Zoning public hearing by Catawba Island Township Trustees was held December 15,2003 in the conference room with all present; also Pat Cerny, Joe Svete and 16 residents (list attached).
Chairman Gary Mortus opened the hearing by reviewing Application 7632 to rezone approximately 65 acres at 1902 Northeast Catawba Road from “A” to “R-E” filed by Svete Family Limited Partnership. Ottawa Regional Planning Commission recommended rezoning and Zoning Commission disapproved rezoning the property.
Joe Svete stated he appreciated the time spent on this and has only two comments. First the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission recommended Zoning for low density. Second comment is this will be done in partnership with the Township and the owner whereby nothing could be done as far as density, design or type of construction without the approval of the Trustees. Changes could not be made without Township approval so once it is approved the Township would maintain and control the development of this particular property.
Terri Lasco, president of Island Pines Association, speaking for all home owners in the allotment are not too anxious to look out their back doors and see two homes per acre or storage unit so are very opposed to this project. Concerned about density and opposed to developing the property as there is a lot of wildlife.
Mr. Svete stated the Township Trustees will make a determination on density and whatever can be included in a Planned Unit Development.
Sally Williams stated since the Land Use Plan was accepted there has been many more houses that have been built and thinks community resources are already being a little stretched. Hate to think of what North
East Catawba Road will look like with this many additional houses on a holiday weekend and therefore I hope this project will be turned down.
Bill Williams stated as he recalls a PUD is between the builder and the Zoning Commission and not the Trustees. Gary stated that is not correct as a Resolution was passed to put a PUD between the builder and the Trustees but it still goes to the Zoning Commission and then the Trustees. This was done to give the public a chance for more input as there would be two public hearings before a decision is made.
Bill Beck requested from the developer what will happen if not approved? Joe stated there are many options and has not idea at this point whick way we would go. This is not in stone yet and is very willing to work with the Board and the community.
Catherine Pfieffer read the letter she wrote to the Board of Trustees stating opposition to the project and the reasons why they are opposed and asking them to vote no on the rezoning of the property.
Meredith Beck stated she attended two Zoning hearings and since this time feels the best opportunity for the community to voice their objections to this big amount of property to be developed would be by referendum. If you uphold the Zoning Commission and deny the request to rezone the property and Mr. Svete can appeal the decision and take it to Court only the Judge would make the decision. If , however, you approve the rezoning the community can file a referendum and give all the voters a chance to either approve or disapprove the rezoning.
Ross Pfieffer asked for clarification that if this goes to referendum and it is turned down by voters is there anything to prevent him from refiling again? This could go on and on again and don’t think the burden should be put on the voters. Bill Rofkar stated that if it is submitted for referendum nothing could be done with that property until it goes to the voters so it would probably go on the general election in November.
Allison Fall stated in assessing this property you should take issue on density in the Township and asked just what are the pros and cons of rezoning this property. Would definitely against the assessments and additional traffic.
Bill Williams stated according to the Zoning Commission they should have one house per acre to be the same as adjoining properties. Would it be possible for the Trustees to approve it by stating it would have to have one house per acre? Bill stated in a PUD you can stick to the guide lines of the Land Use Plan and the Township is in very good position to dictate density and different density in different areas of the property. Just because this would be an RE District plans would have to be submitted for a PUD and we can fine tune everything and will certainly keep with the Land Use Plan about density.
Mrs. Pfieffer asked why a developer would want a PUD? Gary stated a PUD has to be a very distinct plan that shows location of houses, roads, green space, etc. and has to be worked out with the developer and the Board. The developer feels this would be the best way to get rezoning.
Meredith Beck asked if Board would share with us if these conditions have come up before as to going to Court or referendum.
Bob Schroeder stated the Township has been taken to Court by Island Pines and the outcome was in their favor. The other one that went to referendum was voted down and the developer gave the property to the Township and we have a nice park there now. Gary stated we have had two other issues by referendum that were put on the ballot and both were turned down. By going to Court the Judge normally bases it on density and usually favors the developer.
A motion was made by Robert Schroeder and seconded by William Rofkar to close the public portion of the Zoning hearing. All voted aye.
William Rofkar stated since becoming a Trustee one of the fine things that happened for a PUD was giving this Board control of the development and a PUD is very desirable. We can not control subdivisions and can not see how the Township can loose if approving the RE District so this Board would have control over a Planned Unit Development.
Robert Schroeder stated the Land Use Plan is a guide to density and however this goes tonight it should be up to date. Have been involved with zoning on Catawba Island about twenty years and feels it should be approved as RE and leave it up to the residents.
Gary Mortus stated we have had very good developers and none of us will say we are experts on land development and will ask for outside help. It is the Board’s desire to allow open space on Catawba and it is truly a tough job setting on this side of the table. Another thing that is tough is the RE District is going along with the Land Use Plan on density and by going with a PUD we have the most control over the development. Any where in the State of Ohio when the Zoning Commission makes a recommendation to this Board the vote has to be unanimous to over rule the Commission.
Bill stated the Vineyards is a PUD and when they submitted their plans we requested one hundred foot bumper between them and the neighbors. Control was completely in our hands and if not a PUD we could not rule on wildlife or density.
A motion was made by Robert Schroeder and seconded by William Rofkar to approve rezoning from “A” to RE as requested on Application 7632 filed by Svete Family Partnership. The vote: G. Mortus-aye,
W. Rofkar-aye, R. Schroeder-aye.
Gary stated the unanimous vote over rules the Zoning Commission but does not go into effect for thirty days (January 14, 2004).
Robert Schroeder made a motion to adjourn. William Rofkar seconded and all voted aye.