Trying to avoid a court battle, the Perrysburg Township trustees last night delayed voting on a controversial zoning change for land along Thompson and Neiderhouse roads for another two weeks, scheduling a vote on June 19.
Instead they asked the developer, Miller Diversified, to come back with a plan for the 41 acres northwest of the intersection that would be more palatable to residents than the proposed medium-density subdivision, which would have 88 single-family lots.
The land is currently zoned for agricultural use.
Residents have said the proposal is too dense, with many nearby houses on five-acre lots. Under the proposal, the land along Thompson and Neiderhouse would have low-density residential zoning to provide a buffer for the medium-density lots.
Township attorney John Donahue told residents that if the trustees denied the zoning change and the developer appealed to the Wood County Court of Common Pleas, the trustees' decision would likely be overturned.
The area is surrounded by residential land, near businesses, and the county master plan calls for residences in that area.
On the other hand, Mr. Donahue said, the trustees could modify the rezoning request to a less dense residential area than requested.
While the court might uphold that decision, the developer could work with nearby property owners to get the land annexed into the city of Perrysburg.
"All of a sudden we'd have a Perrysburg peninsula," trustee Bob Mack said.
Whether it faces a court battle or loses land to the city, the township loses, Mr. Donahue said.
Some residents are considering finding their own attorney because they don't feel that their interests are being represented, said Tammy Lajoie, who lives on Neiderhouse Road.
The Wood County Planning Commission recommended turning down the zoning change, and the township zoning commission split 2-2.
A tie is considered a recommendation to not approve the change.
The township trustees must vote unanimously in order to change the zoning.
The county planning commission turned down a similar request for rezoning of the site in the spring of 2005. That proposal would have had 90 single-family homes.