AUSTINTOWN Planners recommend OK'ing riparian laws
A planning commissioner was concerned about potential engineering costs.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
AUSTINTOWN -- Mahoning County planning commissioners recommended acceptance of Boardman regulations aimed at curbing flooding. The commission approved a motion by commissioner Joseph Sylvester Tuesday that the township's riparian setback ordinance be accepted with reservations.
Sylvester said he has some concerns about the ordinance, pointing to engineering costs associated with the regulations.
"I live in Boardman and I'm a developer in Boardman and my basement has flooded in Boardman," he said, adding that he understands the importance of addressing flooding problems. "I'm just not sure this is the proper instrument."
Riparian setbacks provide that construction cannot occur on property next to a watercourse. They're used to protect the floodplain, decrease flooding, limit stream bank erosion and reduce pollution.
Boardman's ordinance now goes to the township's zoning commission for a recommendation. The final decision will be made by trustees. Boardman is the first community to begin the process to enact the regulations.
Last year, a group including representatives from Boardman, Austintown, Mahoning County Engineer's office and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments developed a model ordinance that was given to township officials countywide.
The idea is for all townships within Mahoning County to adopt similar regulations, officials have said.
"This is by no means meant to limit development," Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy at the Mahoning County engineer's office, told commission members. "It's meant to stop flooding in homes."
Angelo Pignatelli, commissioner, questioned how the township would enforce the regulations.
"We know it's going to be a challenge," said Darren Crivelli, Boardman's zoning inspector. "We'll just have to rise to the challenge."