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Trustees scale back zoning changes

JACKSONTOWN – A proposed amendment to the Licking Township Zoning Resolution was scaled back by trustees after Monday night’s public hearing.

The Licking Township Zoning Commission initiated the amendment to update the zoning map to incorporate previously approved zoning amendments and to switch from a mylar based map to a digital map based on specific parcels. The Commission held an informal open house and conducted a formal public hearing to receive public comments.

No one commented on the proposal at either meeting, Zoning Commission chair Dale Wise told trustees during their public hearing. He said some commercial amendments were put on the mylar map with tape with uncertain boundaries. Wise said the Commission went back to the records and defined the specific boundaries.

Trustee President Joe Hart asked Wise if the proposed amendment changes zoning in any areas relative to the current zoning map. Yes, Wise answered, in the area around Jimmy Carter’s Marina. Hart said some property purchased by Rusty Payne designated as commercial on the current map would be changed to the residential by the amendment.

“I feel this board (trustees) should know that in this hearing,” Hart explained.

Wise said his board pulled back the commercial area north of Avondale Drive and running up to the former railroad property based on the documentation available to them and a review of minutes. Hart noted the current zoning map was recorded in 2000. He said investments may have been made on the basis of that map.

“We’re taking away people’s property here that shows commercial,” Hart said. Harbor Hills resident Marshall Eubanks said property owners should be notified of the proposed changes before trustees make a final decision.

“I would not vote for it,” zoning inspector Joe Walker said. “It needs to be cleared up.”

After closing the formal public hearing, Hart said trustees could approve, deny or approve with modifications. “They (the Commission) worked very hard to do the right thing,” he added.

Wise asked Hart about the documentation supporting the extent of commercial zoning on the 2000 map. “The map itself is documentation,” Hart told him.

Hart then moved to modify the proposed map to reflect the extent of commercial zoning in Avondale as shown in the 2000 map. His motion was unanimously approved as was the motion to approve the now modified zoning amendment. “We can’t just arbitrarily change that (commercial zoning),” Hart said.

In other business Monday night, Trustee Dave Miller reported that the township’s new $61,000 pot hole patching unit has arrived. Township employees will be trained on it Wednesday.

Hart recommended holding the check which was up for approval until they verify that everything works. “We’ll wait a week and shake it down,” Trustee Dave Miller said.

Fire Company Chief Mike Wilson reported 93 runs in July – 82 EMS, 8 fire and three dive team. All three dive runs were mutual aid. One was for a boat that sank over the 4th of July weekend and two were to assist Buckeye Lake Police in searching for missing children. Both were found safe.

Miller reported that he is still waiting for final approval of bid specifications for the Hupp Road reconstruction project. He hopes to get it very soon so the project can be advertised for bids. Trustees pushed back their August 16 meeting a week to August 23 in hopes that will allow enough time for contractors to submit a bid to be opened that night. He also reported that a slight miscalculation means that the repaving contract with The Shelly Company has about 60 extra feet of asphalt. He proposed using some of it to widen a portion of the Lake Drive resurfacing project from 12 feet to 14-16 feet. Some of it might also be used to extend asphalt another 10 feet on Terrace Drive.

Miller also discussed the four bids received to remove some trees and their stumps in the Fleatown, Jacksontown and Sanford cemeteries. One of the four was eliminated since the company can’t grind stumps. Millers is still having problems comparing apples to apples on the three remaining bids. He proposed to table the issue until he has a chance to clarify the bids and get some references. “I will revisit all three before the next meeting,” Miller said.

During public comments, Eubanks suggested turning the intersection of Licking Trails and Ridgely Tract into a three-way stop. Traffic on Licking Trails currently has a stop sign, but it is difficult to see approaching traffic on Ridgely Tract. He also asked trustees if they had any new information on when the rusting and overgrown trolley cars will be removed along Lancer Drive. The cars are owned by the Evans Foundation which told trustees some time ago that they have no historical value. Trustees had nothing to report on the subject.

Trustees’ next regular meeting is now set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23 at the Licking Township Fire Company Station 3 on Jacksontown Road (Ohio 13).

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