The foxes have truly decided to make life rough on those members of the Allen County Plan Commission who disagreed with them on the Canyon Cliffs vote. The following is the description of the Plan Commission’s duties as found on its website:

The Allen County Plan Commission is responsible for the Allen County Comprehensive Plan, and its implemetation through the Allen County Zoning Ordinance, the Subdivision Control Ordinance, and various policies and practices. Guided by the Comprehensive Plan, the Plan Commission controls the type, location, and timing of development in unincorporated Allen County and works with the City of Woodburn, and the Towns of Grabill, Huntertown, and Monroeville. Fort Wayne, New Haven, and Leo-Cedarville have their own plan commissions.

Nowhere do I see the words “act as a rubber-stamp for those with vested interests in commission decisions.” In fact, the description indicates just the opposite. The Commission controls the type, location, and timing of development. If it is charged with controlling development, then how can it be argued that it is only a “rubber-stamp” to approve development so long as the development complies with the rules?

Oakmont Development – the Mike Thomas corporation which is working in tandem with the Bodenhafers to exploit the Cedar Creek area – has filed a lawsuit arguing that the three members of the commission acted outside the scope of their authority – a concept known as “ultra vires” in administrative law.

The lawsuit posits that the three members who had the courage to stand up against the pressure from the pro-development forces acted “arbitrarily, capriciously, irrationally and with intentional disregard for the Commission’s rules and procedures.” Yet in another portion of the lawsuit, the argument is made that the three acted negligently. An negligent act is a careless act, not an intentional act. I guess they are trying to cover themselves by throwing anything at the wall to see if it sticks.

Arbitrary and capricious action on the part of an administrative board means willful and unreasonable action, without consideration and in disregard of the facts and circumstances of the case, or action taken without some basis which would lead a reasonable and honest man to such action. Indiana Board of Pharmacy v. Crick, 433 N.E.2d 32 (Ind. App. 1982).

After hours and hours of testimony, I would think it would be hard to argue that the facts were disregarded or that the three members acted arbitrarily or capriciously.

The bottom line here is that those on the Commission have vested interests with overlapping roles on other boards and commissions. It is time to stop the insanity of allowing the same individuals to continue to influence – whether by vote or by pressure – the workings of the Plan Commission.

The future of Allen County is too important to be left in the paws of the foxes. It’s time to start over with a new commission, one which will take its role seriously and not allow greed to get in the way of its duties.

The old saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” has never been more applicable than in this situation.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. kent strock says:


    “stop the insanity” of the boards regarding the Cedar Creek developement? Of course, any other slightly enlightened community would realize this. Even Lafayette, South Bend and Muncie can mobilize some grassroots pressure to raise questions about these kind of developments, but not in Fort Wayne. I am not sure where to point the finger…well the mafia Republican party is the easy target. The “liberal” JG won’t touch these issues, they prefer to harp about silly political points that won’t upset the boat.

    I have to ask, if the zoning board is controlled by certain interests and they are prone to political pressures on a visiable public issue that has good hearted liberals fighting against them, what happens in other sectors that are ignored or not supported by “liberals”?

  2. kent strock says:

    Bodenhafer the ultimate Republican Party Stoolie…I am sure he as is green as Daniels.

  3. Phil Marx says:

    I think it would be really funny if some of the parties who opposed this development banded together to file a similar lawsuit – against the Commission members who voted in favor of it.

  4. Phil:

    What agreat idea! And why not? If the powers who want this subsdivision can file a lawsuit against the sane commission members then why couldn’t those who have an interest in Cedar Creek and its preservation file an action against those who didn’t do their duty by failing to vote to protect the area and manage the issue in tandem with the Plan-It Allen suggestions, as the Commission is required to do.

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