Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Springfield Township: 2 agricultural reps added by trustees to planning board

Two agricultural landowners were appointed this week by Springfield Township trustees to a steering committee establishing a master plan for the township.

Landowners Paul Hoag and Ted Wohlfarth will sit on the steering committee that will recommend any changes to the master plan.

Trustees decided to make the appointments after a meeting last week with owners of agricultural land who opposed a portion of the nearly completed master plan. That portion, which established restrictions on developing some agricultural land, also has drawn criticism from two of the three trustees.

Mr. Hoag and Mr. Wohlfarth attended the meeting and volunteered to represent the agricultural community on the panel.

The pending master plan was developed over a year and was adopted last summer by members of the board of trustees, but was slowed when considered by the Lucas County Planning Commission.

After Andy Glenn replaced Sue Meek on the board of trustees, the township approval was rescinded and the trustees have begun a process to revise the plan before submitting it again to the planning commission and then to the county commissioners.

Marylin Yoder, chairman of the trustees, said the township should have an updated master plan and that much of the document under consideration is appropriate, but she doesn t approve of a proposed zoning designation known as “development reserve zones.

Those zones would be limited to agricultural use, unless special permission was received for any development on the land.

The plan suggested that the township should be more fully developed before encroachment into the southwest portion of the township, where much of the agricultural property is located.

Mrs. Yoder said she objected to the strict requirements in the zone and said that a property owner would be prohibited from even building a house for a family member on the owner s land.

Trustee Andy Glenn said he viewed the agricultural land as an asset and something of a potential 401K for the owners, and that undue restrictions on future development weren t fair to the owners.

He said that once it is developed, most of it should probably be large-lot homes with one house per acre to preserve a rural feel to the area.


Mr. Glenn added that rather than have that restriction lead to too much uniformity, developers should consider perhaps using 20 acres for 20 houses, but to put them on smaller lots and use the open space creatively.

James Petlow, an area property owner, agreed and noted that there are attractive developments with expensive houses with zero lot lines, and that not everyone who can afford a costly home wants to tend to a large lot.

He noted that with Oak Openings and other holdings of the Toledo Area Metroparks, the township is blessed with a number of areas that will always be open space.

Trustees said the master plan would be considered by the steering committee scheduled to meet March 24.

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