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Published: Wednesday, 5/19/2010

Perrysburg Township mulls master plan


In Perrysburg Township, where most land - 63 percent, or more than 14,000 acres - is in agricultural use, farmland preservation is a primary goal, based on a proposed master plan for the township.

During public sessions held as the master plan was being drawn up, community members identified preservation of agricultural land as a major concern.

Following a public hearing last week, the township's zoning commission forwarded the plan to the trustees, who will decide whether to adopt it.

Other goals outlined in the draft version of the plan include:

•Allocate sufficient land for residential development to accommodate anticipated population growth.

•Ensure well-designed neighborhoods with a variety of housing types.

•Determine appropriate zoning for unzoned land (a large segment of the township remains unzoned).

•Create a center for the township community, a public place where people can gather for festivals, events, and other social activities.

During the township zoning commission meeting last week, attended by about a dozen people, John Iacoangeli, principal with Beckett & Raeder Inc. of Ann Arbor, presented an overview of the plan.

This is the first comprehensive master plan proposed for the township, said Grant Garn, zoning administrator, and as far as he knows, Perrysburg Township is the first township in Wood County to develop its own master plan. Wood County has a master plan, which Mr. Garn described as a plan for the county as a whole, in broad brush strokes, compared to "ours, which is more precise. Ours it more fine-tipped."

The master plan was developed in conjunction with Feller, Finch & Associates Inc. of Maumee, and Beckett & Raeder. The township has a $12,000 contract with Feller, Finch and a $67,080 contract with Beckett & Raeder. Feller, Finch is involved with the township's update of its zoning book.

Mr. Garn said he planned to ask trustees this week to set a date for a public meeting on the draft master plan.

During the master-plan process, he was surprised by the number of people who expressed interest in the development of recreational and "stay-healthy" facilities, such as related to places where residents could walk, bike, or use inline skates.

Residents have expressed interest in the development of a recreation area. For the size of the township, "it has little park land," Mr. Garn said.

Residents can read the 89-page document on the township's Web site. Paper copies are available at the township hall.

The plan's purpose is to provide Perrysburg Township with a framework for planning a sustainable future that preserves and improves the community's quality of life.

It identifies key planning issues, such as the designation of areas for certain land uses, farmland preservation, and urban growth zones, and includes strategies to foster community and create a sense of place. The plan also provides data, analysis, and policy recommendations needed to make informed future land use planning decisions.

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