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Published: Wednesday, 6/17/2009

Image input sought from Perrysburg Township residents

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg Township residents are being asked to sit back and picture themselves enjoying a cup of coffee in the year 2020. What images would they see around them that would be most pleasing?

That question and others will be posed to residents who take part in a series of three communitywide visioning sessions that are the first step toward the creation of a master plan for the township.

The first session is set for 7:30 p.m. June 17 at the W.W. Knight Preserve, 29530 White Rd. Sessions also will be held at 6:30 p.m. June

25 at Penta Career Center, 9301 Buck Rd. and at

6:30 p.m. June 30 at the township's Public Safety Building, 26711 Lime City Rd.

"We want the residents to feel that they're a part of the process of shaping their community long-term," said Trustee Bob Mack. "It's one thing for Wood County to have a land use plan, but we are a subsection of county government and maybe on a more microbasis we need to have land use planning."

Trustees have hired Ann Arbor-based Beckett & Raeder, Inc. to complete the master plan at a cost of $67,000. The firm will lead the visoning sessions where everything from density and business mix to green space and traffic will be on the table.

"It gives people an opportunity to say, 'Here's what we think should go in a certain area and here's what we envision going in a certain area. Is this an area that should be industrial or should it be housing subdivisions? Should it be left as farmlands?' " said Grant Garn, township zoning administrator. "It gives an idea of where you think growth should happen."

He said residents also may want to talk about issues such as historic preservation in light of the uproar that resulted last year after an 18-room manor house on East River Road that was built in 1927 by Carrie Ross Ford, widow of Libbey-Owens-Ford's Edward Ford, was sold and then demolished.

"[Residents] might say we would like to look into having an historic district put in somewhat like the city of Perrysburg's district," Mr. Garn said.

Feller, Finch & Associates of Maumee, which will work with Beckett & Raeder, also has been retained to update the township's zoning resolution at a cost of $12,000, Mr. Garn said.

In the 40-square-mile township, issues related to land use planning are complicated by the fact that about half of the township remains unzoned, Mr. Mack said.

"Without zoning, we lack the authority to rule on land use patterns in unzoned areas," he said.

The master plan, while not enforceable as law, provides a guide for growth and development. Mr. Mack said that even with the lack of zoning in much of the southern portion of the township, a comprehensive plan still is worth having.

"It's something that in the event that we can successfully pass a zoning initiative some day, it will certainly be something we can have as a model for what we want to look like when we grow up," he said.

Township voters have been asked several times to approve zoning in the unzoned areas, but the idea has been repeatedly rejected, most recently in 2002.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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