BROOKFIELD Township trustees consider zoning
The resolution will be available for preview.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BROOKFIELD -- If officials stick to their timetable, the question of instituting zoning in Brookfield Township will appear on the November general election ballot.
"Hopefully, there won't be much opposition," said Chris O'Brien, chairman of the five-member township zoning commission.
Previous attempts: Voters have rejected zoning issues on the ballot three times since 1982, according to the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
The commission's recommended zoning resolution, with maps outlining proposed land use, will be available for review this week at the township administration building.
Township trustees will conduct a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. June 26.
After that, trustees will decide if the changes should be made. If so, it will go on the ballot, O'Brien said.
O'Brien, co-owner of Penn-Ohio Electrical Co., said trustees want zoning, especially Trustee Gary Lees, who is pushing the issue.
Previously, O'Brien said, the difficulty in putting a zoning resolution together was the lack of a comprehensive township plan.
New plan: The Trumbull County Planning Commission has completed a plan that includes an inventory of such items as land use and infrastructure. The zoning resolution follows that plan.
"It wasn't hard to classify all the zoning districts. It leaves room for expansion," the commission chairman said.
Basically, the northern and southwest portions of the township would remain residential and the southeast portion would remain residential and industrial.
The business district would be centered at state routes 82 and 7.
At the same time, the resolution contains safeguards so the business district can't expand uncontrollably like it has on state Route 46 in Howland and along U.S. Route 224 in Boardman.
The commission and 10-member committee that worked together has attempted to strike a balance with the proposal. O'Brien pointed out it allows the township to remain mostly residential, while permitting some business and industrial growth.
O'Brien termed the township a residential "gold mine," noting it's between Hermitage, Niles and Howland, which are running out of land that can be developed.
There are no agricultural districts, O'Brien said, because any area can be used for that purpose.
Working together: In preparing the resolution, people were able to set aside their political differences.
"It's been a lot better than I thought it would be," O'Brien said, noting that some involved in the process were not initially in favor of zoning.
He said, for example, nothing can be done about junk cars because of the lack of zoning regulations.
In keeping with the residential philosophy of a "bedroom community," O'Brien said, permits will not be required to erect fences or decks.
O'Brien said the township wants all the input it can get from residents about the zoning resolution so voters can feel comfortable approving it.
Even if voters approve zoning, changes can still be made if needed, he explained.