Lake Twp. Zoning dispute goes to prosecutor

Larry Limpf

A zoning dispute involving a local business owner in Lake Township appears headed to court as the township trustees Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing the Wood County prosecutor’s office to proceed with “any necessary court filings” to resolve the matter.
Mark Hummer, township administrator and police chief, requested the resolution that directs the prosecutor’s office to take “all appropriate actions.”
The property in question is owned by Jim Mlynek, who also owns the Woodville Road Nursery. He’s been using parcels he bought on the south side of Woodville Road adjacent to Bailey Road to temporarily store leaves before composting them at the nursery site.
Despite opposition from several Bailey Road residents, the trustees by a 2-1 vote in May 2018 approved his request to rezone the parcels from R-2 residential to B-2 general commercial. As a condition of the approval, the trustees required Mlynek to install a berm around the perimeter of the property and to plant trees and follow setback requirements.
One point of contention is the width of the berm. During the zoning hearing, the trustees stipulated it should be at least four feet high but didn’t set a width requirement. Later, the township zoning office imposed a 25-foot width for the berm
Since the hearing, Mlynek has said he’s also received conflicting information from the township as to whether a fence could be erected instead of an earthen berm and what is the required height of a fence.
He said he and his attorney recently met with Hummer, Ken Gilsdorf, a trustee, and Linda Holmes, assistant prosecuting attorney, and they indicated a fence of four to seven feet high would be an option instead of a berm. Later, he was told the fence had to be at least six feet. After that, the zoning office informed him a fence couldn’t be installed.
Joe Zemenski, a Bailey resident, has been challenging the trustees on whether the B-2 zoning allows the property to be used for storing leaves.

Fire report to the EPA
The township is sending a report of a fire set last week at the site of a razed home on Bailey Road to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Chief Hummer said township fire crews spread foam over the smoldering debris the morning of June 18 and he was concerned asbestos, plastics, insulation and other materials could have been burning.
He said it is illegal to set a fire to razed structures without prior permission from the EPA.
Kelly York, a Bailey resident who owns the site, told the trustees Tuesday he set fire to the rubble Monday night as part of an effort to clean up the site.
“I was trying to appease the neighbors,” he said.
Police officers responding to a complaint from Mlynek about a possible trespassing violation notified the fire department about the fire.
York and Zemenski had garden hoses from their homes ready to prevent the fire from getting out of control, the chief said.
The men told the trustees Tuesday they opted to burn the pile because there were bees in it.


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