Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Panel to solve zoning issues for Perrysburg and township

The moratorium regarding Perrysburg's municipal utility overlay district in Perrysburg Township is done, but peace remains between the neighbors.

The reason: An informal, joint committee made up of city and township officials formed recently to iron differences between the two municipalities' zoning codes.

Part of the new zoning code Perrysburg adopted in March includes provisions that require developers in the municipal utility overlay district seeking water and sewer service from the city to do a marketing study and go through a special approval process, including a hearing in front of council, in addition to a site-plan review.

Perrysburg agreed in June to freeze those requirements until Oct. 31, partially to allow time for city and township officials to discover a way to coexist without problems under this code.

The path they chose was to create a committee that would discuss procedures of how each government would conduct site plan reviews and how to handle situations in which one zoning code differs from another.

"Instead of feuding, we decided to civilly work this out," township Administrator John Hrosko said.

Mr. Hrosko and Rob Black, who chairs the township's planning and zoning commission, said a main problem the township faced was changes the city would make to a project after the township had granted its final site plan approval.

The committee - which also includes (from Perrysburg) Mayor Nelson Evans; Administrator John Alexander; Planning Commission Chair Carl Timm; Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Tim McCarthy; and township board of trustees Chairman Bob Mack - determined the city would conduct its site plan reviews before the project was up for approval by the township.

Mr. Black said this was an important agreement because developers working in the joint district would need to apply for a zoning permit through the township.

When part of a project's proposal would violate one municipality's zoning code but not another's, the committee will meet to discuss a compromise. Anything the committee agrees on will be taken back to respective zoning commissions, as well as city council and the township's board of trustees.

"The hope is, in the course of conversation, we would come to a solution that is in the best interest of the city, the township, and the developer," Mr. Alexander said.

The test project for this committee is the new Best Buy building, which is planned for construction on U.S. 20 and Thompson Road. The committee has met to set the aforementioned guidelines, but has yet to convene to settle a discrepancy between codes.

Until such a situation arises, no one will know for sure if the committee is a success.

"We've put together something we think can work for both sides," Mr. Black said. "But we'll never know until we try it."

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