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Published: Thursday, 1/29/2004

Northwood to update land plan

BY JACK BAESSLER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Before Northwood can update its land-use plan, city officials must settle on the size and makeup of the committee or committees that will attempt to complete the year-long project.

Differences over the committee structure between Mayor Mark Stoner and Council President David Gallaher will get closer scrutiny next month since it came to a head at last week s City Council meeting.

An initial meeting of the master plan review committee last week attracted about 16 people.

Mr. Gallaher said it was his preference that a single committee of about 25 residents and city officials sort through ideas to improve on land-use, parks and recreation, transportation, public safety, and other topics.

“It would be easier to keep the group together so everyone has input on the ideas all along,” he said.

But Mayor Stoner disagreed, saying two dozen people is just too small a group.

“Limiting it to 25 individuals isn t giving very many people participation,” he said. He favors about 40 people divided among a half-dozen working committees.

The mayor said the split over the committee structure can be worked out. As mayor, he will recommend appointments to the committee that are subject to approval of the council, he said.

The city s master plan was adopted in 1992 and sets forth what type of development is preferred as the city grows.

An update is needed to take into account area highway expansion and changes, including the Maumee River Crossing bridge that lies just north of the city and is under construction.

“The bridge is going to be a tremendous asset or liability, depending on how we act,” Mr. Gallaher said.

Improved transportation the bridge is expected to offer could spur business development in Northwood. “It can bring people here but we have to make it easy for them to get around once they are here.”

Planning for it could help the city avoid the traffic congestion that was once commonplace along Airport Highway in Springfield Township, he said.

The next meeting of the master plan review committee will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Northwood City Hall.



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