Commission delays action on resolution

The regulations would restrict building within certain distances of streams.
AUSTINTOWN -- Mahoning County Planning Commission members opted to wait another month before considering a plan to address Boardman Township's flooding problems.
Boardman's proposed resolution would regulate building near streams and other watercourses.
Commission member Joyce Bozanich on Tuesday moved to approve Boardman's riparian setback resolution with a modification that costs of required consultations and engineering be shared by the township and the developer.
She and member Lou Zarlenga were in favor of the motion with members Joseph Sylvester Jr., Angelo Pignatelli, Gary Esasky and Anthony Traficanti, Mahoning County commissioner chairman, opposed. The planning commission met Tuesday in Austintown.
Sylvester then moved that the commission consider the resolution at its meeting next month to allow more time to review it. He, Esasky, Pignatelli, and Traficanti voted in favor of that motion with Bozanich and Zarlenga opposed.
Public hearing
A public hearing before Boardman's zoning commission will be set after next month's planning commission session.
The regulations would restrict building within a certain distance from a watercourse, such as a stream. The distance is based on the size of the watershed into which a watercourse drains.
The larger the watershed, the greater the required distance from a watercourse to build.
"Mainly, this is a response to flooding," said Darren Crivelli, Boardman's zoning inspector. "We're trying to prevent future flooding."
He asked the commission for a recommendation at its Tuesday meeting. "We want to get moving," Crivelli said.
The zoning inspector said that nonconforming uses, or building already approved in the affected areas, would be allowed. The resolution also would allow property owners to request variances through the township's board of zoning appeals.
Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy at the county engineer's office, said the office hopes to get the regulations included in Mahoning's subdivision regulations for all townships.
"This isn't going to affect everyone," she said. "If you don't have a natural watercourse in your back yard, you don't have to worry about it."
Kenner said the idea is to keep structures out of flood areas in order to prevent future flooding. "It will be a generation before the problems are solved," she added.
Sylvester said that since Boardman is essentially built-out, approval of the resolution won't address township flooding immediately.
"Boardman Township can't address flooding," Kenner said. "It has to be addressed on a countywide basis. It has to be addressed with a stormwater utility, and nobody wants to hear me say that."
A stormwater utility is a fee assessed to some property owners to deal with stormwater management issues.

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