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Trustees to scrutinize township zoning map

JACKSONTOWN – Secondyear Trustee Joe Hart will continue to lead Licking Township Trustees in 2009.

Hart was unanimously reelected as president at Monday night’s reorganizational meeting. Before the vote, Hart offered to step aside to give Trustees Dave Miller or Joe Cooper more visibility during the last year of their terms. Cooper, who is moving to Tennessee when his home sells, isn’t expected to run for reelection in November.

“You bring a different approach to the board,” Miller told Hart. “I think it’s (Hart’s selection) the best choice,” Cooper added. Miller will be vice president of the board.

It will be business as usual in 2009 for the trustees. Regular meetings will continue at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the Licking Township Fire Station #3 on Jacksontown Road (Ohio 13). If it is a legal holiday, the meeting will be pushed back 24 hours to 7 p.m. on the following Tuesday.

Miller will continue to have primary responsibility, backed up by Hart, for township roads and the road crew. Cooper will be the board’s liaison with the two zoning boards. Hart will be the fire department coordinator with Miller as backup.

During their regular meeting, trustees unanimously agreed to take a pass on three properties that failed to sell when auctioned for back taxes. Two properties were in Edgewater Beach and the other was in Avondale. Hart said none of the three properties could serve as a public park or really anything that would benefit even a few residents. He noted that adjoining property owners weren’t interested enough to submit a bid.

Fire Company Chief Mike Wilson told trustees he would submit his report for December at the next meeting. The company made a total of 1,031 runs in 2008, up 90 runs from 2007.

Wilson presented a fire contract for 2009 from Bowling Green Township Trustees. The township contracts with three fire departments for fire/EMS services. Licking Township made 86 runs to its designated territory in 2008, down from 101 in 2007. Wilson said the 2009 contract is for $29,000, up $4,500 from last year’s contract. That’s an increase of about $1,000 – 2,000 over last year’s receipts, Wilson said. Bowling Green basically divides its fire levy income by three. Last year’s payment exceeded the contract amount. Trustees unanimously accepted the 2009 contract.

Cooper briefly outlined a plan to correct the township’s zoning map. “I don’t believe this map is entirely accurate,” he said. He referenced some lots on Lake Shore Boulevard and in Jacksontown that are shown as commercial on the map that he believes are in error.

“I don’t think we have the authority to arbitrarily make any changes,” Hart said. Cooper agreed, but said the changes wouldn’t be arbitrary. We would be correcting engineering drawings and inaccurate interpretations, he added. “My suggestion is to clean up this map,” Cooper added. Hart questioned why work on the map now while the township’s zoning commission is still considering a full-scale revision.

“We have inaccuracies and improper interpretations on that map,” Cooper said. “We need to clean it up.” He anticipates submitting a map change revision based on their investigations. Some township zoning records are missing which could make some investigations difficult, if not impossible. Hart doesn’t have a problem correcting engineering drawings, but any changes or corrections will have to be evidence-based.

Trustees next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Monday, January 19 is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday.

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