Zoning change requests being resubmitted

Larry Limpf

News Editor

The Lake Township trustees have agreed to hold a hearing May 16 to decide a zoning change request for a Woodville Road parcel but may opt to rescind the zoning application after residents in the area complained they were not informed of the request.
The next regular meeting of the trustees is scheduled for May 16. Normally, during that meeting, they would hold a hearing to accept or reject the recommendation of the township zoning commission to rezone a 1.3-acre parcel on Woodville Road from B-1 business to M-1 industrial.
American Cold Forge, 5626 Woodville Rd., submitted the request and on April 19 the zoning commission voted in favor of recommending the change to the trustees.
But Richard Welling, a trustee, said the trustees and administration were seeking guidance from legal counsel on the proper format to proceed with rescinding the application.
He said the trustees have heard from residents – many of whom attended the May 2 meeting of the trustees – who were upset they hadn’t received notification of the proposed zoning change submitted by American Cold Forge and a request by another property owner to rezone a 33.3-acre parcel on Woodville Road, east of Bradner Road.
“We will be requesting the property owner (Cold Forge) re-apply for the zoning change at no charge to the property owner because it appears we inadvertently missed notification of some of the adjacent property owners,” Mark Hummer, police chief/administrator, said. “We should err on the side of more notification.”
Hillabrand & Sons Construction has already re-applied for a zoning change to the 33.3-acre parcel, Hummer said.
The new application will be forwarded to the Wood County Planning Commission, asking for a change from R-2 residential to B-3 highway business. The request then will go to the township zoning commission and then the trustees.
“They are going through the whole process again,” Hummer said.
The initial application incorrectly listed the property as having an A-1 agricultural classification and sought a change to M-2 industrial.
The company intends to relocate to the parcel where it plans to construct an office and another building, according to the legal notice published for the first zoning commission meeting.
Paul Lambrecht, who owns a residence and property along Woodville Road across from the parcel, said he was frustrated with the process and not being notified of the zoning request. He said residents should be notified even before the county plan commission considers the application.
“I think the township has been circumventing due process,” he said.
Welling said dealing with zoning issues along Woodville Road has also been frustrating for township officials as some parcels zoned for business or industrial use were grandfathered in when the township zoning resolution was enacted in the early 1960s.
“That’s why we can have an M-1 industrial property next to a residential site,” he said. “It can be a nightmare.”


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