2012-01-21 / News

Police, zoning move into new complex

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP – It’s official. All of Union Township’s administrative functions have finally moved into the Union Township Complex on Beaver Run Road. The former offices on Refugee Road have been vacated. “We’re up and running,” said Union Township Administrator Paula Greene Tuesday. Greene, who functions as the township’s zoning administrator and police chief, said the zoning and police departments moved in Jan. 12. The complex is the former Licking Baptist Church and required significant upgrades to provide the security needed for the township police department and record keeping.

Park National Bank and State Farm Insurance employees may recognize some of the office furniture as both donated some surplus fixtures. “Stuff that was retired,” said Greene. It’s been more than a year since the township purchased the complex, but Greene said considering the modifications needed to the old church and the fact that township employees did some of the work themselves, she wasn’t surprised it took as long as it did to move police and zoning to Beaver Run Road.

Trustee Rick Black said there’s still some settling in to be done. “We have some bugs to work out, but we’ll get them,” he said.

In other township news:

• Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to reelect Trustee John Slater as president and Black as vice president.

• Slater said this spring Ridgley Tract Road near Ohio 79 will be closed for a day as paving and other work is completed. “The plan at this point,” said Slater, is to give a week’s public notice before the road is closed and then try to finish all the necessary paving work in one day so the closing’s not as much of an inconvenience. Emergency vehicles would still have access.

• By a 2-1 vote, trustees agreed to rezone a 10-acre parcel of land near the Hebron Kroger store from agricultural to residential. Black and Trustee Jesse Ours voted “yes,” while Slater voted against it. “That doesn’t really fit with the comprehensive plan,” said Slater, adding that the township’s plan calls for more commercial zoning in the area, not residential. He also questioned whether the proposed development is appropriate for the property, but ultimately, said Slater, trustees could only vote on the zoning change at Monday night’s hearing, not what may be constructed there, and the change passed.

Black said the property owner wants to build a house there and the property’s neighbor had no objection to the zoning change or the house. He said the comprehensive plan was created roughly 10 years ago and nothing’s happened on the property in that time, so he didn’t have strong objections to an alternative use for the property. Also, Black said the rezoning is just one step in long line of zoning and access “hurdles” the property owner will need to address. “We’re just one step in the process,” he said.

• Slater said the Jan. 13 snowfall was the first test of the season for Union Township’s road crew. “I think they did a nice job.”

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