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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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The Lake Township Zoning Commission has been directed to again hear a zoning request after improperly discussing it in executive session during its January meeting.

        Mark Hummer, township administrator, said he’s calling for the commission to reconsider the request after determining the Ohio Revised Code doesn’t allow commission members to go into executive session.

        The commission had voted to recommend a zoning certificate request by Jim Mlynek, the owner of two Woodville Road parcels, be turned down. He is seeking a change from R-2 residential to B-2 general commercial. The owner of Woodville Road Nursery, Mlynek has been using the property as a transfer station for piles of leaves that he composts at his nursery on the other side of Woodville Road.

        His request is opposed by residents of Bailey Road, who voiced concerns about odors and possible drainage problems from the site.

        The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued a permit to Mlynek to use the property as a temporary holding area for the leaves but that doesn’t preclude the township from deciding whether or not the owner has met requirements for stormwater controls and buffers, according to an opinion from Phil Dombey, township solicitor.

        Hummer said he consulted with the Wood County prosecutor’s office about the commission convening in executive session.

        “I don’t think the commission was intentionally doing anything wrong. I think they just decided to discuss it without a lot of people staring at them. But there is no provision for them to go into executive session,” he said.

        The township trustees had scheduled a hearing during their March 6 regular meeting to consider the commission’s recommendation but that hearing will be postponed, Hummer said, until after the zoning commission reconsiders Mlynek’s application.

        He said he expects the commission to place the matter on its April meeting agenda.

        The Ohio Revised Code allows some public bodies the right to adjourn from their regular open meetings to discuss some issues such as contract negotiations and personnel matters behind closed doors.

        Mlynek would still have the option of taking his request to court if the trustees reject his request.

 

 

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