Nuns Lose County Board Zoning Fight 20-3

By a 20-3 vote, the Fraternite of Notre Dame was denied its request for rezoning of its 95 acre property in Coral Township.

The religious group asked permission to build a school, a nursing home, a winery and a brewery.

Opponents objected to the commercial and industrial uses being allowed in their residential area.

The County Board room was packed, with people standing in back.

The County Board room was packed, with people standing in back.

After the turn down, the nuns’ attorney, Tom Zanck, outlined several options:

“We have a variety of options.

“We’ll have to consider all of them.

“They’re going to continue their mission.”

“We could adjust the plan and refile,” he said, pointing to Mary McCann’s comments about engineering plans and sewage treatment.

“I think that was a bogus issue.”

I asked about the seeming lack of knowledge on the part of County Board members about the Federal Religious Land Use Protection Act until the last week before the vote.

“I’m totally amazed by the comment,” Zanck replied.

The three voting in favor of the rezoning were

  • John Jung
  • Nick Provenzano
  • Mike Skala

Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller left the room because he handled the original zoning for the property.

All who spoke against the proposal–Carolyn Schofield, Mike Walkup, Chuck Wheeler, Anna May Miller, Mary McCanm and John Hammerand–couched their arguments largely without reference to the neighbors’ opposition.

Public comment was not allowed until after the vote.

Last meeting one nun compared the situation to Herod’s judgment of Christ.

“Are you going to stand with Jesus or Barabbas?”

Sister 1Tuesday night, a spokeswoman rebutted the arguments made by opponents.

Don Kopsell left during her talk.

“That Religious Land Use Law may very well come back to bite you, as Mr. [Richard] Kelly warned you.”

One nun wondered if the Board members were “brainwashed or just afraid of losing the 700 votes who signed the petition.

“By voting, ‘No,’ you hinder God’s work,” she continued.

“Shame on you elected representatives.

“It’s God’s work you have blocked.

Sister 2“You have laid obstacles to the working of God’s will.

“You have voted in favor of all the Christian churches, even Buddhist and Muslim.

“How will you be able to sleep tonight thinking you have laid obstacles to God’s will?

“How will you die?

“Certainly not in peace.”

A priest of the order told the Board members that they had pierce the heart of our good Mother, because our work is consecrated to her.”

A neighborhood man talked of separation of church and state.

“I think they don’t get it.

“I don’t support having a commercial and industrial project in a residential area.

“The real issue was land use, not religious freedom.”


Nuns Lose County Board Zoning Fight 20-3 — 20 Comments

  1. Clearly anti-Catholic vote covered in the intellectual ruse of land use.

    I’ll remember those who voted against this.

    Our country is sinking lower and lower.

    Had the good sisters been Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist they would have had a unanimous approval.

    The “elected officials” would have been afraid of negative press.

    Knowing that the press hates the Catholic Church, they don’t have that fear.

    Don Kopsell left without listening to the sister’s argument?

    The local burger joint must have been closing soon.

  2. Conditional use has to do with just that ‘use’.

    The County has made many mistakes in the past and will make more in the future.

    For example, allowing the Sheriff to build a shooting range across the Street from a nursing home was a mistake.

    Building the Valley Hi Nursing home away from municipal services was a mistake.

    The Fraternites application was for the creation of a commercial enterprise in an area without services to support it.

    The Board made the correct decision.

    I fully support fighting any lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

    Commercial enterprises should be located in a commercially zoned area which has the necessary services to support the enterprise as per the current UDO and the County 2030 Land Use plan.

    The question as to why the members of this organization were granted access to the County Board Room to ‘bless’ the chairs in which Board member sit has never been answered.

    The County Board room is in public building owned by the taxpayers of all faiths and I found that act very objectionable.

  3. I find it objectionable that Board Members were called thieves and told they will go to hell for opposing the too-broadly-outlined commercial re-zoning application.

    A private citizen making similar statements might have been charge with threatening officials (see Oakwood Hills).

  4. Water and Sewage treatment should be of concern.

    The golf course north uses allot of water and so would a brewery if added to the mix.

    In AZ they make golf courses use gray water, affluent from sewage treatment plants.

    Has this group made a deal to treat their waste from the brewery then pump it to the golf course the usage of well water would be less of and issue.

  5. Sounds like 10 pounds of development in a five pound bag.

    Very unchristian to threaten someone who doesn’t agree with you

  6. Those 95 acres belong to the Fraternite of Notre Dame, not to their neighbors.

    County board should have told those neighbors to take their objections and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

    Only 3 county board members care about property rights?!


  7. Kudos to the county government for getting balls.

    This so called catholic organization is not recognized by the Vatican and have done shady things in France.

    A truly religious organization would not be threatening board members.

    Good job.

  8. The nuns seem to have missed the part in the Bible where Jesus says to render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers and to God what is Gods.

    A business enterprise belongs where zoning supports it.

    Thanks to the board for upholding their UDO rules.

    Maybe there is hope they will see the foolishness of the TWP consolidation sham.

  9. DJH: In other words if I buy property in an area zoned for agriculture I should expect a nursing home, a rehab center, a school, a brewery, a winery and a retail store to open up on my street?

    How a about a motocross race track next door to where you live?

  10. The Fraternites are in my opinion an interesting group.

    They came into the Board Room and ‘blessed’ the chairs, then they proceeded to threaten the Board members.

    I think there is a word to describe such behavior.

  11. Congratulations to the County board for rejecting the FND Request
    I have done a little research on them…border line cult?

    maybe…they claim their leader has miraculous powers and gifts………….because of his “Visions”

    The FND is not Catholic ….

    In 1977 we have this Polish guy who has a vision moves to France…changes his name…starts a religion..needs accreditation so he gets ordained by an Oriental Bishop

    (Also not catholic)

    the truth is out there

  12. **Public comment was not allowed until after the vote.**


    Feel free to comment about what we should, after we do it.

  13. Questioning:

    I don’t concern myself with what my neighbors do in their bedrooms.

    I don’t concern myself with how my neighbors raise their children.

    And I don’t concern myself with what my neighbors do with their own property.

    If you’re one of those busybodies who sticks your nose into your neighbors’ business, do us a favor and take a one-way trip to Red China.

  14. The COMMUNITY doesn’t want it.

    The residents spent their savings to be in a residential area.

    It seems the religious folks are pushing THEIR religious wants and THEY are the ones being intolerant of the residents.

    Maybe this situation is God’s way of telling the religious folks to build elsewhere.

    I can’t read His mind and neither can they.

    This was supposed to be a business meeting NOT a sermon or chastising of those who have a different opinion.

    I imagine the folks also don’t want to live near a ? BOARDING SCHOOL ? (as mentioned in a news article today).

    As to Mr. Mike Skala’s vote, it doesn’t surprise me.

    Please stop voting him onto boards or into office.

    He was on the D158 school board long enough for me to NOT appreciate his input and actions or lack of action no matter how many personal or political friends he had or has in the community.

  15. DJH: Where do you live?

    I want to put a motocross track next door to you.

    Not in your bedroom, not on your property but next door. ,

  16. Questioning: You keep mentioning this motocross track like its supposed to strike terror into my heart.

    Let’s turn this around.

    If you think you can dictate what your neighbors do with their property, then surely we can dictate what you do with yours.

    I think we should bulldoze your home and turn it into a nature reserve “for the good of the COMMUNITY.”

  17. DJH there are zoning processes for protection of property rights.

    You can do what you want inside of the zoning allowed.

    Your property cannot devalue my property.

    Believe me I’m all about live and let live.

    The use is too heavy for the area a neighborhood.

  18. DJH

    Unrealistic comments generally result in more unrealistic comments.

    In future, yours will simply be ignored.

    The Mrs has it correct.

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