I was reading the articles about what’s happening in the Stevenson neighborhood and felt compelled to write in. Reading both sides of the story, I got caught up in the emotion of it all. I listened to the neighbors’ issues and then to the business owners’ side. The part that stuck out to me most was this: He was trying to provide for his wife and children. Being a parent myself, that tugged at my heartstrings. I understood.

So, I took a day to process it all. They say to make a good, informed decision you must step back, consider all sides and lastly remove the emotion. If you do that, you simply have this: Someone put a business in a residential area.

How does this happen? Currently as it stands, we do not have designated land use. Houses go here, factories go there, business go here, etc. I know some of you do not want to hear this but the lack of zoning is what this all boils down to. Someone placed a business in a residential area.

I have heard arguments that people should be able to have an auto body shop out of their garages, scrap yards on their lots, etc. I understand you want to make a living but, when your business is located in a neighborhood, it isn’t just about what you want. You are a part of your own little community. What you do to your property affects the families in your neighborhood, the property values of the homes and, especially, the safety of the children.

We must change our path. We want to promote public health, safety and welfare and encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the township. We have a need for zoning.


Shannon Hanley


Editor’s note: Shannon Hanley is a member of the Brookfield Township Zoning Commission.