Danbury Township undertakes major rezoning study

Jul 21, 2021 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The Danbury Township Board of Trustees and the Danbury Township Zoning Commission have been asked to begin reviewing neighborhoods of single-family homes that are zoned “R-C” Recreational Commercial. There is a question whether they should be more appropriately rezoned to “R-3” High Density Residential.

The Zoning Commission has recently completed this study, which will involve more than 700 parcels in 12 general areas.

“In the interest of openness and transparency, it is our intent to inform as many property owners as we possibly can regarding these recommendations,” said Kathryn A. Dale, AICP, Danbury Township’s Zoning and Planning Administrator. “Since more than 10 parcels are proposed to be rezoned, the Township is not legally required by the State of Ohio to notify every property owner personally.”

Dale shared that two Danbury Township Open Houses will be held on Saturday, July 24 and Aug. 24, both from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Township Hall. Dale said she will provide a brief presentation at 9:30 a.m. and allow people an opportunity to see the maps of the 12 areas recommended for change.

Questions from residents will be answered. The Township has also provided all this information on their website www.danburytownship.com.

According to Dale, the “R-C” Recreational Commercial zoning district has become a ‘catch-all’ zoning district in Danbury Township and not fully used for its probable, intended focus of ‘recreational’ type activities and businesses over the years. Much of the land zoned as Recreational Commercial was vacant at one point, especially on the Sandusky Bay side of the Township. Since the zoning district allowed housing, whole neighborhoods were developed instead of recreational-type businesses.

Dale said that if these residential properties have public sewer and water, the basic requirements related to building size, setbacks and lot coverage, already revert to the “R-3” 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 “R-C” 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.

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

Dale said they are not expecting a lot of opposition to the proposed changes and said that many residents likely do not even realize that their neighborhoods are zoned commercial. Once feedback is received from the open houses, if the reviews are positive, Dale intends to begin the official public hearing process in September with an anticipated adoption of the recommended changes by the end of the year, which would be effective at the beginning of 2022.

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