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Whitehouse, Monclova Township: Land-use plans to be updated

Whitehouse and Monclova Township are preparing to update their land-use plans to guide officials in making decisions about development.

Whitehouse applied for a $25,000 community development block grant from Lucas County several months ago, and the county recently agreed to give the village $10,000 to help revise its land-use plan.

Village Administrator Randy Bukas said Poggemeyer Design Group will assist officials in updating the plan. The update will cost between $20,000 and $25,000.

To fund the portion of the land-use plan update not covered by the county's grant, the village will use money from its economic development fund, which contains about $290,000. Village officials also plan to seek several thousand dollars from the Anthony Wayne Community Improvement Corporation, a group that has been inactive for several years but has about $38,000 in assets.

Whitehouse created a land-use plan in 1997 and has never updated it. Mr. Bukas said patterns of development in the village have changed significantly since the plan was made.

"Our residential growth has been accelerating far more than our commercial and industrial growth," he said. "We had outlined some areas for industrial growth that are now being proposed for residential."

Mr. Bukas said one area where ideas about land use have changed is the nearly 60 acres that is the site of the proposed Whitehouse Square development. The land-use plan envisions industrial growth in that area, but developers are planning to put commercial and residential buildings on the site.

The Whitehouse Square development has been stalled for more than a year, but Mr. Bukas said a commercial developer is interested in purchasing the land and is planning to submit plans and a zoning change request to the village planning commission in November.

Whitehouse officials hope to finish the land-use plan update by the end of the year.

"We need to keep up with the plan to make sure we're making good decisions about development," Mr. Bukas said.

Monclova Township has also gone several years without revising its land-use plan, which was created in 1998.

Township trustees voted last month to form a committee to oversee possible revisions to the plan. The committee will have 12 to 18 members including township zoning commission members, trustees, and resident volunteers.

"The committee will look at the land-use plan and determine if it needs to change," township administrator Harold Grim said.

The trustees will select the committee by Feb.1 and intends to have a new version of the land-use plan approved by the end of 2005.

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