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Published: Wednesday, 5/25/2005

Perrysburg Heights: Zoning change causes concern over unity


The Perrysburg Heights Community Association will receive financial support from Perrysburg Township trustees this year, but neighborhood residents are concerned that a proposed zoning change will undermine efforts to strengthen the community.

The township trustees voted last week to give $3,000 to the community association. The group oversees a community center on Jefferson Street in Perrysburg Heights, east of State Rt. 25 and north of Roachton Road.

"We gave at a level where we felt we had given to similar organizations in the past," said Craig LaHote, chairman of the township trustees.

Mr. LaHote said the trustees received about two dozen letters supporting the Perrysburg Heights Community Association, as well as a few comments from residents who feel the trustees should not give money to a group that focuses on just one neighborhood.

The community center offers programs managed by the YMCA of Greater Toledo, including after-school tutoring sessions for area youth. The center is open to everyone, and the trustees urged the Perrysburg Heights Community Association to do a better job of publicizing its programs to people all over the area.

Representatives of the association asked trustees last month for a $9,000 donation to cover the annual costs of utilities at the community center. Fred Moor, executive director of the association, said the group is grateful for the donation the trustees agreed to make.

"We appreciate anything we can get," he said. "It's been hard for us to come up with all the funds for the expenses we have to meet."

Mr. Moor said the association is planning a golf outing fund-raiser for the fall to collect funds for community center costs.

However, Mr. Moor and other Perrysburg Heights supporters are worried that despite the association's efforts, the neighborhood could be eroded by a zoning change up for a vote by Perrysburg City Council on June 7.

The zoning change would allow a business park to be built along the south side of Roachton Road near Perrysburg Heights. Dozens of residents have attended council meetings in the past few months to object to the development, saying that housing is needed along both sides of Roachton to protect the residential character of Perrysburg Heights.

Developers of the site have offered a compromise to residents by agreeing to provide landscaped open space along Roachton. Residents oppose the revised plan, which includes housing on another portion of the 100-acre development site.

"The Heights community definitely needs that residential buffer on Roachton," Mr. Moor said. "We feel very strongly about that."

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