2007-12-08 / News

What's 'junk' in Union Township?

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON- What's considered to be "junk" in Union Township?

Union Township Trustees, the township zoning board and Eric Fox from the Licking County Prosecutors Office will meet Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m. to decide. Trustee Jack Justice said Monday night during the trustees' regular meeting that he looked into Buckeye Lake Area Civic Association President Merv Bartholow's request to remove junk vehicles from two Union Township properties according to township zoning. Justice said the current township zoning isn't much help.

It definesa "junk" vehicle as being worth less than $200 and currently the zoning inspector's access to properties with junk vehicles is highly restricted. Considering the high value of scrap metal these days, said Justice, a car door is probably worth more than $200, and if the zoning inspector can't enter a property to confirmthat the vehicles are officially junk, then not much can be done. In one of the cases Bartholow cited, the property has old well drilling equipment which may not be covered under the township's current zoning.

Justice said the township can adopt legislation to give its zoning rules more "teeth," but the legislation may have some aspects that could be a problem for the township, which is why he recommended calling the special meeting and invited Fox. "We need to use a little precaution," he said.

In other township news:

• Officersof the Buckeye Lake Eagles are unhappy their club may need to tie onto a Licking County public sewer line to the tune of $92,000, including a $62,000 capacity fee. Eagles trustee Larry Kaufman said the club's septic system is aging and may need to be upgraded. However, the Environmental Protection Agency wants the Eagles to abandon its septic system and tie onto the public line if any change is made to the existing septic system. Eagles members are particularly upset about being asked to pay $11,000 to run a sewer line beneath Ohio 37 to attach to the public line. "Why give us all the costs?" asked Kaufman.

He said that others believe the county should run the sewer line to the Eagles club, and he was asking the Union Township trustees if they thought the county was taking advantage of the Eagles.

"The capacity fee sounds unusually high, but it's actually not," said Justice. He asked how many people frequent the Eagles club. Kaufman said about 300, but it's rare that all the members are there at once. Justice said the building's sewer system would need to be able to accommodate 300 people.

Justice said the township trustees would look into the situation and findout if there's anything they can do to help the Eagles.

"I guess we're just looking for a little support," said Eagles trustee Herman Foster.

Slater said after the meeting that the EPA couldn't force the Eagles to close their doors if they don't comply with its request, but the EPA could finethe Eagles to the point where it would be impossible for the club to operate.

Licking County Water and Wastewater Director Kevin Eby was not available for comment.

• The trustees scheduled a time to vote on a zoning change for a five-acre parcel at 3570 National Road from agriculture to business, but there's no suspense. The zoning hearing was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 26, during the trustees' end of the year meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Trustee Jesse Ours said he couldn't be there for the meeting, but Justice and Slater both agreed they were in favor of the zoning change, which was approved by the township zoning board. Since it only takes two trustees to approve a zoning change recommended by the township zoning board (all three trustees must vote to overturn a recommendation from the zoning board), the trustees will hold the meeting without Ours.

• Fallen Ash Drive was dedicated as a township road and now receives township services, such as snow plowing.

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