As Lake Township slowly proceeds with putting a nuisance abatement policy in place, a township trustee Tuesday said a new policy won’t be used for many property maintenance issues like those encountered in housing subdivisions and municipalities.
Richard Welling said most subdivisions in the township have or allow homeowner associations that can implement property maintenance rules and others have deed restrictions that have a similar function.
Welling said he’s been contacted by a few residents with questions, including a two-page letter from a farmer, with concerns about the proposed policy that had its first reading in August.
The trustees took up the issue after residents voiced complaints about noxious weeds and similar problems at residential and commercial properties in the township.
The policy adopts sections of the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to nuisance abatement and establishes a process to notify property owners and offer them time to correct a problem before taking legal action.
Welling said the trustees have fashioned the policy after one in Perrysburg Township and it won’t affect farming practices, which are covered by regulations enforced by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“The nuisances that the township is aiming for are, typically threats, or possible threats to the health, safety and welfare of township residents,” Welling said. “Such as an abandoned house which is structurally unsafe or a resident who has created a scrap metal junk yard on their property.”
He said there are such properties currently in the township.
The trustees also want to avoid neighbor disputes cloaked in nuisance abatement complaints, Welling said, adding that whenever possible, enforcement of determined nuisances will be handled by the Wood County Health Department or Wood County prosecutor’s office and Perrysburg Municipal Court.
The trustees will continue to seek public input on the policy, which Welling described as a work in progress.
In other business, the trustees, on the recommendation of new Fire Chief Bruce Moritz, approved the promotions of two members of the fire department. Assistant district chief Raymond Lee and Lt. David Henninger were promoted to battalion chiefs.
Chief Moritz said the battalion chief rank was established to show that the township is served by one fire department and de-emphasize the department’s districts.
With the battalion chiefs in place, the chief said he will meet with command officers to review department policies and procedures.
The trustees also approved the re-hiring of Scott Ousky as a probationary firefighter. Ousky had been a member of the department before moving from the township.
He will be on probation for one year.