Sylvania Township News
Sylvania Township News
by Mike Jones
Zoning; Annexation update; BZA Decision on Little Miracles 
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Zone  January 10, 2020
The two Sylvania Township public bodies concerned with zoning issues have held their organizational meetings for the year.

The Board of Zoning Appeals has elected Don Miller as its chairman, replacing Tim Schlachter. Greg LaManna is replacing Mr. Miller as vice-chairman.

The board will meet at 5 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, with two exceptions. The meeting in March will be on the 4th and the September will be on the 14th.

Officers of the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission will remain the same as last year. Mary Himmelein is chairman and John King continues as vice-chairman.

The commission is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

Both groups meet at the Sylvania Township administration building, 4927 Holland-Sylvania Rd.

Annex  January 10, 2020
Lucas County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. on two petitions from the city of Sylvania in the city’s attempt to annex land from Sylvania Township.

One petition is the city’s attempt to force the annexation of 31 residential properties in the Country Walk area.

That move by the city was the subject of a public hearing in November, where commissioners heard from property owners, nearby residents and township officials who were unanimous in their objection to approving the annexation.

Those effected object to becoming liable for city income tax. They added that they are happy with township services and will gain nothing from annexation to the city.

The only voice in favor was from Leslie Brinning, Sylvania law director, when she introduced the issue.

The city contends that property owners signed a document promising to sign a petition for annexation when they signed up for city water service.

Last month, about 90 minutes before a vote was scheduled by commissioners to decide the issue, the city of Sylvania abruptly withdrew the petition.

It was refiled later the same day, but disrupting the process has caused a second public hearing to be necessary.

Since then, the city has filed another annexation petition. In this, they seek to annex the site of the former Village Inn, at Brint and Holland Sylvania, according to Jody Balogh, clerk of the board of
commissioners.

She said that although the annexation petitions involve different properties it was decided that the issues involved are similar enough that they will both be heard on the meeting of Feb. 18.

County commissioners could decide the issue then or take up to 30 days to render a decision, she added.

The meeting will be in the first floor commissioners’ hearing room at Government Center, Jackson Street, between Erie and Huron.

BZA Decision  January 7, 2020
A  decision by the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals has been upheld in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in a lawsuit which had challenged the BZA action.

The BZA decision upheld the township zoning department’s determination that Kent Riesen and Donna Schroyer-Riesen were using their home, 8752 Slate Ridge Rd. as an extension of Little Miracles, a licensed daycare facility.

The zoning office determination was reached after complaints were received from neighbors concerning noise from children using the pool at the home.

In  July 2018, the couple was cited by the zoning department for operating the facility in an area zoned for residential use.

They operated Little Miracles and regularly brought children from the daycare to their home.

Mrs. Schroyer-Riesen told the board that due to safety concerns at public pools she began to bring 15-20 children to her home to use the pool. A bus from Little Miracles transported the children to the home and lifeguards were hired for the children.

Although the lawsuit argued that the use of the pool on less than a daily basis put it outside the definition of operating day-care facility the BZA determined that it was part of the daily operation of Little Miracles.

Judge Myron Duhart wrote that he “finds this reasoning persuasive” and affirmed the finding.

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