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posted: 6/24/2013 5:00 AM

Orchard hasn't been cooperative at all

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In response to Cathy Richardson's letter published June 17, I take issue with her portrayal that the Orchard is trying to "work with neighbors on a solution to their parking problems."

My family bought our dream home on Haddow Court two doors from the church in 1978 and lived there 20 years until we found out that the church had secretly bought the house next door to ours. My wife and I had to initiate meetings with the church to find out that the church had plans to buy up all the properties on the block on which our home was located.

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After getting advice from Arlington Heights village officials, real estate agents, real estate lawyers and financial advisers, we made the decision to sell our home in 1999.

Ms. Richardson's claims that the church is trying to be "neighborly" and to "find a solution." So, I would ask Ms. Richardson how the church is trying to do so when the following are some examples that are completely opposite of her claims:

• The church changed their address from 1331 Belmont to 1330 Douglas to get more favorable zoning. The church is right next to Belmont and very far from Douglas.

• Most of the meetings that have occurred with church representatives and neighbors have either been initiated by the neighbors or required by the village. Full disclosure has not been a characteristic of the church.

• The church asked the current residents of the homes on Haddow Court to vacate by May 31, 2013, even though some residents had children in nearby schools and asked for an extension until school ended.

• The church wanted to build a parking deck on their property which would be totally incompatible with the neighborhood.

These are only a sample of the church's lack of being neighborly. An expanded parking lot and knocking down eight homes in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood is not a solution at all.

Don Rowley

Arlington Heights

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