Sylvania Township News
Sylvania Township News, August 28 2020
by Mike Jones
(click to see the last news update)
Sylvania News

BILLBOARD  August 27, 2020
The Lucas County Plan Commission has voted to recommend against a proposed amendment to the Sylvania Township Zoning Resolution which could allow for a billboard to be erected at Central Park West.

The billboard suggested would be what is known as “off-premise” meaning its advertising would not be limited to businesses located at the site.

Daryl Graus, manager of the Sylvania Township office of planning and zoning, said the township does allow for some off-premise signs, but they are limited to 15 ft. in height with a sign face no greater than 72 sq. ft.

The amendment requested by JPM Holdings, LLC would allow for a sign of 32 ft. in height with a  face of up to 382 sq. ft.

The county plan commission staff noted that in 2016 Sylvania Township began to discourage pole-mounted signs in favor of lower profile monument signs. The staff also noted studies have suggested that billboards have “secondary negative effects on surrounding property values.”

The staff recommendation was for the commission to recommend against approval of the proposed amendment.

The staff noted that, “recent measures have been taken to reduce the visual blight of non-monument style signage in Sylvania Township.” 

Zoning Resolution  August 27, 2020
The number of classifications in Sylvania Township’s Zoning Resolution for residential development and use is likely to be reduced as a result of the ongoing update of the resolution, according to Daryl Graus, manager of the township planning and zoning office.

Mr. Graus gave a brief update on the project at a recent meeting of the Sylvania Zoning Commission after its members had been furnished with a memo produced by Reveille Ltd. which suggested reducing and streamlining residential township zoning categories.

He asked commission members to forward any thoughts or concerns they might have on the proposals.

A revision of the zoning resolution began almost a year ago when township trustees approved a contract with Reveille to update and, where possible, simplify the document.

Mr. Graus also cautioned that the memo is preliminary.

In making recommendations, Reveille said they had considered the zoning regulations of nearby townships and of other Ohio townships with similar demographics to Sylvania Township and others which are near large cities.

Reveille is suggesting that some residential zoning districts permit lots which are slightly smaller than currently allowed. That change, Reveille said in a memo, may allow developers to increase the number of lots on a given property.

The memo from Reveille notes that allowing slightly more dense development may also encourage construction of “missing middle housing.”  That is housing, according to Reveille, that is attractive to both young professionals and older residents interested in downsizing, but remaining in Sylvania Township.

As an example, the consultants pointed to zoning districts A-4 and R-A.

The largest single difference in the categories is the overall lot area.   The A-4 designation requires a lot area of 15,000 sq. ft., while R-A requires 12,000 sq. ft.  The recommendation is to maintain the standards as they exist for the R-A designation.

While there are similar examples that would reduce the number of residential categories, another part of the memo suggests adding a designation which would be at least partially residential.

The memo notes that Sylvania Township does not have a designation for a district designed for a mixture of residential and commercial.

Although the township does allow for such a development in what is known as a Planned Unit Development, Reveille suggests that with certain guidelines the township develop a mixed-use zoning category.

The consultants also suggest that Sylvania Township may want to consider increasing height limits on new construction to create a competitive advantage over nearby communities.  Reveille suggests that the limit of 45 ft. in some districts be increased to 60 ft., and where the limit is 60 ft., consideration be given to an increase to 75 ft.

Mr. Graus told the commissioners that the consultant and his office are continuing to work on the revision to make it easier to use as well as update definitions in the resolution.

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