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Boardman makes master zoning vision

Published: Mon, February 10, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.


Sarah Gartland, Boardman zoning inspector

By Kalea Hall



Zoning Inspector Sarah Gartland and her staff are set on developing the future of Boardman.

The goal is to develop a master plan that focuses on defining and improving the neighborhoods.

“The idea is to document everything we have going, what directions we see [for the township], areas that need attention and come up with a vision,” Gartland said.

The steps to start the master plan began in 2013 with open public meetings in the zoning department about projects in the works, demolition of more than a dozen condemned houses and the rezoning of more than 4,000 properties to preserve neighborhoods.

Both last year and this year also brought new development and redevelopment to the township. McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A will move and redesign Tiffany Square on U.S. Route 224. Coming to that plaza is a Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters, a sporting goods and outdoor supplies store. A Texas Roadhouse was constructed last year across the street from the plaza and will open soon.

An Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in the Boardman Plaza opened last year along with a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse on Doral Drive. An Amish market also opened on South Avenue and, after years of closed doors, the former Park Diner at South Avenue and U.S. Route 224 was opened as the Oldies and Goodies diner.

Two new medical Southwoods buildings on Market Street also were built.

The revamped plazas “will have a domino effect and revitalize interest,” Gartland said.

This year also is a time to look at what areas need more attention. For example, the storm-water issue in Boardman is no secret. Part of the issue is the need to remove some of the pavement and add green space. The township cannot ask businesses already in place to add rain gardens, but for new development or after a property is vacant for six months a suggestion can be made.

“Our regulations require that they do something to manage their storm water,” Gartland said. “We want to start suggesting [alternative] storm-water techniques.”

Gartland and her staff are mapping a plan of what to focus on in the community by going out into the community, talking with residents and reviewing the neighborhoods.

“We have so many neighborhoods,” Gartland said. “I want to help develop identity.”

Gartland also hopes to identify every historical structure in each neighborhood.

Making sure homes that are for sale have a “natural turnover” is another priority in addition to switching from a complaint-driven operation to a targeted enforcement operation, which Gartland said is a huge change.

“We want to do it in a fair and thoughtful way,” she said.

More grants geared toward the vision of the future Boardman will be sought. A map of the vision for Boardman will be put together by the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at Youngstown State University.

The plans eventually will be presented to the Mahoning County commissioners.


1republicanRick(1333 comments)posted 1 year ago

Long, long overdue for Boardman. We have suffered with bad leadership for decades now and the community has slid downhill. Hopefully this will turn things around and stop the decline while the real residential growth has been in more outlying communites.

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 1 year ago

I hope Boardman secures a grant to build a wall along Midlothian Blvd.

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3questionreality(442 comments)posted 1 year ago

Article failed to mention the new Dollar Stores at the North and South ends of the township both displaying a half-dozen festoons which are prohibited by the current ordinance.

Gartland quoted as saying, "The steps to start the master plan began in 2013 with open public meetings in the zoning department about projects in the works, demolition of more than a dozen condemned houses and the rezoning of more than 4,000 properties to preserve neighborhoods."

This woman has no qualms about lying. The steps for "the plan," started long before she was appointed.

Gartland quoted as saying, "Making sure homes that are for sale have a “natural turnover...”

Now there's a pipe dream!

".... switching from a complaint-driven operation to a targeted enforcement operation, which Gartland said is a huge change."

A huge change??? Between April of 2010 and May of 2013 the previous zoning staff mailed out over 2,500 letters to property owners citing zoning ordinance or home rule violations. Progress was even being made with foreclosures by sending the banks to court for not maintaining their properties.

This article is a farce!

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4questionreality(442 comments)posted 1 year ago


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5vinglass(272 comments)posted 1 year ago

Why are the comments being deleted??

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6questionreality(442 comments)posted 1 year ago


“Under Old Business, Mr. Costello stated that grant applications have been submitted for the CDBG grant and Attorney General DeWine’s Demolition grant. Nineteen properties were listed, along with the Terrace Motel for the CDBG grant and twenty-six properties were submitted with the Attorney General’s grant request.”

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7HSG(150 comments)posted 1 year ago

Fascinating article, it typifies the township's historic lack of foresight and complete inability to address/rectify current problems.

If one were to drive from midlothian south on market to US 224, one would pass through a literal extension of the derelict/abandoned commercial real estate to the north in Youngstown.

No Serious EFFORT has been made to address the physical and visual decay on market north of 224. ABANDONED dunkin donuts and sparkle sit, former Williams continues it's path to unreconstructed seediness, the Boardman Inn produces all sorts of marginally legal activites, and the township's response is This! It would be hilarious if not such a direct insult to the taxpayers who remain in the neighborhoods between Midloyhian and 224.

The decision to turn the 224 E/W corridor into the commercial/dining hub of the region only hastened the demise of others parts of Boardman, which could have used a little support. None was forthcoming then, and given the paper-shuffling nature of this article, none appears to be on the horizon.

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8republicanRick(1333 comments)posted 1 year ago

Boardman township has suffered from poor leadership for decades. This is compounded by the fact that long time, baby boomer residents of Boardman never got off their butts to volunteer or get involved in their community, only to see it slide away into seedy over-commercialized landscape.

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