Two property owners file lawsuit over Lowell annexation

2013-01-24T18:15:00Z 2013-01-24T22:16:03Z Two property owners file lawsuit over Lowell annexationMelanie Csepiga Times Correspondent
January 24, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

LOWELL | Two property owners outside of town on the northeast end have filed suit in Lake Superior Court opposing annexation.

Gary Heiser, 17705 Holtz Road, and Wesley Pratt, 17707 Holtz Road, are owners of two of seven "pockets" annexed by the Lowell Town Council Oct. 8.

An eighth parcel at 18007 Holtz Road owned by Ken Novak was removed from consideration because of inaccurate zoning information provided by Lake County. Its annexation was reactivated this month.

"We gave them an opportunity in writing to settle the dispute, sit down and discuss it. It would save taxpayers money and us," Gary Heiser said.

Heiser presented the Lowell Town Council with a petition Aug. 27 remonstrating against the annexation.

In addition to Heiser and his wife, Nancy, as well as Pratt and Novak, the petition was signed by James and Joan Pendoski, of 17997 Holtz Road, and Greg and April Nichols, of 17725 Holtz Road.

On Aug. 27 and again in the lawsuit documents, Heiser and Pratt questioned the necessity for annexation.

"The town has not provided any verification of the necessity to annex our property for its future development plans in the near future as declared in its ordinance 2012-15," the lawsuit states.

Both men claimed in their documents their police protection and roadway maintenance are adequately provided by Lake County.

They each said they can provide proof their costs to tie in to Lowell water and sewer are "substantial, excessive and are an unreasonable burden," and requested Judge Gerald Svetanoff of Lake Superior Court require the town to provide "substantive, equitable and reasonable access to both sewer and water hook-ups."

Heiser told The Times he would have to go under the roadway to tie in to services, at an approximate cost of $15,000 to him.

Pratt said in August he uses no town services, but Lowell Police Chief John Shelhart said the area is regularly patrolled by Lowell officers and Lowell would likely be asked by Lake County to respond in an emergency because "Lake County is spread too thin."

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