Writer says village is ignoring concerns about development
Buckeye Lake's Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Tuesday March 4, was sparsely attended, but spawned a few issues that created contentious atmosphere:
ISSUE ONE: Slocum Road water issues were discussed and Mayor Frank Foster continues to maintain the flooding has not been created by the Epcon developer in spite of being told on February 6 that three people who live in the neighborhood have never seen the volume of water rushing from the Epcon development as they have in the last fivemonths. William Hubbard and David George were at the BZA meeting and recited their observations for the record. Additionally, Mr. Hubbard mentioned that two of his neighbors have had homes on Slocum for 30 years and they have never experienced the conditions that have occurred recently.
On Feb. 6, I gave Mayor Foster the names and telephone number of three people aware of the existing conditions; he sent me an e-note saying he would call them that night. He never called them! However, two of them were at the BZA meeting.
Has anyone from the Village told the Epcon developer, who wants to be a "good neighbor," that they could appease the Slocum Road residents by repairing the problematic drain? Certainly, if that were accomplished the Slocum Road residents would not feel like step children.
ISSUE TWO: The cell tower at the south end of Hunts Landing Road is to be moved about 130 feet to the west from Licking Township to the Village of Buckeye Lake. The proposed location will create additional noise and discomfort to nearby Village residents from the vibration when the generator goes on after electric goes off in the area.
Mayor Foster's contention is the cell tower provider is a "public utility" and cell towers can be placed wherever the cell tower provider can negotiate an agreement with a property owner. The fact is the PUCO does NOT control cell phone providers and cell phone providers are NOT a public utility. Some aspects of cell phone companies are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission. Mayor Foster was asked by Mr. George if a cell tower could be placed on land owned by the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club if a cell provider could negotiate a favorable transaction. Mayor Foster said "Yes, however I wouldn't like it" (dah!). Additionally, Mayor Foster said the Village Solicitor weighed in on this issue and said: "The Village could not deny the relocation of the cell tower".
Municipalities throughout Ohio in general restrict cell towers to "M" zoned property, agriculturally zoned property, some commercially zoned property and rural sites. Cell towers are prohibited in residentially zoned areas. Buckeye Lake Village development director's vast experience and exposure to good zoning standards should have pointed this out. New Albany placed a cell tower on top of lights at the football stadium. What a creative idea! Could the problematic cell tower be located on top of the intended water tower to be built on land owned by the Village near Mill Dam Road and East Street? The Village could use the money!
I'll conclude by noting Karen Cookston took umbrage to comments made about the Village's BZA and administration facilitating the Epcon development at the expense (or overlooking the current residence's concerns) about the above issues and the alignment continuation of Slocum to connect with Hunts Landing Road rather than what was initially proposed at public meetings in January 2007. There are other details that could be covered . . . possibly at another time.
The big picture being viewed around Buckeye Lake is the village has been an enabler, while overlooking numerous aspects of the Epcon development. Looking beyond one's own interest with an open mind is necessary for balanced thinking and decision making. George O'Donnel Buckeye Lake