Boardman trustees delay zone-change decision

Trustees need more information before making decision.
BOARDMAN -- Township trustees were unwilling to give their collective blessing to a zone change request on the largest remaining stretch of undeveloped land in the township -- yet.
Trustees postponed deciding Tuesday on the request by MOS Development of Boardman to rezone Orvets Sod Farm from agricultural to a residential district until the developer is able to provide additional information on the development plans.
Members of the Mahoning County Planning Commission and the township zoning commission have already approved the plans. Trustees would have to be unanimous in their decision to overturn the approval of the county planning and township zoning commissions.
What's planned
MOS Development plans to place more than 400 homes on a section of the former farm. Company representatives have said there will also be baseball fields, soccer fields, other play areas and a walking trail on the land.
The farm contains more than 309 acres of undeveloped land. Robert Struharik of MOS Development has said homes will be built on about 200 acres. He said the area of the property containing natural wetlands will be untouched in the development process.
Trustees unanimously agreed to postpone any decision on the zone change request until the developer could provide more information on water detention lakes in the development and assurance that the sanitary sewer system can handle the additional homes.
Trustee have been conducting a study into flooding and storm-water management in the township.
"Having just gone through our storm-water management plan, we are very sensitive to water issues. We just want to make sure everyone is on the same page," said Trustee Elaine Mancini.
Edward Muransky of MOS acknowledged that the township has had issues with flooding and retention of green space, but said MOS would take measures to address those issues in the proposed development.
Company representatives have said the development plans allow for a large amount of green space. Muransky said plans call for three lakes to handle storm-water detention, but those plans can be modified as needed to meet the detention needs of the area.
Muransky told trustees the additional homes would generate more $1 million in tax revenue annually for the township.
Against zone change
Trustee also heard from several residents opposed to the zone change.
Susan E. Dicken, executive director of Mill Creek MetroParks, said the 113-year-old Mill Creek Park is a valued piece of the area and should be considered when trustees make a decision. Mill Creek serves as the watershed for the area.
Dicken said the creek, over the years, has seen a large increase in volume and velocity of storm water coming into the system because of the growing area and development around the park. She said the proposed development will likely flood, sending storm water into the park that the creek cannot handle.
James McCreary, Green Garden Drive resident and township firefighter, told trustees the burden on safety services should also be considered.
The proposed development could have a response time for fire and first responder medical calls of up to seven minutes, he said.
McCreary said he didn't think the estimated $1 million in tax revenue would be enough to cover the cost of public services to the development.
Other residents also voiced concerns over traffic and water detention.

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