Upper Arlington

Rezoning Tree of Life is in UA's best interests

Wednesday February 20, 2013 2:43 PM

To the Editor:

There is a wonderful Christian-based school called Tree of Life with big hopes to expand on a 15.85-acre property in Upper Arlington.

The land was owned by AOL and evidently was not zoned for a school. When AOL left, they also left a huge gap in tax revenue for UA, and there's what seems to be the problem. Tree of Life is a tax-exempt organization.

Cities and municipalities frequently rezone areas to adjust with the times, encourage development and provide the "best interest" of the community. Why not rezone this small parcel for Tree of Life? It's not like they are requesting to build a steel mill. The bottom line seems to be the love of money.

Not only will Tree of Life provide job opportunities with teachers and staff and the tax revenue that comes with that, but they will also provide a valuable service to the residents of UA by improving property values and bringing security to the community.

What other use of the land would be better than a place where children could assemble and be loved, nurtured and fashioned to be outstanding citizens with integrity and a respect for God and country?

I can only pray that the leaders of UA grant the request from Tree of Life by taking the necessary legislative action. It would be a shame to see this awesome building go vacant for the next 20 years. Who would gain by that? The children could always go to other Tree of Life locations, but then they would not be enlightened to the great community of UA. The school would have to pay to maintain the grounds on the empty building, and the city would still not get any tax money.

What a shame. It would really become clear for UA the baggage that comes with that word, shame. The question is, do the great citizens of UA want to be associated with such a mess?

Timmy DeMatteis

Upper Arlington

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