A businessman's request to rezone about seven acres on Airport Highway near Eber Road for a new construction venture was approved last night despite “no” votes by two of Springfield Township's three trustees.
Trustee Marylin Yoder voted to support the zone change sought by Frank Almister at 10105 Airport Hwy. Trustees Susan Meek and Bob Bethel voted “no,” but only one vote was needed for passage.
The two dissenting trustees opposed the zoning change from residential to light industrial without an adjoining parcel that directly fronts on Airport being rezoned for light industrial usage. That smaller parcel, which Mr. Almister has an option to buy, is zoned C-2 commercial.
“The [township] master plan does not call for commercial,” Mr. Bethel said.
Despite assurances from George Oravecz, representing Mr. Almister, trustees fear commercial development might eventually occur at the site.
“We do nave congestion problems on Airport from I-475 to Holloway Road,” he said. “I don't think the community wants that for the rest of Airport Highway.”
Mr. Almister intends to build an office and warehouse that will house a business that installs portable classrooms for schools, Mr. Oravecz said.
In zoning matters such as this, in which the township's zoning board recommended approval of the zoning change, Ohio law governing townships allows one “yes” vote for approval. Similarly, it takes three “no” votes from trustees to reverse a zoning commission recommendation. Al Brogan, township attorney, said he didn't know the state's reasoning for allowing a single vote to prevail in such instances, but it probably has to do with the small size of township boards compared to larger council groups that govern cities and villages.
Mrs. Yoder said she favored the project, noting that other similar “splits” in zoning are allowed in the township.