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Liberty Township Trustees discuss property use

BALTIMORE- Two of the three Liberty Township Trustees believe that the township owns too many properties although, admittedly, they’re not sure what to do with the extra land.

“I don’t think a township needs three pieces of property,” said Trustee Tim Linkhorn during Monday night’s trustees meeting. The township owns the township hall in Baltimore, a township garage and officesat 2060 Baltimore Reynoldsburg Road, and a storage facility across the street from the 2060 property. Linkhorn said the trustees originally planned to have public meetings in the 2060 Baltimore-Reynoldsburg Road property, but somehow that got sidetracked.

Trustee Nancy Montell said HydroMaster Seeding Co. owner Bob Richardson may lease the storage facility land across the street from the 2060 property. But, neither Linkhorn or Trustee Ivan Ety thought that was likely. The 12 year old HydroMaster company operates in a residential zone. Richardson’s request for a conditional use to maintain operation of his business within the residential zone was denied by the Liberty Township Board of Zoning Appeals March 6 and Richardson will be required to relocate his business or shut it down.

Zoning Administrator Tom Spring said the board of zoning appeals will meet soon to approve the minutes of the March 6 meeting, which legally may allow Richardson to proceed with an appeal to FairfieldCounty Common Pleas Court, if he wishes.

Ety wondered why the township needs to do anything with the properties. “It’s not costing us a dime,” he said. “What did we buy the land for?” Ety reminded Montell she “signed the check” to purchase the 2060 property.

Dave C. Keller, road department manager, said until the trustees figure out what they want to do with the properties, they “can’t just say we don’t need three properties.” The property across from the 2060 building contains cinder and salt bins.

Linkhorn said the township formed a citizens’ advisory committee to address such issues when he and Montell took office,but the committee folded because “too many people wanted to make it a political thing.” He said Wednesday that he’s very interested in revisiting the concept of forming a citizens’ advisory committee. Currently, the land use committee fills that role to an extent, he said, but he’d like to gather a group of people who represent all areas of the township, who would address a broad range of topics. “I think it’s great to get feedback from people,” said Linkhorn.

In other Liberty Township news:

+ The trustees appointed Barbara Sellers to the township zoning board. Sellers is the former alternate member who is replacing late zoning board member Charlie Wright. Linkhorn and Montell appointed resident Scott Wray as the alternate zoning board member. Ety nominated former trustee David L. Keller, but was outvoted.

Linkhorn was clear the trustees meant no disrespect toward Wright, who very recently passed away, by filling his position quickly. The township, he said, has several hearings soon and the zoning board needs to be complete. The trustees plan to pass a posthumous resolution of gratitude for Wright’s service to the township. “It’s a thankless job,” said Linkhorn.

Ruth Crutcher was appointed as secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals and will replace Deb Barte, who is stepping down. Barte may remain as secretary to the township zoning commission.

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