedford Township Board meeting on October 20, 2009, one of the Bedfordwatch.com members asked the Bedford Township Board members to initiate the planning process to commission a review for the current C-1, C-2, C-3 and PBO zoning. 

One month later in November of 2009, our first ordinance proposal was submitted and later turned down.

PAGE 114: Walt Wilburn admits that he sent the initial Bedford Watch ordinance proposal to change the size limits of commercial zoning directly to Gene Stock, since "he was on the board of the original BICA organization."  Click here to view the e-mail that Walt Wilburn sent to Gene Stock on Friday November 13, 2009.  

PAGE 45:  Walt Wilburn said, "If  you increase the traffic flow by thousands of cars a day, traffic would be an issue."  

According to the 
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)- there are about 22,200 cars and 570 trucks which equal 22,770 cars and trucks that travel up and down Telegraph Road in Monroe, Michigan near the old Wal-Mart on a daily basis.  That equals 159,390 cars and trucks weekly.  These are 2008 figures (the latest available), when that store was only 125,000 square feet.   Click here to view the document.  To see the exact figures from MDOT, click here.

The new Super Wal-Mart on Telegraph Road in Monroe, Michigan is over 176,000 square feet (over 40 percent bigger than the old Wal-Mart).   The traffic report from MDOT for the new Super Wal Mart will not be available until mid 2011.  

The proposed Wal-Mart in Bedford Township was over 200,000 square feet, which is over 63% larger than the car and truck statistics above for the 125,000 square foot Wal-Mart store.

Where will the additional 159,390 cars and trucks come from on a weekly basis?

According to demographic documents, 125,301 people live within 5 miles of Lewis and Sterns.  
Click here to view the latest demographic document on the Whitman parcel from realtor Steve Lennex.  

How many cars drive near Lewis and Sterns currently?

12,651 per day or 88,557 weekly.  These figures are from 2008, the latest available.  
Click here to view the document sent to us from the Southeastern Michigan Council Of Governments (SEMCOG).  Click here to contact SEMCOG. 

Lewis and Sterns is currently listed as the second highest crash intersection in Bedford Township.  
Click here to view the statistics from SEMCOG.  Secor and Sterns is the highest crash intersection in Bedford Township near the 65,511 square foot Kroger's in Lambertville.   Click here to view the property file on Kroger's in Bedford Township. 
 
PAGE 20:  Mr. Wilburn admits that they are getting ready to update the Bedford Township Master Plan in the near future.

PAGE 35:  Walt Wilburn admits that he doesn't agree with everything that Adam Young from Wade Trim and Associates suggested.   

PAGE 60:  Parcel 6 is inconsistent with the Master Plan after the December 2, 2008 vote.

PAGE 122:  Mr. Hanson asks if there may have been settlement discussions on the Whitman property.

The May 5, 2009 referendum:

Jon Whitman asks for and receives a public vote.  Jon Whitman said, "Clearly, the Township has embarked on a calculated effort to keep Wal-Mart out without a public vote.  We are also a proud member of Bedford Industrial and Commercial Association,” Click here to view a part of the paid advertisement that appeared in Bedford Now on March 14, 2003. 

Through the constitution and made procedurally possible through the zoning enabling act or the statutes, the township could not do anything to prevent a public vote referendum from happening. 

The May 5, 2009 referendum reversed the Bedford Township Board’s decision of December 2, 2008 and the 32,000 residents of Bedford Township decided what is best for their township.  To watch the video from Fox 36 Toledo,
click here.

On May 6, 2009, the Toledo Blade accurately reported, "Bedford voters kill rezoning of parcel for a big box store."   To read the article from the Toledo Blade, click here.  
     
 
If a big box store is built on the Whitman property, Bedford Township residents will have to pay millions of dollars in damage to the roads, loss of property values, and additional taxes to pay for an increase in our police and fire departments.

Dennis Jenkins:

Background: Bedford Township Planning and Zoning Coordinator for about 22 years.   Dennis is a soft-spoken gentleman who is also well liked by many of the Bedford Township residents.

Overview:  The document is 162 pages.  Click here to read the complete deposition.  Present: Jon Whitman and Tom Hanson- Jon Whitman’s lawyer. 

Highlights:

Page 19:  Julie Johnson, the planning consultant from Wade Trim and Associates, has now accepted a new position as a planning director in Bolder, Colorado.   Click here to read Julie’s original report from Wade Trim and Associates dated January 8, 2003.

Page 46: Mr. Hansen tries to get Mr. Jenkins to admit that the new “planning and zoning expert opinions from Adam Young constitute  sound zoning and planning for  the Whitman property."    

Adam Young from Wade Trim and Associates is the “new” planning consultant on the case.  Adam offered a totally different report on the Whitman property from Julie’s original report.  Adam’s report coincided with a new township board that was sworn in on November 20, 2008 and had their first meeting on December 2, 2008.  

Page 91:  The new Bedford Township Board is discussed.  Dennis Jenkins informs Mr. Whitman that "a new township board is about to be voted in" and it is up to Jon Whitman and his lawyer Tom Hansen, to decide what they wanted to do.

The December 2, 2008 Bedford Township Board meeting:

The
New Bedford Township Board, at their first board meeting after being sworn into office, rezone the majority of the Whitman property to C-2 and C-3, potentially allowing a big box store to be built on the property.  Click here to watch the video from FOX 36 in Toledo.  

Bedford Watch members did not believe the township board acted in the best interests of its 32,000 residents when they rezoned the Whitman parcel to allow a big box store.  Bedford residents then had to make a critical decision on the Whitman property.  To read the article from the Toledo Blade,
click here.   For the news story from WTOL Toledo 11, click here.  

We would like to thank the Toledo Blade, Fox 36 Toledo and Toledo 11 for their fair and accurate reporting on this critical issue in Bedford Township.
 

Page 102:  It is revealed that Larry O’ Dell suggested PBO for parcel 6 (click here to view the parcels).  This is the only parcel that the township board would not grant Jon Whitman his rezoning request on December 2, 2008.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS:

ADOPT-A-ROAD:
In 2009, Bedford Watch adopted a 3-mile section of a road in Bedford Township by joining the Monroe County Road Commission’s Adopt-A-Road Program.  We are working alongside our Bedford Township residents as we strive to keep our community roadsides clean.  The focus is to have citizens assist in keeping our county’s primary roadsides clean & attractive.  Participants "adopt" a section of road to clean 3 times a year.  There is no fee to participate, but you must have approval from the Monroe County Road Commission and you must review a safety video.  Signs designating the "adopted area" will include the name of the organization that has adopted that particular section.  For more details on how to adopt a road, please call Donna Richileau at 1-888-354-5500 ext. 5102. 

JON WHITMAN:
Jon Whitman has asked for 10 zoning change requests and he has filed 2 lawsuits.  In 2007, Jon Whitman sued Bedford Township and lost.

In the final decision of the 2007 lawsuit, Judge Costello wrote the following comments,  "Since the very beginning the western-most portion of the property was zoned residential. The township has remained consistent in maintaining this classification.  Our system of government is based upon a representative democracy, and one would hope that any legislative body would consider the wishes of their constituents."  

The referendum will of the people should be upheld.    The Indian Acres subdivision that borders the Whitman property is the largest subdivision in Bedford Township and it was well established before the construction of the Whitman Ford automobile dealership.   

BEDFORD WATCH:
We have spent almost 10 years of our lives and donated hundreds of hours of our time researching what a big box store would do to Bedford Township.  This included going to township, planning commission and Monroe County board meetings; hiring and talking to lawyers, studying and reading books, contacting 60 Minutes, watching the latest movies on Wal- Mart;  attending the court trial of Bedford Township vs. Whitman Ford; going out of town to visit 3 Wal-Marts; contacting local and regional police, fire, sewer and drain commission departments; getting a referendum on the ballot; collecting 2,433 signatures, collecting donations  and talking to professionals in the industry to gather factual information to provide to the residents of Bedford Township.

WHY DID YOU DO THIS?
Read the open letter to Jon Whitman in response to his paid advertisement in Bedford Now on November 29, 2008.  Bedford Township residents will now go thru a total of 9 requested zoning changes and two lawsuits from Jon Whitman in the past 9 years.

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