Danbury Township mulls major zoning change

Sep 29, 2021 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Danbury Township is proposing a major rezoning of over 700 residential parcels in 12 general areas. The Township over the spring and summer studied multiple neighborhoods that are zoned Recreational Commercial, or R-C, and whether they should be more appropriately rezoned to High Density Residential, or R-3.

Open Houses were held July and August to allow residents to review the recommendations. More than 60 residents were present and expressed support of the changes overall.

“Ohio does not require the township to notify every property owner since more than 10 parcels are proposed to be rezoned,” said Kathryn A. Dale, AICP, Danbury Township’s Zoning and Planning Administrator. “We’re doing all we can through various forms of media to make people aware of these changes and where we are in the process.”

During the Open House presentations, Dale shared that if there was support of the rezonings they would begin the formal public hearing process to adopt the changes.

The areas involve properties in or near Marblehead Estates Subdivision, Cove-on-the-Bay, Danbury Cove, Part of Galley’s Landing Subdivision, Bayview Shores, north part of Zeller’s Beach, Willow Cove, Lattimore Acres, Emerald Shores, south side of Avalon-on-the-Bay, Cottages at Marblehead, part of Saylor & Koontz Subdivisions, five addresses in West Harbor Landings, Harbor’s End & Harbor’s Cove Condominiums, part of Regatta Subdivision, west side of Channel Grove, part of Rockport Subdivision, part of Commodore Subdivision and Phase 7 of Perryview Estates.

Maps of the areas are available on the Township Website www.danburytownship.com.

Dale said if these residential properties currently have public sewer and water, the basic requirements related to building size, setbacks and lot coverage already revert to High Density Residential requirements. The concern is that some larger residential lots, and the structures on them, could be converted to a commercial use allowed in the Recreational Commercial zoning district with no notice to neighbors.

The other concern is that multiple small lots could be consolidated, making a larger parcel for a commercial activity or structure in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Dale explained “Not all of these neighborhoods have active associations or private restrictions in place preventing the commercial activity. The goal of this study was to protect these residential neighborhoods, old and new, and not create a problem for existing commercial uses.”

State statute requires essentially a 3-step hearing process. The first hearing will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. before the Ottawa County Regional Planning Commission in the EOC room in the basement of the Courthouse. Their decision is a recommendation to the township.

The second hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6 before the Township Zoning Commission at the Township Hall. Their decision is also a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who have final say in the changes and whether they should be adopted.

The Trustee hearing date has not officially been set yet, but will likely be held Wednesday, Nov. 10. Thirty days after the trustees decision, if approved, the changes would become effective.

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