Zoning Commission Recommendation August 18, 2021
The Sylvania Township zoning commission has recommended that township trustees disapprove a zoning change sought by the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District.
The organization is seeking zoning change in order to build a multi-generational community center. They had earlier received a recommendation for the zoning change by the Lucas County Planning Commission. They have also received approval for a conditional use permit from the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
The recreation district is seeking a zoning change from the current professional/business office use to a special zoning district allowing for public or semipublic use. It is meant for “governmental use, recreation, and conservation purposes.”
The staff of the Sylvania Township planning and zoning department recommended against the zoning change, noting that it was inconsistent with the Sylvania Township Land Use Plan and the township zoning resolution.
Daryl Graus, manager of the department, noted that the development of the project would be inconsistent with the business and professional nature of the site in Cobblestone Woods.
The plan is for the construction of a 93,400 sq ft. building on about 13.5 acres on Crossleigh Court in the business subdivision.
The building would include an aquatic center, an indoor turf facility, and a community area with fitness equipment. On the grounds, there is room for a splash pad, playgrounds, and a patio area for the aquatic center.
John Healey, with Miller Diversified, told the commission that he had been representing SAJRD for about two years helping to find a location that would be suitable for the project.
Earlier potential sites were ruled out because they were either too small, not centrally located, or didn’t have sufficient utilities.
The Cobblestone Woods site has all of the needed features and has the additional asset of being immediately south of the University-Parks bicycle trail, he added.
A decision on the rezoning request will be made by the Sylvania Township trustees who are tentatively scheduled to hear the matter on September 7.
2021 Fall Pickups August 17, 2021
It’s time to prepare for the big clean-up.
Monday, September 13 will be the first day of a one-time sweep of Sylvania Township streets to pick up brush that may have accumulated through the summer. It also will be the first day for the collection of unwanted household items.
Rob Nash, superintendent of the roads department, said to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to have all items at the curbside by Sunday night, September 12.
Tree limbs, branches, and other brush should be separated from household items and not left in the street.
He added that the pickup is not meant for lot clearing or tree removal. Accumulated limbs and branches should be no more than 6 ft. in length or 6 inches in diameter.
Sylvania Township has contracted with Archbold Refuse Service Inc for the household item pickup. Those items, too, should be left at the curb.
Items that will be collected are bicycles, bundled books, and papers, rolled carpeting (no longer than five feet), empty containers, and drums.
Also collected will be furniture (any item with legs more than 12 in. should be separated from the item), appliances without refrigerants, mattresses, and box springs, miscellaneous (non-hazardous) loose material placed in disposable containers and toys.
The annual leaf collection is scheduled to begin on October 12.
Permits to Date August 11, 2021
Permits for the construction of single-family houses in Sylvania Township are well above the number of such permits issued at the same six-month point compared to last year.
Permits issued during the first six months of this year have totaled 71, compared to the 49 issued at the same time in the previous year.
Using last year, of course, is a comparison skewed by the uncertainty created by the coronavirus which slowed most development.
Nevertheless, the most recent year in which more permits were issued in the first six months was in 2018 when 85 had been issued.
The Sylvania Township office of planning and zoning keeps an unofficial eye on the number of single-family housing permits issued with an eye toward reaching 100 annually as a sign of solid development.
Despite the reduced pace in issuing those permits after the pandemic struck, last year’s total reached 106, and 2019 ended at 100. The year 2018 ended with a robust 123 single-family housing permits issued.
Proposed Property Maintenance Code August 9, 2021
A proposal for establishing a property maintenance code has been submitted to the Sylvania Township trustees for their consideration.
The code is meant to address such exterior property issues as broken windows, holes or breaks in exterior walls, and the general condition of chimneys, roofs, and other factors.
Daryl Graus, manager of the Sylvania Township planning and zoning department, said the proposed code was developed in response to a survey taken in preparing the township’s new land-use plan.
He said 57 percent of those taking the survey favored a property maintenance code while 38 percent were opposed. Others did not note a preference.
Mr. Graus said the code doesn’t cover such things as issues with plumbing or electrical service but are generally limited to the upkeep and appearance of structures in the township.
He added that if it is adopted by the trustees, there is no plan to add personnel to increase inspections.
Although the trustees set no specific date, they said the matter would be revisited in about 90 days.
Mr. Graus said the proposed property maintenance code is on the Sylvania Township website and its Facebook page.
He added that there will likely be a public meeting set for community comments or questions before the matter is decided by the trustees.
The trustees are looking for community input and any comments or questions can be directed to Mr. Graus at DGraus@sylvaniatownship.com.
Conditional Use for SAJRD August 3, 2021
The Sylvania Area Joint Recreational District has been granted a conditional use permit for the construction of a recreation and community center by the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
The permit is only applicable in an S-1 zoning district and SAJRD has applied for a change to that zoning classification. That issue will be heard by the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission on Aug. 11. Their recommendation will be considered by the Sylvania Township trustees when they are tentatively scheduled to consider the zoning change at their meeting on Sept. 7.
The plan considered by the board of zoning appeals calls for the construction of a 93,400 sq .ft. building on about 13.5 acres on Crossleigh Court in the Cobblestone Woods business subdivision.
The building would include an aquatic center, a gymnasium for court sports, an indoor turf facility, and a community area with fitness equipment.
Outside the building, there is room for a splash pad, playgrounds, and a patio area for the aquatic center.
Daryl Graus, manager of the Sylvania Township planning and zoning office, said the office recommended against approval of the permit, primarily citing that the center would be inconsistent with the current nature of the business and professional park and that it is inconsistent with the township’s land-use plan and zoning resolution.
He did note that interest was shown for a community center/indoor pool in a survey taken to develop the land use plan, but no location was suggested.
Letters were supplied to the board by SAJRD from adjacent businesses to the proposed site and from Sylvania Schools, which owns Southview High School just to the north, all in support of the project.
The board attached conditions to its approval, which had been sought by Mr. Graus. SAJRD must submit a detailed site plan including landscaping and fencing details. They also must combine, through the Lucas County Auditor’s office, the five lots the proposed center would occupy into one.
The Lucas County Plan Commission had earlier recommended approval, although its staff had recommended against it largely on the same grounds cited by Mr. Graus.
2021 Halfway Fiscal Mark August 3, 2021
At the halfway mark in Sylvania Township’s fiscal year, the township’s budget is in good shape, according to a report submitted to the township trustees, by Dave Simko, township fiscal officer.
Mr. Simko praised department heads and “really, all the employees for keeping expenditures in mind and trying to reduce them where possible.”
The township’s revenue is relatively predictable because of its tax base, “but where we can benefit the overall budget is in watching our spending,” Mr. Simko said.
He noted that on the expenditure side of the ledger, each major department was under the 50 percent that would have been expected at the end of six months.
The general fund has spent about $820,000, or 44 percent of its annual budget, and there have been about $832,000 in expenditures from the road and bridge fund or about 30 percent of its budget for the year.
Expenditures from the police fund totaled about $3.9 million at the end of June, about 47 percent of its expected costs for the year, and expenditures from the fire department fund through the six-month period totaled a little over $5 million, also at 47 percent.
Mr. Simko pointed out that the departments coming in under the anticipated 50 percent is an “aspect consistent with prior years.”
He reiterated his praise for what he sees as a team effort in keeping expenses down and added that the process in establishing annual budgets is relatively strict.
He said he knows of places where budget figures can be inflated so that it’s not hard to come in under budget, “but we don’t do that. Department heads have to convince us of the need for some expenses. It can lead to some negotiations.
“So when they report they are under budget, it means something,” he said.