Special Planning Commission Meeting
March 19, 2012
Present: Alison Terry, Constance Barsky, Jackie O’Keefe, Tom Mitchell, Tim Ryan, Jack Burriss, Stephen Hawk, Jean Hoyt, Jeremy Johnson, Sam Sagaria, and Deb Walker.
The purpose of the special Planning Commission meeting was to discuss, and potentially make a recommendation to Village Council, on the Draft Joint Granville Comprehensive Plan for the Village of Granville and Granville Township.
Alison Terry updated the Planning Commission about the history of the Comprehensive Plan before the committee. She stated this version was recommended by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to the Village and the Township. Ms. Terry explained Poggemeyer Design Group was hired in 2006 to work on the updated plan. She explained an OSU student recently edited and condensed the plan. She added there were not any substantive changes made to the document by the student. Ms. Terry explained each of the colors on the future land use map and what their designations were. She went on to say that most of the land uses remained the same in the Village and part of the reason for updating the document was to include the different land use categories that were not previously included in the 2001 Plan (such as Institutional, Commercial, Planned Unit Development, etc.). Ms. Terry stated most of the Village is built out except the Cherry Valley Road area. She also stated some expansion of research and technology near the existing Owens Corning area is reflected on the future land use plan. Ms. Terry stated they have shown the green/open space areas which have been purchased or secured through the Township Open Space Program, as well as the area where Kendal is located.
Councilmember Constance Barsky added there are some issues that they need to address through zoning once the plan is adopted. She added the Comprehensive Plan is not a zoning document. Councilmember Barsky stated they are looking to streamline the zoning code.
Ms. Terry stated the Village can write specific zoning regulations related to architectural standards, landscaping, etc. in their code and the Township cannot do this because they must adhere to the Ohio Revised Code.
Mr. Hawk clarified if the Township Trustees’ approved this version of the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Terry stated yes. She explained the version approved by the Township Trustees will go to the Licking County Planning Commission and then to the Licking County Commissioners. Mr. Hawk stated according to a recent article he read about the Comprehensive Plan, there was no testimony given to the Trustees’ in support or opposition at their public hearing. Councilmember Barsky stated there were a series of public meetings held to discuss and revise the plan prior to it going to the Township Trustees’ for approval. Mr. Hawk indicated he had some grammatical notations he would pass on to Ms. Terry.
Mr. Burriss stated the left corner on Plate 3 depicts the Mockingbird Hill subdivision. He stated this is for residential use, even though all of the lots have not yet been sold. He went on to say the area to the left of the wide lot was all in a woodland preserve. Mr. Burriss stated the rest of the area was developed into residential lots and has been platted by the County. Ms. Terry stated there are other areas on Hankinson, Glyn Carin, and Phillips Drive that also have developed subdivisions within the agricultural land use designation. She explained the designation in these areas has been included in Agriculture, but they will remain as residential lots in this category.
Mr. Mitchell noted some inconsistencies labeled under Urban Residential with regard to Kendal. He questioned why this isn’t labeled as senior living, especially since the Comprehensive Plan depicts a need for additional senior housing. Ms. Terry explained they are not differentiating between senior living, apartments, etc. by spelling out a type of use. She stated everything is combined in with the Urban Residential category. Mr. Mitchell stated he feels this should have warranted a separate designation. Mr. Mitchell stated that Plate 6 doesn’t show the Township open space, but it does show it on Plate 3. Ms. Terry stated the open space areas were added later and it simply wasn't updated on Plate 6. Mr. Hawk questioned the green space being labeled green space when some areas are conservation and other Township purchases. Mr. Mitchell explained the green space land is purchased under state law that makes the purchase in perpetuity. He stated the other green space can be bought and sold by the Township if it was purchased with general revenue dollars. Mr. Mitchell stated this all depends on where the money to purchase the green space land comes from. Mr. Ryan questioned if this clarification should be noted in the Comprehensive Plan. Councilmember Barksy – stated that would be a Township issue, and in terms of the current arrangement – this was their preference. She stated the clarification has to come from another arena. Councilmember Barsky noted the open space signage that was recently installed depicts how the land was purchased.
Ms. Terry indicated it would be difficult to add more green colors to the map to show an additional green space category. Councilmember O’Keefe indicated this matter could be brought up with the Open Space Committee.
Mr. Hawk stated Page 19 under ‘Urban Residential’ - the last sentence reads: “It is recommended that any future development of Kendal property be for continuing care residential type facilities and support services to those facilities.” Mr. Mitchell indicated he works for Kendal and they are in agreement to this statement. He stated the boundaries for Kendal changed when they purchased an additional six acres a year ago. He asked for this change of area to be updated in the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Mitchell noted a Comprehensive Plan can be used against a municipality, as much as it can be used for good by developers. Councilmember Barksy stated they are well aware of this.
Mr. Hawk stated Page 35 ‘Scenic Byways and Corridors’ mentions an amendment to include the TJ Evans Trail. Ms. Terry stated Nancy Recchie put together the Scenic Byway Plan for the Village and Township and submitted it to ODOT. She explained the County Commissioners asked for the T.J. Evans trail to be added to the plan, but ultimately the plan was not adopted by ODOT. Ms. Terry stated ODOT would not adopt the plan because they were in the process of revising the Scenic Byway program. Councilmember O’Keefe stated this is on hold and a notation of this is in the Appendices.
Mr. Mitchell stated he can appreciate the amount of work that went into this Comprehensive Plan, but he feels it is still too general and seems too long. Mr. Mitchell stated he wishes it was more specific, especially with a mention to move towards having underground utilities and burying electric lines within the old Village area. Mr. Mitchell stated Granville is not a poor community and this would not be cost prohibitive. Mr. Mitchell stated the community is losing trees because of power lines. He stated the burying of lines doesn’t have to occur all at once and this could be done over a long period of time. Ms. Terry stated the Village researched burying lines with the College Street project and they talked with AEP. She stated they were informed this area does not house a single-phase line. She explained they carry a large grid and that 12x12 transformer boxes would most likely need to be located on the corner or front yard. Mr. Mitchell stated AEP would likely give multiple reasons why this can’t be done. Ms. Terry stated the burying of lines is always discussed when a road project is being done. Councilmember Barsky stated the lines throughout Granville are not just for Granville and there are trunk lines for other communities. Councilmember Barsky indicated the Planning Commission could present this as a recommendation for Village Council to consider. Mr. Ryan stated they are currently discussing the Comprehensive Plan, which is a land use document. He suggested the subject matter Mr. Mitchell is referring to could be a process the Village addresses separately. Ms. Terry explained Village Council has a list of strategic goals and this could be added to their list if they are in agreement. Mr. Hawk agreed with Mr. Mitchell that having lines buried in the Village should be something addressed by Village Council. Ms. Hoyt stated AEP is not an objective source on this subject and should not be the go to source for information. Councilmember O’Keefe stated it can cost money just to get an estimate or study done. Councilmember Johnson stated the Tree and Landscape Committee is looking into this and a subcommittee is meeting with AEP.
Mr. Mitchell asked if a merger between the Township and Village was ever discussed as a part of the Comprehensive Plan review. Mr. Ryan stated a merger would mean the ultimate in protection for the community. Councilmember Barsky stated this subject has not been discussed.
Councilmember Johnson asked if there is any area in the Village where development is encouraged. He stated he is not suggesting a large commercial user go in, but some plans for development can be healthy for a community. Ms. Terry stated development is planned to occur along Weaver Drive and Columbus Road – which is already zoned business in the Township. She stated some of this land is not developed and the other areas may be redeveloped. Ms. Terry stated there are some areas along Newark-Granville Road and the existing Cherry Valley Road where further development could take place. She stated there is land next to the Erinwood office building owned by Park National Bank. Mr. Mitchell asked if the property along Columbus Road is classified as Urban/Suburban Residential. Ms. Terry stated yes and they didn’t modify this as it came through from the Poggemeyer plan. She stated this area is used commercially now.
Councilmember Johnson stated the Township would likely need to modify their zoning code. Ms. Terry agreed, and stated she is unsure if they are rezoning properties or just modifying zoning language. Councilmember Johnson stated the Agricultural designation is significant in the Township. He questioned if they embrace the agricultural designation as the future land use in the northern area - why would they need to purchase development rights if zoning only allows for five acre lots. Councilmember Barsky stated some issues were raised similar to this and the Township Trustees put together the Open Space Committee and charged them with forming criteria on which land to purchase. She stated the Open Space Committee has bylaws. Councilmember Johnson stated 50% of the open space revenue comes from the Village residents even though the Village does not have a lot of control on the lands purchased with open space funding. Councilmember Barsky stated they are looking at having additional representation from the Village on the Open Space Committee. Mr. Ryan stated that when looking at Plate 3 – the Agriculture land designation, with conservation design overlay, has very restrictive criteria on what can be done. He stated the community doesn’t want to stifle growth completely, but control growth.
Mr. Hawk inquired if there was consideration to Thornwood Drive in the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Terry stated yes this was taken into consideration along with the new interchange at Cherry Valley Road. Mr. Hawk stated the Comprehensive Plan is a good framework for the community. Councilmember O’Keefe stated a definition of “unrestricted” is needed for the open space purchases. Councilmember Barsky stated this could be added as a footnote to the Table.
Mr. Ryan stated this is a much improved document from what they started with. Councilmember Johnson agreed and stated the last bit of work done was much cheaper than the original cost for the consultant to prepare the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Hoyt asked how issues that come up throughout the years will be addressed. Ms. Terry stated staff keeps track of those items and the plan is generally revised every five years. Mr. Ryan stated the Village is covered with their zoning ordinances and the Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document. He added the utilities are also a controlling factor, as with no public utilities the densities of housing are significantly lower. Ms. Terry stated the Village currently controls if and when they want to annex land to provide utilities. Councilmember O’Keefe asked the Planning Commission if they would be interested in having an ad hoc committee to make recommendations to the Village about issues that they see should be put in the Comprehensive Plan. She asked the Planning Commission to give a presentation to Village Council yearly regarding the Comprehensive Plan, zoning, planning, etc. The Planning Commission unanimously agreed this could be done.
Motion to Amend and Recommend Approval:
Mr. Mitchell made a motion to recommend approval of the Comprehensive Plan to Village Council with the following amendments:
1. Natural Resources – modify to show all Open Space Properties
2. Future Land Use Plan: Modify area in southwest portion to show the 6 acre Kendal tract (Plate 3), and to modify the small areas long Columbus Road to be shown as Neighborhood Commercial.
Seconded by Mr. Hawk. The motion was unanimously approved 5-0.
Mr. Mitchell made a recommendation to Village Council that the subject of underground utilities should be considered for the incorporated Village and corridors as a long-term goal of Village Council, and specifically a study be done by someone other than AEP to determine the actual costs involved.
Seconded by Mr. Hawk. Motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Mitchell made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Burriss. Motion carried. 5-0.