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Published: Monday, 3/5/2001

Planners put their `stamp' on notice of golf course


BOWLING GREEN - Middleton Township trustees don't want constituents complaining they were the last to know about a possible development in their backyards.

So trustees bought a roll of stamps and sent out notices to 66 property owners to let them know the Wood County planning commission would be meeting tomorrow to decide whether to recommend rezoning 485.5 acres for a golf community off West River Road between Roachton and Five Point roads.

“The trustees personally sent those people letters so they could have some input at the planning commission,” said Fred Getz, chairman of the trustees.

By law, the planning commission is not required to notify neighboring property owners of impending hearings, although the township's zoning commission is required to send out notices when the rezoning application comes before it. Frequently, those affected say they wish they'd have known about the earlier meetings.

Mr. Getz said he expects a full house when the planning commission meets at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Wood County office building next to the courthouse. Neighbors are not upset about the development, he said, but many have concerns about the impact on drainage and traffic in the area.

“I think they would rather see a golf course there than high-density housing,” Mr. Getz said. “They're not upset citizens, just concerned neighbors.”

Three property owners - Douglas and Mary Ellen Pratt, James and Darby Kuenzel, and Gerald Moser - have asked that the land be rezoned to R-3, which allows construction of single and two-family residences. Nearly 423 of the 485.5 acres involved currently is zoned agricultural.

The developer, West Valley Development Inc., of Toledo, plans to build an 18-hole public golf course along with 259 single-family homes and 94 two-family homes.

The planning commission will make a recommendation on the rezoning application to the Middleton Township Zoning Commission, which is scheduled to take up the matter at 7 p.m. March 15. Township trustees have the final say on the rezoning.

David Miesmer, director of the planning commission, said that once the land is rezoned, the developer will have to obtain a conditional use permit to build a golf course through the township's board of zoning appeals.

A site plan for the subdivision would then have to go before the Wood County Planning Commission and to the township zoning commission and trustees for approval.

The proposed development sits in the Anthony Wayne school district.

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