Petition filed over contested land

A citizen-led initiative could see voters in Three Rivers and Lockport Township deciding the fate of a 77-acre property contested by the two entities.

A petition was filed Wednesday with St. Joseph County Clerk Lindsay Oswald. Thirty-five pages in all, the petition seeks to have voters in the two municipalities decide whether the land should remain in Three Rivers or revert to Lockport Township.

Three Rivers currently claims rights to the property – located between North Main Street and Buckhorn Road. It is planning to develop a 17-field multi-sports complex that would cost about $4 million in all.

Doug Kuhlman, municipal zoning administrator for Lockport Township, said this is the first instance he has ever heard of a proposed detachment. As far as he knows, Kuhlman said the process will work its way through the county clerk’s office before appearing before the county commission. Its members, according to Kuhlman’s understanding, will ultimately decide whether the measure can go before voters.

The goal is for the matter to appear on the November ballot.

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One comment

  1. Why would the county commission have any say whether the initiative gets to go on the ballot? Isn’t that a legal matter based on state law, proposal language (verified by the county clerk), signatures (verified by the county clerk)? How does the county commission have any say?

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