A developer’s application to re-plat a Lake Township subdivision that was submitted in April of last year to the Wood County Planning Commission may finally be decided now that the county prosecutor’s office has weighed in on the matter.
DMWW Properties LLC submitted the request for parcels in the Freedom Estates subdivision, asking the planning commission to approve re-platting two residential lots covering about 1.66 acres. The developer also requested a variance for an open green space in the subdivision equal to about 80 percent of what is required under the county’s regulations for subdivisions.
The subdivision is located to the east of Bradner Road, north of Woodville Road/Bradner intersection.
The developer also sought to convert a “dry” detention pond into a retention pond but whether that project could proceed depended on who actually owned the pond – a question that was posed to the prosecutor after residents raised concerns about the project.
Dave Steiner, commission director, said Thursday the commission has received a legal opinion from the prosecutor that the developer owns the pond.
“It’s up to the developer at this point,” Steiner said. “If they want to do anything with the pond they’re not going to have to submit another re-plat to the planning commission but would have to get a zoning permit from the township.”
The developer’s request to split the open space into two lots would have to go back before the planning commission, Steiner said, citing the prosecutor’s opinion.
The commission had given its preliminary approval to the revisions, with the stipulation several concerns raised during the April meeting be addressed.
The developer submitted a request for final approval but at the planning commission’s August meeting, Steiner informed the commission that issues still needed to be addressed, including ownership of common areas and the detention pond, according to minutes of the meeting.
Maintenance of open space and storm drainage also needed clarification and Steiner distributed a letter from David Miesmer, Lake Township’s zoning inspector, who raised questions about the use of the open space, a floodplain, and lot configurations.
Several residents raised concerns during the August meeting, including two Walbridge Road residents who said they were concerned about Ayers Creek flooding.
Although there are no wetlands on the property, a portion of the creek’s 100-year floodplain sits in the subdivision, Steiner informed the commission’s board.
Randy St. John, of E. Freedom Drive, told the commission the owner’s certificate indicates property owners in the subdivision owned an interest in the open space. He told the commission he was also concerned about excavating work on the pond and possible flooding.
The township trustees this past summer issued a stop work order on the pond.
Residents also raised questions about where their property lines were and how far utility easements extended.
Brian Retar, an engineer hired by DMWW, told the commission the retention pond could be redesigned if residents didn’t want it on their property, but said it would improve drainage, according to meeting minutes.
The commission voted in August to deny the re-plat and directed Steiner to seek the opinion of the prosecutor’s office on ownership and other questions.
In September, Steiner reported to the commission he attended a meeting with the developer, county engineer, and prosecutor’s office and it was decided the ownership issue should be resolved before the development could proceed.
Unsold lots in the subdivision were conveyed to DMWW last year.